Make Your Own Respiratory Relief Tea

Make Your Own Respiratory Relief Tea By Chris Hayes for Natural Blaze

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 of cold and flu season.

Around the house, I nicknamed it “herbal-tussin 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.

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.

Methods used

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:

  1. Cold Infusion
  2. Decoction
  3. 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 them with water and secure the lid.

I 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 been 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.

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