Well….I think its officially that time of year!
June = Winter + colds + flu + blocked, snotty noses + chesty coughs!
After the glorious autumn (at least here in Christchurch!) we are now subjected to frosty cold mornings.
With this comes the inevitable winter bugs for both kids and adults.
Of the many rotten things about a cold one of the most annoying has to be the persistent cough.
Whether it’s the dry-tickle cough, the deep dry bark cough, or the gross mucous cough…it’s annoying for the poor person who is doing the coughing and, dare I say it, the people who have to put up with listening to it!
I know when my son was younger he tended to get quite “cough-ey” during the winter.
His cough went through what we called at home “the circle of cough life”.
He always started off with one type and inevitably worked his way through all manner of cough sounds.
…but poor us at the same time!
He would go from having severe croup to the yukky mucous cough. Then, once he hit the mucous stage we knew there was a (somewhat dim) light at the end of the tunnel.
If you’re a parent too, this probably sounds quite familiar.
Super annoying, huh?
Not only does the dreaded cough affect kids but it also affects us adults too.
Thankfully there are some amazing herbs that can be found in elixirs (a.k.a. herbal liquids) that can help you to get rid of a chesty cough.
Why do we cough?
The most common cause of a cough is a respiratory infection caused by an invasion of pathogens such as a viral or bacterial infection.
This invasion usually occurs through the spread of these pathogens from;
- hand to hand contact from an infected person,
- by touching something that an infected person has touched (like a door knob, mouse, kettle etc), or
- through the minuscule respiratory droplets that move through the air when someone coughs or sneezes.
The pathogens enter the respiratory airways and attach to the mucosal-lining of the respiratory system.
The mucous lining of the respiratory system (that’s the nose, nasal cavity, larynx and pharynx, lungs and diaphragm) actually provides a sticky protective barrier to these important organs.
This consistency acts not only as a barrier to pathogens but also to “trap” these nasties so that immune cells can come along and do the immune ninja warrior stuff they need to do to kill and get rid of the offending pathogen.
When the immune system kicks into the action, specific immune cells come along and literally eat up and destroy the pathogens.
Depending on the type of pathogen will depend on the consistency of mucous and also the colour….pretty awesome gross huh?
7 Amazing Herbs to Help Soothe Your Cough
(and they’re all found in one product)
This form of medicine has been around for thousands of years and once upon a time was the foundation of ancient Greek, Roman, Arabic and European healthcare.
Artemis – a New Zealand owned and operated company – makes herbal remedies based on recipes which are literally centuries old.
And one such remedy is their Chest Relief.
This amazing product includes herbs that have been carefully considered for their immune supporting health benefits. Working in synergy together, the herbs will help support not only your cough but help boost the immune systems natural processes.
Grindelia robusta (Gumweed)
This has long been used for bronchial symptoms and the nervous system. This means it so helps support chronic coughs.
It’s a potent expectorant; meaning it promotes sputum production which helps mucous to be expelled from the airways.
It has been used for all types of upper respiratory infections as well as asthma and whooping cough.
Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow)
This one’s a popular herb that not only soothes airways but protects mucous membranes too.
It contains high levels of mucilage – a goo-like substance that coats and protects the mucous membranes – reducing inflammation associated with a cough and helping relieve irritation.
This herb helps to calm the cough reflex, ideal where there is chronic and persistent coughing such bronchitis, emphysema or smokers cough.
It is a wonderful herb for both wet, chesty coughs and deep, dry ones!
Thymus vulgaris (Thyme)
This amazing herb has anti-microbial properties, eases inflammation and is also an expectorant.
Thyme also helps to boost white blood cell activity, so helps support proper immune process.
It also helps to support stress and, when you think about it, being sick is quite stressful for the body! So this is a wonderful herb to include when you are sick.
Thyme is also known as an anti-spasmodic. That means it helps calm spasmodic coughs. You know the ones…those annoying, uncontrollable ones.
It also provides the body with some much needed antioxidant support to mop up the natural oxidative damage that occurs, particularly when you are sick.
Plantago lancelata (Plantain or Ribwort)
This herb is great at loosening mucous.
It’s anti-catarrhal (which is a fancy was of saying it reduces mucous congestion), it’s astringent (contracts mucous cells) and it’s also an expectorant (see above).
But wait! There is more…
Plantain is also anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It works to stimulate immune cells and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Plantain also contains high amounts of mucilage so, it’s very soothing and cooling. Because of its ability to help get rid of mucous it’s great when coughing is associated with blocked sinus or ear congestion.
Verbascum densiflorum (Mullein)
This potent anti-inflammatory herb works to soothe deep chesty coughs. It also has demulcent properties meaning it provides a protective film over the inflamed mucous membranes.
Like Thyme, it’s an anti-spasmodic herb so useful for persistent coughs.
Mullein also helps to support a fever that may sometimes accompany a cough. It is a diaphoretic meaning it increases perspiration via the skin, which helps to cool the body during a fever.
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Liquorice)
This herb helps to loosen up excess mucous that is trapped in the airways.
Its expectorant effect helps us to cough up all the gross stuff when we have a phlegmy cough.
It also help to support immune function by promoting specific antibodies which help to seek out and target unwanted pathogens. This makes liquorice an anti-microbial herb.
It also is super high in flavonoids that support all these listed functions as well as providing general antioxidant activity.
Essenital Oil of Pimpinella anisum (Aniseed Oil)
This one helps to thin mucous, so it can be easily expelled. This is particularly useful for wet coughs that are “stuck” in the chest.
It is also a natural antiseptic, so will clean up any areas affected by infection.
Aniseed is also a decongestant so, again, great for those coughs that feel deep in the chest, but also will support blocked sinus.
It is also very good at calming the nervous system which is not a bad idea when you’re hacking away continuously!
Who can use this amazing herbal liquid?
Artemis Chest Relief can be used daily to help support general immune function throughout the winter or as and when you need it to support your cough.
It is suitable for children from the ages of 2 – 12 and adults.
The great thing about this product is it is naturally flavoured with the liquorice and aniseed but also a small amount vegetable glycerine.
This makes it a great tasting herbal elixir which is why it can easily be shared among the whole family.
Other great ideas to help with a cough
This is a great product that can be used alongside the very important winter nutrients such as Vitamin C, D and A as well as Zinc and a probiotic.
You can also try drinking hot or warm herbal teas mixed with a little bit of the amazing Manuka honey.
Warm drinks may help to loosen mucous a little bit but even more so if there are specific herbs or the wonderful properties found in UMF® honey.
If you have any other questions on this product or any of the other great Artemis immune products, feel free to drop us a line or call into the store where any of the friendly staff will be able to help you.