We have repeated it time and time again, changes in the weather affect us and play havoc with our defences. Our immune system is affected and colds are common at this time.
Coughs, runny noses, prickly throats… The respiratory system is extremely sensitive and medicinal plants can be very beneficial and help to prevent autumn colds and catarrhs.
One of the most beneficial plants in such cases is echinacea: it strengthens the immune system by increasing the number of cells responsible for the body’s response to infections, white blood cells or leukocytes. It also stimulates the process called fagocitosis, where cells destroy foreign bodies or infectious agents.
Echinacea can be taken as an infusion or in tablets as prevention against the season of common colds or with the first symptoms, to help in the treatment.
Other plants that are known for their beneficial properties against illnesses are:
Eucalyptus: substances made from eucalyptus leaves play an important role in the treatment of colds, as they relieve the symptoms of nose and throat infections, sore throats, congestion and mucus. Essential oil from eucalyptus, called eucalyptol, has expectorant, balsamic, antiseptic and bronco-dilating properties.
Horehound: contains compounds that are especially useful for their fluidifying activity on bronchial secretions. The most widespread traditional use of this plant is to treat diseases of the respiratory tract.
Thyme: Thyme leaves can be used as a remedy for sore throats and a congested chest. Thyme is usually drunk in a tisane as an antiseptic, although it can also be used for steam inhalation.
El Naturalista recommends that you start to prepare for colds and catarrh before the appearance of the first symptoms and that you strengthen your defences naturally, with a good diet and using natural remedies. And remember, if you have any questions, go to your nearest chemist and consult your pharmacist.