Althea officinalis (marshmallow) root:
Soothes irritated membranes in both respiratory and digestive tract
Stops excessive dry cough and is also antibacterial
Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root:
A wonderful respiratory anti-inflammatory. Has been shown in some studies to be of great use in asthma. G. glabra has a cortisol sparing effect too, so in times of stress it can really help the adrenal glands and stop you from getting too tired.
Mentha piperita (peppermint):
Traditionally used in colds and respiratory conditions for its anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic (calms the bronchi) and anti-congestive (breaks down mucous) action. The oil is shown in this study to support traditional belief of peppermint as an anti-spasmodic, therefore reducing cough http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20488237
Andrographis paniculata (andrographis)
Known in its native India as 'Maha-tita' - the king of bitters. Appropriate name too. But any shortfalls in taste are made up for in Andrographis' action as a wonderful immunostimulant that helps your body fight infection http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8377022 Andrographis is also traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory and may be effective in inflammatory bowel conditions also.
I thought I would share with you these wonderful herbs in the hope that this will prompt you and your family to call your naturopath. You don't have to pass the winter months sick! Get better quickly and visit your naturopath! Please look at my contacts page and let me sort out your immune system this winter.
I edited this post to add this side note. Although I like research I also have a deep profound appreciation and interest in traditional use of plants. This knowledge from our ancestors, indigenous cultures and teachers goes back thousands of years. If we bypass their incredible knowledge and go straight to search engines on computers we are going to miss out on something so big. During my days at University I loved hearing stories about plants and my patients tell me that my face lights up when I talk about herbs and how they are used and why. Don't take for granted that these stories will always be around. For something not to be lost we need to support and love the story tellers and not sit forever hunched over a computer. Get out amongst it - for my Melbourne readers - Ceres park in Brunswick does a wonderful 'edible weed walk' in Spring. This post is in particular respect to two wonderful teachers of mine, Helen Marguiles and Leo Gregorc.
Yours in health