Fight Colds with This Tea

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Rosemary tea is a favorite home remedy for all kinds of problems, including indigestion and even enhancing memory. Clearly this herb's value extends beyond its use in the kitchen. "I recommend it to my patients for sore throats and coughs," shares Susan Delaney, ND, a naturopathic physician at The Wellness Alliance in Carrboro, NC, who works with the integrative medicine department at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

The medicinal parts are the leaves; this is what's .in store-bought dried rosemary. The plant's active constituents include volatile oils that taste bitter and stimulate salivation, which is helpful for a throat that is sore and dry. Other compounds calm spasms (useful for quieting a cough) and act as mild antiseptics.

For a common cold, Dr. Delaney suggests trying old-fashioned herbal remedies such as rosemary tea before heading to the drugstore.

They're often safer and less costly than over-the-counter medicines and every bit as effective. And the ritual of preparing a warm tea for yourself or your children, sipping it slowly, and inhaling the steam can be therapeutic all on its own.

To prepare rosemary tea, crush 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary leaf, place them in a cup, and pour boiling water over them. Cover, let steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain. "Drinking the tea three or four times a day, especially at the first sign of symptoms, may help prevent the full expression of a cold," says Dr. Delaney. If you wish, add honey and lemon to taste.

PHOTO (COLOR): Store-bought herb makes this tea a winner.

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By Laura Goldstein

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