ALTERNATIVE HEALTH Tisanes can be used as expectorants to help relieve the symptoms of bronchitis and catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract. This includes catarrhs due to colds or allergies. One very effective tisane is a mixture of Eucalyptus globules (leaf), Blue mallow flower (Malva sylvestre), and Thyme leaf (Thymus vulgaris). A tisane (infusion) is made by steeping 1.5 to 2.5 grams of the blend in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Benefits generally begin 30 minutes to 1 hour after consumption. Malva is one of the oldest medicinal plants in the world. It was used in tisanes (infusions) in China more than five thousand years ago and employed by Greek and Roman physicians to treat internal and external disorders. It kept its reputation as a “cure-all” treatment throughout the Middle Ages, and like all mallows, it was well known for its soothing qualities. It is commonly used for irritation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa, dry cough, sore throat, bronchitis, and as an astringent for gastroenteritis. Thyme has also been used medicinally for thousands of years based on its antimicrobial, antitussive, and spasmolytic activities. One of its
ingredients, thymol, is a well known antiseptic. In conditions, such as bronchitis, the herb demonstrated spasmolytic properties. When we hear the name Eucalyptus we usually think about the essential oil. Tisanes are made using the leaf which contains some of the same ingredients as the essential oil but at less irritating dose levels. Eucalyptus was traditionally used as a decongestant and expectorant to treat upper respiratory tract infections or inflammation, such as those caused by the common cold, nasal congestion, bronchial disease, etc. The medicinal ingredients of this herb also have antibacterial properties. This type of herbal tisane can be part of an effective therapy in managing the symptoms of upper respira tory tract infections or allergies. Dose and product quality are critical elements for a successful treatment. There are numerous brands on the market, so talk to your local health care practitioner if you want to know which ones have a good reputation for making quality infusions. The quality of a product is important as it is intimately tied to the safety and efficacy of a product. Bottom line, herbal tisanes have a long history of use and have proven their effectiveness over the centuries. This type of remedy is an interesting option for consuming herbs safely and effectively. They can be used as part of a treatment strategy in the management of the common cold or allergies or simply as part of a preventive therapy. An effective expectorant tisane can be made to help relieve the symptoms of bronchitis and catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract from a mixture of Eucalyptus globules (leaf), Blue mallow flower (Malva sylvestre), and Thyme leaf (Thymus vulgaris). As with all herbal remedies, consult your pharmacist about any potential drug-herb interactions prior to taking any herbal remedies. Also, let your health care professional know what products you are taking, so they can adequately monitor your health condition and any potential risks associated with the remedies. By Guy Chamberland, M.SC., PH.D., MASTER HERBALIST, HEALTH PRODUCT CONSULTANT CONTACT HIM AT GUYCHAMBERLANDMASTERHERBALIST@LIVE.CA.
OilfieldPULSE | FEBRUARY 2015