Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

What To Do For Colds and Congestion

Q: If I take Echinacea every day, will this prevent me from getting a cold?

A: Although Echinacea is considered one of the best-known, safe immune strengtheners available, you should not take this herb on a daily basis. It is typically recommended to take at the first sign of cold or flu and take until symptoms diminish. Do not use for more than eight weeks without taking a two week break. You can build up immunity against this herb. Also, do not take if you are allergic to daisies.

If you are looking for something to use as a preventative and take daily, you might consider Oil of Oregano. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and an anti-oxidant. It is one of the most powerful immune boosters there is. It is much more powerful than echinacea or goldenseal. Due to its anti-fungal properties, it has been shown to kill candida albicans. It is great for your respiratory system, and bronchitis, knocking out coughs in very little time. You don’t want to use oregano from the grocery store, you want wild oregano. It comes in capsules or in oil form. The oil is great to put on your toothbrush along with your toothpaste to help kill the bacteria in your gums. It is a great topical agent for nail fungus. These are just a few of the things it is used for. Check it out in your health food store.

Q: I am always congested but don’t want to take something like Sudafed. Any suggestions?

A: A great herbal decongestant which does not cause drowsiness is fenugreek and thyme. This will help thin mucosal fluids and stimulate expectoration, therefore, eliminating the congestion. It helps reduce coughing by relaxing muscle spasms. Thyme has strong antiseptic properties which help fight infection.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.