The upper respiratory system includes the lungs, windpipe, ears and sinuses. Infections in these areas can be from bacteria or a virus, resulting in a common cold, flu, sinusitis, otitis (ear infection), croup and bronchitis. Upper respiratory infections caused by viruses are nonresponsive to antibiotics but some natural remedies can help prevent a worsening condition and alleviate bothersome symptoms.
Aromatherapy is the inhalation of essential oils through steam. This type of natural herbal remedy can help clear a tight, congested chest. Boil 2 quarts of water and pour into a bowl. To the water, add a few drops of eucalyptus and sweet thyme essential oils. Put a towel over your head and the bowl and inhale the steam as deeply as possible. Do not use this natural herbal remedy if you have asthma.
A little known herbal remedy for upper respiratory infection is an elecampne infusion that you can make at home. Pour 1 cup of cold water onto 1 tsp. of shredded elecampane root and let it stand for 10 hours. Heat and sip one cup full 3 times a day.
If you have an irritating cough, a wild cherry bark infusion may just be your cup of tea. Pour 1 cup of boiling water onto 1 tsp. of dried cherry bark and steep for 15 minutes. Remove the bark and drink this concoction 3 times a day.
If you have access to homeopathy medications, which many health food stores carry, aconite 6c can help with fever, tight chest and a tickling cough. You should take aconite 6c 3 times a day for up to 4 days. Kali bichromicum 6c is beneficial for a loose, rattling cough. Voice loss along with a burning throat and cough is often treated, homeopathically, with Kali Phosphorus 6c.
Traditional Chinese treatments for upper respiratory infections focus on preventing an attack of sudden symptoms, such as an uncontrolled cough. Make a therapeutic tea with some or all of these herbs: plantain seeds, balloon flower root, honeysuckle flowers, skullcap root, or gardenia fruit.
An upper respiratory infection in the middle or inner ear can result in extreme itching, throbbing and a feeling of water in the ear. Refrain from eating or drinking dairy products while treating an ear infection as it can worsen the symptoms. Sipping St. John’s wort tea along with holding a warm hot-water bottle to your ear can quickly ease ear pain. Homeopathic remedies for ear infections include Aconite 6c, Belladonna 6c and Chamomilla 6c. » Read more: Natural Herbal Remedies for an Upper Respiratory Infection