During the winter’s cold and flu season, why not try a natural steaming herbs recipe for flu and cold symptoms instead of going for over-the-counter cold medications? Herbal steam treatments are fantastic at clearing up sinus and lung congestion when you have the flu. The inhalation of steam is the perfect remedy for asthma, infections, bronchitis, and headaches. The steam from boiling water is often effective enough to fight congestion, but adding herbs to the water can bring a multitude of benefits.

HERBAL STEAMS FOR COLD, COUGH, SINUS AND FLUHere are some popular herbal steams recipes for cold and flu:

  • Peppermint – Peppermint contains compounds that relax the airways and open congested sinuses and nasal passages.
  • Eucalyptus: Decongestant; helps treat colds and congestion.
  • Oregano: Proven antibacterial; fights sinus infections
  • Tea tree oil: Used in an inhaler or in a bath, tea tree oil helps you fight the congestion and the resulting discomfort caused by the cold or the flu.
  • Rosemary: works as an antiseptic and an antimicrobial agent.

RECIPE 1:

Things you need:

  • 1 Tablespoon peppermint leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons eucalyptus leaves
  • 2 Quarts of water

Method:

Mix all the herbs together in a bowl. Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the herbs. Cover the herbs and allow steeping for 5 minutes. Cover your head with a towel and take the cover off the bowl, creating a tent so you can capture the steam and inhale it.  Continue inhaling the steam for about 10 minutes. If your nose is plugged, begin by breathing in through your mouth. Use the face cloth to wipe your face if it starts to sweat or drip condensation. You should be able to breathe through your nose after a minute or two. But be careful. Don’t let the heat burn your nose.

RECIPE 2:

Things you need:

  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • 1 quart water

Method:

  • Bring water to a boil and add 3-4 drops of each essential oil mentioned.
  • Cover your head with a towel to capture the steam. With eyes closed, gently lean into the bowl and slowly inhale the herbal steam through the nose.
  • Breathe deeply through your nose if you have a cold or sinus infection, or through your mouth if you have a cough.
  • Continue to inhale and exhale the herbal steam for five to ten minutes, taking breaks when needed.

RECIPE 3:

Things you need:

  • 3 cups water
  • 5 drops essential oil of lavender
  • 5 drops essential oil of rosemary
  • 5 drops essential oil of Oregano

Method:

Simmer the water in a pan. Remove from the heat and add the oils (you can get the same effect by putting 1/8 cup total of fresh or dried herbs in the simmering water instead of the essential oils). Hold your face over the steam and cover your head with a bath towel. Tuck the ends of the towel around the pan so the steam doesn’t escape. Breathe in the fragrant steam as deeply as you comfortably can, coming out for fresh air when needed (about every minute or so).

ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF APPLYING STEAMING HERBS:

  • Therapeutic herbal recipes can be combined together into a muslin pouch and placed into bathwater if you enjoy the luxury of an herbal steam bath instead. You can also add a few drops of oil into the water, but overdoing essential oils in bathwater may irritate delicate skin.
  • Drip 10 drops of essential oil into the tub or onto a washcloth placed on the shower floor. Breathe in deeply.
  • Another method is to place herbs or essential oils into an herb vaporizer.