It has been an intense fire season so far in the Northwest. Towns that rarely see smoke have been inundated. We wanted to share an herbal tea we have found helpful to manage cough, sore throat, and mild chest tightness!
Mullein has a long history of helping with upper respiratory issues. It can help asthma by soothing effect the bronchioles. It soothes the respiratory tract and reduces mucus. Great for a scratchy throat from the smoke!
Some members of the mint family, including peppermint and spearmint, naturally contain menthol, which is the main soothing ingredient in cough drops. It clears breathing passages, and soothes inflammation. Members of the mint family are given away by their square stems.
An edible plant in the Asteracae (sunflower) family, pearly everlasting is a beautiful plant with a delicate scent. Often found in rocky, dry soil, it tolerates hard freezes. It is helpful for the lungs in similar ways to mullein.
Mint & Mullein Tea
1 tbsp dried mullein
1 tbsp mint (peppermint or spearmint)
4 cups water
Place above ingredients in a pot or teapot. Cover, and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately remove from heat and let steep, covered, for fifteen minutes (or overnight for maximum effect). Pour through a sieve, and enjoy three times a day.
Tisane vs Decoction
The correct term for the above preparation is an herbal tisane. What we call tea comes exclusively from the Camellia sinensis plant, whereas herbal "tea" can come from many plants. However, it's easier to say tea, so that's what it gets called!
A decoction on the other hand is a tisane left to sit overnight. These have twice to three times the power of an herbal tisane due to the infusion time. If you want to make your Mullein & Mint Tea extra effective, try making a decoction by following the above instructions, then letting it sit overnight.
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are experiencing persistent symptoms it's best to see a qualified medical professional.