Getting grounded because of the common cold can be frustrating – mainly because once you get exposed to the virus (which can be easy if someone at your workplace or household has it), there is little chance of escape.
You can only rely on medication to ease its symptoms, as the virus itself has no cure or vaccine. But surprisingly, it isn’t necessary to treat this infection with over-the-counter drugs – help could just as quickly found in your backyard!
Known among scientific circles as Lomatiumdissectum, this herb has been used by Native Americans for its antibacterial and anti-viral properties, especially against conditions that affect our respiratory tract. Research has compounded the American Indians’ claims – indeed, the ability of the Natives to fight off the flu epidemic in 1917 can get attributed to Lomatium root.
One of the side effects of using raw Lomatium roots is that it causes your body to develop rashes, which is why it is advisable to use Lomatium isolate (an extract that does away with the rash-causing substances present in the raw herb).
If the cold infection has left you with pain and inflammation, ginger root can be counted on for relief. Besides being an expectorant (i.e., a substance that help you cough up phlegm that has been congesting in your respiratory tract), ginger can also warm you up by reducing pain.
While the benefits of the plant can be availed even in raw form, this may not be especially palatable, so a more relaxed alternative is to dry it up and use its powder for making tea. You can also add lemon and honey to this tea for maximal soothing effect.
Whether in the form of pure menthol or just an oil extract, peppermint is a staple ingredient in commercial medicines to counter the symptoms of common cold. The compounds it contains can relax your nasal passages and sinuses. You have probably experienced this when you’ve rubbed some Vicks VapoRub on your chest after having caught a cold.
Peppermint contains menthol, a compound that triggers your cold receptors which in turn alleviate the pain you feel when inhaling through a congested nasal tract.
You can also avail the benefits of peppermint simply by pouring a few drops of its oil on a cotton ball and placing it on your nightstand – inhaling the vapors while sleeping will help keep your airways clear and nasal pain to a minimum.
-You can get the same results from eucalyptus leaves if you have the tree growing in your backyard.
-In any case, do not use eucalyptus or peppermint oil in the way described above in the vicinity of babies and toddlers, as it could lead to respiratory distress.
Usually, you’d use mint leaves as a seasoning for roasts, to top your drinks, or to lend flavor to your salads, but this hardy herb contains menthol just like peppermint and eucalyptus do, which is why it carries the same benefits too! Growing mint for its cold-combating properties is especially suitable for harsh colder climates, as the plant has been known to survive harsh winter climates.
You need to do is collect it periodically from a snow-sheltered part of your garden – perhaps when you step out to do regular maintenance such as clearing your driveway and so on. (Here is a breakdown list of the top snow blowers for this purpose).
It is another herb that is highly recommended by Native Americans of the Southwest and West territories. Modern herbal specialists agree with the Native Americans about the herb’s abilities to combat viruses and aid in the elimination of chest congestion. Many Herbalist advice Tinctures, syrups, and decoctions made from Osha root for the treatment of sore throats and coughs – the numbing effect, in particular, takes the edge off a painful throat.
Osha’s medicinal properties have caused it’s over collection so out of all environmental concern I would advise you to grow it in your backyard as opposed to getting it from a herbalist (who might be getting it from the wild without replenishing its population).
As it turns out, there is more to this plant than its fragrant aroma (used in perfumes, scented candles, and even some foods!). The essential oils of lavender have a calming effect on our system, which helps us relax and drift off into a restful sleep – for someone suffering from cold and fever, so this can be quite a challenge!
If you’ve got lavender growing in your yard, a quick and easy way to calm your respiratory system is to use lavender scented tissues to blow your nose.
Layer lavender petals with normal tissues for a couple of weeks, and they are ready to use!
These are just some of the plants in your backyard that can help you deal with cold – there are dozens more, as a quick search around the internet will reveal. Using these natural remedies will save you from a trip to the pharmacy. However, since this count as self-medication, it is strongly recommended that you consult your physician before trying anything out.