With a head or chest cold, rest is the key to a speedy recovery. You deserve a break from work to help your body heal—and coworkers will be grateful to be spared exposure. And in addition to sleep, if you want to go a more natural medicinal route, herbal teas and baths can be extremely helpful. Here are a few go-to concoctions to bounce back from sniffles, coughs and fevers:
Ginger and Thyme Tea with Honey
Honey is one of the best ingredients we have for treating coughs and sore throats. The thyme that we use as a cooking herb is also a terrific antimicrobial for upper respiratory infections. Ginger fights infections of the upper respiratory tract, as well as increasing circulation, boosting immunity and helping break fevers. Brewed together and consumed, these can ease your symptoms and jump-start your healing process.
To 1 cup of boiling water, add:
2 teaspoons good quality honey (raw if possible)
½ teaspoon thyme tincture (alcohol extract) or 2 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Cover and let stand 10-20 minutes. Strain and drink with or without fresh squeezed lemon.
To facilitate relaxation and restful sleep, add to 1 cup of boiling water:
1 teaspoon dried dandelion root
1 teaspoon chamomile
1 teaspoon elderberries
1 teaspoon valerian
Steep mixture for 10-20 minutes. Strain and drink with honey to taste.
To ease the aching muscles that can come with a cold, and to act as a diaphoretic (aka sweat inducer) to reduce fever, mix together with a quart of water in a saucepan on the stove:
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
¼ cup dry or fresh thyme
¼ cup lavender
¼ cup elderflowers
1 cup Epsom salts
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and add it into a warm bath. Soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes. If you have a fever, pile on some cozy clothes and bundle up in bed. The goal is to sweat out the fever overnight—so stay warm.