Who’s up for a healing, herbal tea when you start feeling a bit Ill? Certainly me, for one. Cat Ellis, The Herbal Prepper, has a nice, lengthy post on making an herbal tea for the remedy of cold/flu/respiratory issues – Respiratory Relief Tea.
This tea is one of my favorite cold and flu season remedies. I make it every year, tweaking it a little bit each time. I make this in large batches in September in anticipation for cold and flu season.
Around the house, I nicknamed it, “herbal tussin tea”. I wrote one version of my tea blend here. In my book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, I list is as “Respiratory Infection Tea”. Since it addresses common, respiratory symptoms, and not any specific infection, I’ve renamed it, “Respiratory Relief Tea”.
I have also updated this recipe to allow for more effective tea-making techniques. It blends cold infusion, hot infusion, and decoction preparations.
Want the Lazy Version?
If you want an easier method with fewer steps, check out my easier version here. It’s less of a potent remedy, but it has fewer steps and is still effective.
Relief for Common Respiratory Complaints
The herbs in this tea are a blend of expectorant, decongestant, diaphoretic, analgesic, immunostimulant and demulcent herbs. This will support your body as it heals from a respiratory infection by:
- Making coughing more productive and easier.
- Supporting natural immune response.
- Soothing irritated mucosal tissues.
This preparation is a bit more involved than my previously published respiratory tea recipes. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really not that hard.
This tea utilizes three different water extraction methods:
- Cold Infusion
- Hot Infusion
Cold infusions are made by steeping herbs in room temperature water for 4 to 8 hours. I tend to make them in mason jars, filling the jar 1/4 of the way. Then I fill the with water and secure the lid.
I use tend to use wide mouth jars for ease of filling and emptying the jars. I also use left-over lids from canning, or these reusable, plastic lids.
Decoctions are made by simmering hard plant material, such as roots and bark. To 4 cups of water, add between 1/2 and 1 cup of herbs, depending upon your needs and how concentrated you want your end product. Add the herbs to a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, and the water will have reduced by half. Strain, and the resulting liquid is your decoction.
Hot infusions are made by steeping delicate plant parts, such as leaves and flowers, in hot water. I use anywhere from 1 tablespoon up to 4 tablespoons per 1 cup (8oz) of water, depending upon how strong I want the end result.
I have listed the ingredients by volume, not by weight. For example, I measure by cup, not by ounces. So, 1 cup equals 1 part.
If you want a smaller batch, use a 1/2 cup or a even 1/4 cup to represent your measurement of “1 part”, and maintain the ratios throughout.
Weighing everything would be more precise, but I haven’t found weighing everything out to exact amounts to matter much with this tea.
How to Make Respiratory Relief Tea
Follow the instructions below on how to make the Cold Infusion Phase, the Decoction Phase, and the Hot Infusion Phase.
Here are the steps to combine the phases:
- Make the cold infusion phase first.
- Use the resulting liquid as the water for your decoction.
- Strain out the herbs and reserve the liquid.
- Reheat the decoction (the liquid) if needed to just before boiling.
- Add the herbs for the hot infusion, turn off the heat, and cover.
- Allow herbs to steep covered for at least 15 minutes.
This takes a bit of time from beginning to end. I suggest making it in larger batches, once a day, and reheat just before consuming.
Honey is a perfect addition to this tea, as it helps to both sweeten the tea and to relax coughing. If you are diabetic and cannot have honey, you can sweeten your tea with something like this monkfruit-based syrup.
Respiratory Relief Tea- Cold Infusion Phase
- 3 parts slippery elm
- 1 part marshmallow root
- 4 parts room temperature water
- Combine slippery elm bark and marshmallow root
- Cover with the water, and allow to steep at room temperature between 4-8 hours.
- Strain, reserve liquid and discard the plant material.
- Store cold infusion in refrigerator for up to 2 days if needed.
- Use this as the water for the decoction phase
There are concerns with slippery elm, as it is an endangered wild plant. If you can, buy organic. That should ensure that it came from a managed population, not from a wild population that might have been overharvested. Otherwise, feel free to substitute Siberian elm instead, or just use 100% marshmallow root.
A quart mason jar will allow for 1 cup of plant material and 4 cups of water. This is the correct ration of plant material to water, and the jars have easy-to-read measurements on the side of each jar.
Use cut and sifted instead of powdered forms. Powdered slippery elm and marshmallow will be much more difficult to strain out. It’s a mess. Ask me how I know…(continues)
Click here to read the entire article in full glory at The Herbal Prepper.
Wholefully: 5 Cold-Busting Herbal Tea Blends
Learning Herbs: Hyssop Oxymel: A Cold, Flu and Bronchitis Home Remedy