Natural, Organic Cough Medicine

Tea made from eucalyptus, thyme, and mallow

Caught yourself a summer cold? Make this organic tea to control the cough.

The Middle East is experiencing a strange transition from winter to summer. One day it’s hot, with a dry chamsin wind that sweeps in with a cloud of fine red dust. Bad news for asthmatics. The next day is cool, with a forecast of drizzles. Hot, cold, often the in the same 24 hours. The body can’t keep up. Many people are suffering from ailments that belong to winter, not our short spring.

But help is nigh – just around the corner in fact, in any neglected garden or empty lot. Look for herbs that soothe the respiratory tract and loosen mucous. Although many medicinal weeds have died back till the rains come again, many are still green and even still flowering. I’m currently enjoying a cold with chills and a wheezy cough, so I walked over  to an undeveloped lot across the street and picked the ingredients for my cough medicine.

One of the benefits of eating and drinking weeds is that they’re, in the main, organic. Just make sure the ones you pick are at least six feet away from a parking lot or heavily-trafficked road.

First, pick a sprig of eucalytus leaves. Eucalyptus is a famous old-time remedy for colds. Use 3 large or 4 small leaves for the cough tea.

Eucalyptus tree and leaves

Then, pick a small handful of mallow flowers and 2 leaves. Mallows are just finishing for the year, but still gallantly putting forth flowers. The flowers and leaves are particularly soothing to the chest.

flowering mallows

Add a couple of plantain leaves to your bunch of weeds. Anti-inflammatory plantain also has strong soothing properties, with the added goodness of drawing toxins and mucus out. Two leaves are enough.

stand of wild plantainNow, do you have any thyme in your windowbox? Ordinary thyme from the spice rack works well too. You need a teaspoon of dried thyme, or a large pinch of fresh.


Get ready to make the tea:

Cut up the coarse leaves: eucalyptus, mallow, and plantain.

Boil 2 cups of water. When it’s boiling, add the leaves and the thyme.

Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.

Turn off the heat and stir in the mallow flowers (chamomile flowers are good too. Use a teabag if no fresh is available).

Strain the tea. Drink it warm, with a slice of lemon and honey.

So soothing and warming. Makes you feel good, like a body should.


More Green Prophet posts on medicinal herbs and spices:

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2 thoughts on “Natural, Organic Cough Medicine”

  1. Miriam says:

    Tinamarie, fresh is always best. But if only dried herbs are available, let your nose tell you if they're worth using. Eucalyptus leaves, for example, don't retain much of their properties once dried, but if you open a package and get a strong whiff, then use them. Thyme and chamomile are good up to 1 year after drying. Rule of thumb: dried herbs can be used up to 1 year after drying if they've been kept out of the direct light and away from heat.

  2. The photos are great. Thank you. Living here for just a little while, I”m still not fully comfortable picking herbs without someone confirming that they are indeed what I think they are. What are your thoughts on using dried vs. fresh for this cough tea? Or other natural remedies in general?

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