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.
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.
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.
Now, 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: