Herbal Remedies For Congestion

At some point during the year we all get congested for at least a little while, be it from a bad flu, a winter cold, or even just seasonal allergies.  That clogged and stuffed feeling in the ears, nose and throat can be one of the most miserable, making us pine for a nice hot shower constantly throughout the day, which can be fine if you’re lucky enough to be home for the day, but if you have to be at school or work you may find yourself without as many options.  Here at we always prefer to avoid the use of pharmaceuticals unless it is completely necessary, as the truth is they always come with a heavy load on the liver, or the kidneys, or a multitude of other organs, as well as a list of risks and side effects.  A great solution for breaking up congestion when you can’t be home (and even if you are!) is a line of herbal remedies that will have you feeling better in no time, while being natural and healthy!

It is important to note that all the herbs we will list before should be taken at the manufacturers recommended dose, even if it goes against something we say here.


Elder – Sambucus nigra

Elder is a natural choice for those experiencing congestion from any given source, helping dry the mucous membranes that line the nose and throat.  Both the berries and the plant itself will augment the immune system, so will be an extra help in fighting off the cause of congestion, should it be a cold or flu.  The elder plant (the flowers are the most effective for congestion) can be taken as a tea or tincture, while the fruit can be taken as a tincture or an extract.  Do not eat the unripe berries of the elder plant, but otherwise it is a safe herbal treatment when taken under proper dosage instructions, and has no known side effects.


Elecampane – Inula helenium

This herb is not only an effective option for fighting congestion, but also helps with coughing symptoms, and has anti-bacterial properties that especially help prevent infections from moving into the lungs.  With its ability to treat both irritable dry coughing and wet congestion, elecampane is a fantastic choice for colds, flus and other similar throat infections and ailments, including allergies.  Take elecampane as a tincture for the most effective form of treatment, but it can also be taken as a decoction or tablet/capsule.  In rare cases it can cause an allergic reaction, or gastrointestinal upset, though is otherwise a safe treatment.


Plantain – Plantago major, P. lanceolata

Plantain is a true congestion fighter, regardless of the cause.  It’s a very versatile herbal remedy, not just fighting congestion and strengthening the mucous membranes, it helps to stop infections, helps tissue repair, and also helps with sore throats, peptic ulcers, acid based indigestion, and diarrhea.  Whether for short term need or chronic issues like allergic rhinitis, mucus colitis, or just chronic sinus congestion, plantain is an ideal tool.  The plantain plant (not to be confused with the variety of banana like fruit) can be taken effectively as a tea.  Tinctures are also available, but we suggest the tea for the greatest effectiveness.  In rare cases it may cause dermatitis, but is otherwise safe in proper dosages

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