Herbal remedies have stood the test of time, whereas many of the patent medicines currently in use have only been around for a few years - who can tell what the long term effects will be?
The more scientific among you will be pleased to see that we have backed up our findings with numerous links to peer-reviewed scientific papers. Herbal remedies are not just folk tales, but more and more are being discovered by science to have tremendous potential!
Honey Lemon Ginger Cinnamon Tea
An easy-to-prepare, soothing, fun and delicious traditional cold remedy. Use fresh, organic ingredients and raw local honey for best results:
1 teaspoon honey.
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
A few slices of fresh lemon.
A few thin slices of fresh ginger.
I typically slice the lemon and ginger straight into a mug, fill with boiling water then mix in the honey and the cinnamon and let steep for a few minutes. If you wish to filter out the bits or make more than 1 cup, I would suggest preparing in a small pan. Measure the "right amount" of water by pouring fresh water in to the pan from the mugs you are going to be using - then boil the water and switch off the heat before adding the other ingredients. Pour through a tea strainer.
Belief in the healing qualities of Garlic is widespread. Most people use it in cuisine, however it is often considered to have medicinal benefits - typically being regarded as a blood cleanser, tonic and as a remedy for colds and flu.
Although often fried in food, it can also be steamed (5-7 minutes) which will preserve the nutrients better, or eaten raw if you are feeling brave! For those who do not like the smell it is possible to get capsules of garlic oil.
Despite the popularity of garlic and the tradition of use against colds, science is as yet far from convinced of its effectiveness: A UK study on 146 volunteers from 2001 found garlic effective in preventing colds, however many more recent studies are critical - returning a verdict of "insufficient evidence".
There is a growing body of research to support the traditional "multipurpose" use of Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.) for many ailments - especially the treatment of fevers and colds - but also others including migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites, infertility, problems with menstruation and labor during childbirth, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
Feverfew has been in use since ancient times, being known to early European and Greek herbalists and is widely cultivated around the world.
Eucalyptus oil has been well known for its antiseptic qualities for some time. It is even reported to be diffused in hospitals in Australia - which is interesting as the most recent research has found it active in vitro against some serious pathogens - notably "hospital-aquired staph" MRSA, E coli and other nasties.
Common ways to use eucalyptus include using an oil diffuser, or in steam - notably by putting a few drops on the floor of the shower (be careful not to make it slippery if the floor is smooth!), or putting a few drops in a bowl of very hot water and breathing the steam. If you have a cold, steam can help with congestion, helping clear the nose.