Herbal Steam for cold & flu season:
1 tsp comfrey root
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp sage
1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil (optional) or 1 tsp dried eucalyptus leaves.
1 drop of thyme essential oil (optional)
Place the herbs in a small saucepan of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for a 10 minutes, with the pot covered. Take the pot off the heat and add the essential oils. Drape a towel over your head and place your face over the steam, breathing in deeply and moving your head from side to side. Take a break if it gets to be too much. But keep placing your head over the pot for at least 10 minutes total, blowing into the water a little when it starts to cool down in order to direct the steam into your nasal passages. Breathe!
Thyme is a wonderful, handy herb that is also antimicrobial. I regularly drink thyme tea when I am sick or just during the winter to keep my immune system primed. Comfrey root is a healing herb that is also demulcent, so it is soothing to the mucus membranes and other body linings. Sage is astringent, which is often much needed during head colds. Eucalyptus e.o. helps open the nasal passages. I say “one drop” and yes, you could put two drops, but don’t over do it! Essential oils are very powerful, especially in a bowl of hot steaming water. By the way, this would also be a good steam for acne because of its antiseptic strength and astringency (except for maybe the eucalyptus). Don’t forget the ginger & lemon tea for that head cold!