When Mathew came down with his first common cold recently he let me try some new remedies on him. One recipe I concocted was an elecampane (Inula helenium) cough syrup. I normally put fresh elecampane root in honey as a cough remedy since elecampane is rather nasty tasting and honey makes it more palatable along with having its own medicinal properties. Elecampane is one of the best herbs to treat all chronic and acute upper respiratory infections, whether it is viral, bacterial or fungal (even TB). It also is a tonic for the respiratory tract. Honey is an antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, an expectorant, anti-allergenic, therefore, great for respiratory ailments. Elecampane and honey are a winning combination. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any fresh elecampane in the house. I did have dry elecampane root and honey though. I decided to make a decoction with the elecampane root and then add it to the honey. Decoctions are made from the tougher parts of the plants such as roots and bark. Their medicinal properties are tougher to extract and need a slow simmer. I simply put a handful of elecampane root in a quart of cold water and simmered uncovered for about an hour. When the liquid was reduced in half, I strained it. I combined 3 parts honey and 1 part elecampane decoction to make the syrup. I gently heated and blended the decoction with honey for 10 minutes. It is important not to heat the honey higher than 110°as it could lose some of its medicinal properties.
I asked Mathew to try it and he gave me the thumbs up. He had a rather bad cough, so I decided to give him a teaspoon 3 times a day. Before bed, I gave him a teaspoon of elecampane syrup as well as put garlic oil on his feet. He slept through the night and I only heard one cough throughout the night. This was a vast improvement. The majority of his cough was abated within three days, which gave way to a lot of mucus flowing from his nose. Which led to an earache, thank goodness we had garlic oil in the house. Please see my previous blog to see how we handled his earache.
What do you do to relieve symptoms for the common cold? Please share and I will continue to share.
All information is shared for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition.