Let your food be your remedy.
Some herbs are food, and some food is herbal medicine.
So there was this cough doing the rounds, late last winter. Remember? Whiskey voice, a cough that was so bad that little ones would even puke, and a runny nose a bit later? That one.
Me, I applied onions, either freshly chopped or fried in a bit of butter, to the front and back of my little one. (Fresh onion needs a cloth wrapping! Without that it can even blister skin.) She didn't cough so hard that she puked (like some kids her age did), but then, I didn't ply her with NSAIDs ... which make viruses really take off.
For the runny nose, I put some chopped-up fresh onion into a bit of an old t-shirt, wrapped it with twine (to avoid onion bits all over her bed), and put that as close to her face as she would let me. That kept her sleeping soundly, as she could breathe through her nose. (Onion, either fried or not, also works a treat in earaches).
- Stanley ED, Jackson GG, Panusarn C, Rubenis M, Dirda V. Increased virus shedding with aspirin treatment of rhinovirus infection. JAMA. 1975 Mar 24;231(12):1248-51.
- Graham NM, Burrell CJ, Douglas RM, Debelle P, Davies L. Adverse effects of aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen on immune function, viral shedding, and clinical status in rhinovirus-infected volunteers. J Infect Dis. 1990 Dec; 162(6): 1277-82.
- Plaisance KI, Kudaravalli S, Wasserman SS, Levine MM, Mackowiak PA. Effect of antipyretic therapy on the duration of illness in experimental influenza A, Shigella sonnei, and Rickettsia rickettsii infections. Pharmacotherapy. 2000 Dec;20(12):1417-22.
In addition, I put a very tiny amount of tiger balsam on her back, when the cough was at its worst.
The cough went its merry way in a bit over a week, with no mainstream meds at all.
Every now and then somebody asks me what to do about an achy knee, or an achy shoulder, or similar things. I tell them to knuckle a cabbage leaf so that some of the juice gets to the surface and to apply that. It works wonders ... yet people laugh at me in disbelief. Me, I find it strange that not everybody knows about cabbage.
I'm sure there are other simple and effective food-as-herbal-remedies. If you know one, let's hear all about it!