“Carmen, I’ve just got this cough and I’m having so much trouble getting rid of it, what should I do”, asked the manager at my local drug store. She had no idea I am an herbalist. I was shocked because this had been happening to me often since studying herbal medicine. And because it was becoming more common, I shrugged it off and gave her a quick formula (I’ll share it with you guys at the end of this post) that would be easy to throw together without going to deep into the herbalist’s handbook.
Since these run-ins were happening more frequently, I prepared a list of kitchen-friendly herbs that many people have in the house, or can grab from the local grocery store. As simple as these herbs may seem, they have a great many healing qualities. Three herbs I highly recommend for the average kitchen wellness arsenal are thyme, ginger, and cinnamon.
First up is thyme. Thyme is excellent in treating coughs. Used as a tea this herb is beneficial for relieving congestion. Because it helps expel mucus from the lungs and reduces spasms, I’ve included it in the formula. The powerful little sprigs are useful for treating bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma. This herb is great because it is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal.
Second up is ginger. Ginger can be found in most grocery stores. This ally comes in handy in the bath for stimulating circulation and getting rid of chills, and as a tea for relieving nausea. It’s included in the following formula because it’s beneficial in expelling mucus. Ginger can be used topically as a compress for joint pain and sore muscles.
The third herb on the list is cinnamon. Cinnamon is warming to the body. Having this herb on hand not only adds flavor to your coffee and baked goodies, but also helps with poor circulation. It is widely used all around the globe to aid digestion helping treat gas, bloating, and nausea. Inhaling in steamed water, it’s great for the common cold and irritation of the throat and nasal passages. In this formula it helps address the inflammation in the respiratory tract.
So as you can see from this quick rundown of only some of the benefits of these common grocery herbs, there are many benefits to be gained by keeping these herbal allies on hand. And now for the easy recipe I offered the drug store manager for her cough.
- 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ½ inch of peeled fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 piece, 2”cinnamon stick
Place in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain, add sweetener of choice and lemon to taste, and drink one cup, 2 to 3 times a day until symptoms subside.
Carmen Hartsfield is completing her Masters of Science degree in Therapeutic Herbalism. She is currently creating a new line of herbal wellness teas. Some of her herbal writings can be viewed at www.carmensherbal.wordpress.com. She is also an artist and designer who loves cooking and yoga.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more posts from The Dancing Herbalist, join us on Patreon. Join Jillian for live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online for more learning opportunities or work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultations.