Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) are very common in springtime. The main causes of the these infections are the sudden variations in temperature from one day to another and even during the same day. Upper respiratory tract infections usually affect the:
The accompanying symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections are milder compared to flu symptoms, and rarely does one come down with fever. Influenza, on the other hand, affects the health state of the entire body. Flu comes down with fever, body chills, muscle aches, dry or productive cough. Oftentimes the fastest way to recover from flu is to take few days of rest in bed.
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In This Article You Will Find:
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections Symptoms
The most common manifestations of viral infections of the upper respiratory tract are:
- clogged nose
- dry and strep throat
- pain when swallowing
- runny nose
- general poor state
- fever (mostly in children)
Here are the most effective herbs for upper respiratory tract infections and how to use them, both internally and externally to treat these infections.
5 Home Remedies for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
The homemade remedies for the upper respiratory tract infections are usually herbal teas or cold macerates and inhalations.
Herbs for internal use URTI:
- Linden (Tilia europea) flowers
- Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) – for infusion
- Willow (Salix alba) bark – for decoction, tincture and herbal wine
- Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) flowers and root – for macerate
- Orange mullein (Verbascum phlomoides) flowers and leaves – for macerate
Herbs for external use URTI:
- Marigold (Calendula officinalis) flowers
- Yarrow (Achilea millefolium) the flowering stems
- Chamomile (Matricaria chamomila) flowers
- Aromatic herbs: mint, jasmine, lemon balm, basil and thyme.
1. Herbal Infusion for URTI
Infusion is prepared from the flowers of linden, elder, marshmallow and the leaves and flowers or orange mullein. You can use one herb, a couple or all, in a herbal mix. Whatever you have at hand.
- add 2 tbsp of dried and roughly minced herbs in 1 cup/250ml of hot water
- bring to a boil, and when it reaches boiling point, turn the heat off
- let the tea infuse for 30 minutes, with a cover on
- strain and drink while warm
You can sweeten with raw honey, if you please. Have 2 cups of this tea daily.
2. Willow & Marshmallow Decoction for URTI
Decoction, of the other side is made from the stems of the plants, bark, seeds, fruits or roots. For this particular decoction, use willow bark and marshmallow root. You can use either one of them, or combined.
- add 4 tbsp of dried and roughly crushed herbs in 2 cups/500 ml of water
- use an enameled or stainless steel pot
- simmer on low heat for 15 minutes
- strain through a cotton gauze or cotton fabric while it is hot
- add cold water over, to make for the water that has evaporated through the simmering process (in the end you need to have the same quantity from the start)
You can sweeten with raw honey, if you please. Have 2 cups of this tea daily, just as the infusion.
3. Cold Macerate Remedy for URTI
Macerate is obtained by soaking herbs in cold water for a longer period of time, in most cases overnight. For upper respiratory tract infections, this particular cold macerate takes less time. You can use all the herbs for internal use, a few or what you have at hand. If you combine them all, the effect is more powerful, but they have great efficiency even when used alone.
- soak 2 tbsp of dried and roughly minced herbs in 1 cup/ 250ml of cold water
- leave to macerate for 30 minutes at room temperature
You can sweeten with raw honey, if you please. Also, drink 2 cups a day.
Read Also: Natural Treatment for Viral Infections
4. Steam Inhalation for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
For the steam inhalations, use the herbs mentioned at external use herbs: marigolds, chamomile and yarrow. These herbs are amazing to use in inhalations, especially if the URTI affects your sinuses and you feel clogged.
- add 2 tbsp of dried and roughly minced herbs in 1 l of boiling water
- remove the pot from the flame, and use a towel to cover your head while doing the inhalations
- inhale in the steam with the healing volatile oils form the herbs
You can also used the aforementioned aromatic herbs, as essential oils. In this case, use 5 drops of therapeutic grade essential oil in 1 l of hot water.
5. Nasal Douche for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Nose douches or irrigations play an important role in the effectiveness of the topical treatments for the upper respiratory tract infections. Their purpose is to eliminate the excess mucus, which creates a thriving environment for bacteria. This mucus is also what keeps us from breathing properly while having an upper respiratory tract infection.
These douches don’t need to be too intrusive, you don’t need to use a neti pot. You can use the scoop of your hand to inhale the herbal infusion in, on each nostril at a time, then eject quickly. Imagine doing a “nasal” gargle.
- Make 1 cup of infusion with marigolds, chamomile, yarrow, mint and thyme.
- Add 1 g of sea salt or any organic salt that you have at hand.
- Allow the tea to cool off at a comfortable temperature.
- Gently wash your nose.
Very important! Adding salt is necessary in nasal washes, to make the tea isotonic. Otherwise the washes can become irritating for the nasal mucosa and can negatively affected it.