You’ve heard me talking about Marshmallow Root Tea (Althea officinalis) before. We drink this healing tea every day and have now added Liquorice Root, Mullein and Fenugreek to our tea cupboard.
These teas are important at this time as they help to dislodge dry mucus at an early stage. Once you have a thinner, looser mucus it is much easier to remove it by coughing. This selection of teas once steeped create mucilage which helps to do this.
If you are only choosing one or two I would go with Marshmallow Root and Liquorice Root as they go well together and both taste lovely. All four teas have a mellow pleasing flavour, drink them on their own or combine.
**You can find most of these teas at whole food stores like Huckleberry, if you are going to choose one I would go for Marshmallow Root. Here’s a link to where you can purchase online.**
From Megan Douglas (Awesome herbalist)
“An interesting report linked here by Chinese herbalists who have been working in Wuhan, on the front line. I have always appreciated that in China, hospitals are open and willing to include Chinese traditional herbal medicine, acupuncture and also massage, as part of the modalities towards healing – alongside and sometimes instead of pharmaceuticals.
From their report it seems that the nature of this Coronavirus seems to be slightly complicated once it gets into the lungs / bronchial, as the phlegm is sticky and hard to dislodge. A dry cough can also be characteristic, which means no mucus is expectorated, so it’s basically an unproductive cough! The dangers being congestion in the lungs can lead to fibrosis and more.
I’m interested to see what others think we can use as western herbal protocols to help dislodge the dry mucous at an early stage.”
Here’s what the Chinese herbalists had to say about the nature of the lung congestion:
“Moisten Dryness and Transform Phlegm, Remove Zang Disease via the Corresponding Fu Organ.
How is it possible to liberate the airways by expelling the sticky, rubbery, glue-like phlegm that is obstructing the lungs all the way into the alveoli? This question is most relevant for the eventual outcome of the disease process! Why is the typical COVID-19 patient hardly coughing or not coughing at all? I believe that this specific characteristic of the disease is mostly due to the presence of sticky phlegm, which occupies the available airway space normally required for the generation of a productive cough. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, this phenomenon belongs to the category of dry phlegm (zaotan). This kind of issue requires an approach that involves moisturizing dryness and transforming phlegm”
So from a western herbal medicine perspective, soothing and relaxing expectorants are indicated, as the excessive or sticky mucous produces an unproductive and/or irritable-type cough and is not easy to dislodge from the lungs. We are looking for herbs that can soothe bronchial spasm and loosen mucous secretion. Some of these herbs expectorant herbs below owe their action to their mucilage content and volatile oils, and generally derive their action by relaxing body tissues, encouraging the production of a thinner, looser mucous which is more easily voided. Some of our western herbal hero’s here include:
Tussilago farfara (Coltsfoot)
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)
Althea officinalis (Marshmallow)
Plantago lanceolata/major (Plantain)
Verbascum thapsus (Mullein)
Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek)
I would also add anti-viral herbs into the herbal mix as well – astragalus, echinacea as examples