Best Herbs for the Common Cold

Herbs to the rescue

| September/October 1998

Home Remedy Recipes:

Sidebar: Herbal Combination Cold Products 

As we head into the cold and flu season, a song from the musical Guys and Dolls plays in my head. A woman with a nasal voice and Brooklyn accent laments, “La grippe, la grippe, la post-nasal drip. With the wheezes and the sneezes and a sinus that’s really a pip.”

La grippe is French for influenza. And when we have a bad cold or the flu, it often feels like being in the grip of something, and relief can’t come fast enough.

Cold and flu viruses each cause upper respiratory congestion—a runny nose, sneezing, sinus congestion, a scratchy throat. Both can produce a cough, but flus tend to linger in the lower respira­tory tract.

Colds typically come on gradually, and their symptoms concentrate in the upper respiratory tract. Not influenza—it ambushes you. In addition to attacking the upper respiratory tract and mi­grating down, flu brings on malaise, headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, exhaustion, and loss of appetite. You generally feel awful.

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