Amazing Herbal Expectorants and Decongestants

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Most people turn to over-the-counter medications to treat common colds, cough, and flu. But nature has the best cure for these ailments! These all natural expectorants and decongestants treat infections while clearing the respiratory tract. Want to go all natural? The next time you caught a cold or cough, try these herbal remedies:


Did you know licorice is a natural expectorant and decongestant? It will clear runny nose, hacking cough and swollen sinuses. It will soothe an itchy throat, inflamed lungs while suppressing cough. To use licorice as an expectorant or decongestant, drink it as a tea. Get half a teaspoon of licorice root and boil it in plain water. Let it cool then take the tea three times per day. You can also buy licorice lozenges from your local specialty store.

Sage Tea

Just like licorice, sage tea will sooth the symptoms of common colds and cough. It will minimize throat irritation and ease a clogged nose. To use sage tea as an expectorant or decongestant, add two teaspoons of fresh sage leaves over a cup of hot water. Let the mixture steep then add honey to taste. Drink sage tea two to three times daily. To increase its potency, try mixing sage leaves with thyme leaves.


When it comes to treating colds and cough, horehound is highly recommended by herbalists. This natural decongestant is the best treatment for dry cough and hacking cough. It eases chest tightness from dry cough. The herb also suppresses cough and soothes irritated lungs.

Clinical tests show that horehound contains marrubin. Marrubin is a compound that stimulates bronchial secretions. Do note that because this herb is extremely bitter, you’ll have to take horehound tablets instead of taking it fresh. You can get horehound tablets from your local specialty store.


Eucalyptus is an excellent decongestant and expectorant. Just a whiff and it will clear clogged nose, relieve swollen sinuses and loosen tight chest from cough. It will also suppress cough and dry runny nose! You can take eucalyptus in many ways: as a lozenge, as a chest rub, as a steam or by sniffing a bottle of eucalyptus essential oil. To boost its efficacy, we recommend combining eucalyptus oil with hyssop oil in a pot of boiling water. Inhale deeply until the chest and nose clear.


If eucalyptus is too strong for your sensitive nose, peppermint is a worthy substitute. Just like eucalyptus, peppermint will relieve congested nose and chest. It will suppress cough and soothe painful sinuses. To use peppermint, just add ten drops of essential oil on a bowl of hot water. Inhale the steam until the nose clears. You can add a few drops of essential oil on a small towel and inhale deeply. Finally, you can also take peppermint tea to relieve cough and colds.


Cayenne will loosen hard, stubborn mucus and relieve common colds. This spice will thin out the mucus in the lungs so it’s easily expelled. Cayenne also stimulates bronchial secretions! To use cayenne to relieve common colds and cough, add a dash to your favorite medicinal tea. You can also take capsule form of cayenne.


Garlic contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It protects from virtually all types of infections, including common colds, flu, and cough. You can either take raw cloves of garlic to relieve colds and cough or take it as tea. To take garlic as tea, grate a clove of fresh garlic then mix it with hot water. Add a teaspoon of honey to taste and drink the mixture, grated cloves and all.

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