Since the dawn of time, we have been plagued by the common cold. Throughout time, many civilizations have attempted to eradicate it, but it continues to prevail. Most remedies of today only treat the symptoms of the cold, but not the cause. In this article, some of the remedies beneficial for treating the cause of the common cold from both western and eastern civilizations will be explored.

The causes for the cold are viral infections, which can be treated through a variety of anti-viral agents. In the Chinese culture, several treatments are used for both the cold, and some of the resulting symptoms. One of these treatments is a tea containing Aster tataricus (Jindai) with Schizonepeta tenuifolia (Jing Jie- from the family Labiatae). The tea can be made using one teaspoon of herb to a cup of water. Aster has been used for asthma and coughs, and some of the species of Aster have been shown to have central nervous system (CNS) depressant activities in animals in addition to antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activity in vitro.

Another Chinese tea used is Ma Huang (ephedra), which is known for aiding breathing due to it containing epinephrine. A tea can be made from a small amount of the leaves and stem in hot but not boiling water. Steeping for a few minutes results in an invigorating tea. However, more than 3 cups should not be consumed within a 24-hour period, as it is a strong stimulant. Unfortunately, Ma Huang is currently regulated within the US; however it grows as a weed in the southwestern parts of the US, particularly in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah- where it has been used in Mormon tea. Other Chinese herbs for colds and flu include Eagles Claw (Uncaria rhynchophylla) for headache, White Mulberry (Morus alba) for chest congestion, Ju Hua (Chrysanthemum morifolium) for inflammation, and Xia Ku Cao (Prunella vulgaris) for headache and vertigo.

In Old America, the herb horehound was commonly used and well known as a remedy for colds. The tops and leaves were cut from the plants before it began to flower, and used in a tea. Feverwort, also known as Boneset, was used to bring down fever. A tablespoon of either herb in a cup of hot water steeped for five minutes was reported to aid recovery.

The following tea is a popular recipe used in Germany for relief from colds, influenzas, and other similar conditions:
8 parts of Marsh Mallow
3 parts of Russian Liquorice Root
1 part of Orris Root
4 parts of Coltsfoot
2 parts Mullein Flowers
2 parts of Anise
These were cut, mixed, and combined. A cup of boiling water was poured over a tablespoon of the herbs and steeped for 5 minutes, and then drunk warm. Honey can be added to sweeten the tea.

All these remedies mentioned address the root cause of colds, viral infection, and some of the more distressing symptoms that make us feel bad such as coughs, fever, and headaches. Personally, when I feel the first signs of cold or flu- usually in the form of a scratchy throat, I take fresh raw garlic, sliced thin on slices of apple, several cloves at a time. Raw garlic is a natural antibiotic, and this quick fix works for me every time.

Author's Bio: 

Aurelia & Kennon Ward are both founders of a new Company called Herbal Vista LLC, which focuses on selling healthy sustainable products. They are currently developing their own line of all natural herbal skincare that soothes both the skin and achy muscles. The products are planned to be ready for distribution later this year. Kennon is both a Reiki Master and herbalist, specializing in preparing specialty healing teas (coming soon on Aurelia was trained in research and development, and studies aromatherapy. For more information, visit, or e-mail Aurelia at:

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