Recently I was overseas visiting with friends and attending a meditation retreat. It was wonderful to be able to see different landscapes and seascapes, and great to be in new environments and to experience new things. Unfortunately, I started to feel a little under the weather and being in the Italian countryside there was nowhere for me to buy supplements or remedies. Luckily for me I was in a place where natural remedies abound. There are herbs growing wild in people’s gardens or just in the countryside.
When I have patients that have upper respiratory infections, one of my favorite herbs to use is thyme. Yes that is right the food spice thyme. Thyme grows wild all over Italy. Thyme is great for upper respiratory infections. It helps get rid of congestion in the lungs, it is an antifungal and antibacterial. Each morning and each evening I had two cups of thyme tea. After four days I was feeling so much better. It was wonderful to be able to natural medicine to make myself heal.
In the next week at the retreat center I had a couple of people come to me because they were having serious sinus problems from all the beautiful flowers in the countryside. My suggestion was a nasal rinse. Most people are familiar with nasal rinse by using a neti pot. Neti pots use a combination of warm water and salt, creating a saline treatment, in the nasal passages to clean out the sinuses from the extra mucus that forms from the irritation from pollen. If there is an infection then I like to add an herb solution of rosemary or thyme to the warm saline. One women who I helped reported the next day that she was feeling much better and another person wanted to try to do the same thing,
Finally I had a person who was very stressed and having an upset stomach for the first few days of the retreat. Mint is also a wildly growing herb that is a works on the nervous system and the digestive system. Mint tea is one of my first choices for stomach problems. This turned out to work well for her as well.
It is always encouraging to me to see how natural remedies work to help people feel better and they can be found almost anywhere.