The condition that I chose to work on is nasal congestion: stuffy nose: no fever; thick whitish mucous; pressure below and above the eyes; nose occasionally drips; slight headache with trouble thinking; no cough, but need to clear throat occasionally.
The first herb I chose to be one if the primary herbs in this formula is Echinacea. Echinacea has antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulating properties. It will be useful due to fact that an upper respiratory viral infection such as the common cold can cause the type of symptoms listed here. Echinacea has been shown to increase the activity of macrophages, and will also provide anti-inflammatory support. Often times when one has a condition of such pressure above and below the eyes this can be related to the sinus inflammation, so an anti-inflammatory is useful.
Nettles is an astringent herb, and is an expectorant. The need to clear the throat may be addressed through this expectorant quality of the herb. The astringent quality of this herb along with the astringent qualities of the cayenne will help to shrink swollen tissues. Since this description of symptoms can sometimes be caused by or at least aggravated by allergies, the nettles will also assist with this since it is useful in allergic conditions.
Cayenne is an anti-catarrhal. This will help with the excess mucous being created. It is useful for headaches, and it is also an astringent herb. It will also open up, and assist with draining the sinuses as well. This will assist with the healing of the sinuses if there is any infection in them.
Another primary herb is this formula is ginger. Ginger, a stimulant herb, along with cayenne will help to open up clogged sinuses, allowing them to drain.
This stimulant herb also activates other herbs and is also excellent for assisting in the recovery from colds.
Licorice will be used as a demulcent herb (about 10%). This will help to buffer some of the harsher qualities of the stronger herbs such as the cayenne and the ginger. It will also balance the energy of the other herbs in the formula.
Lobelia is an expectorant herb as is the Nettles mentioned above. It is also a catalyst for the other herbs in the formula. It will provide the antispasmodic qualities that will reduce any spasms caused by the other herbs and relax the system and assist with the absorption of the other herbs.
The form of these herbs to be used is a decoction since they are all relatively hardy. Since some of the herbs used are leaves I will make an infusion of the herbal mixture first by steeping the herbs in water that has been brought to a boil, and then afterward add more water and boil the herbal mixture to extract the herbal properties, making sure that the total amount of water used is appropriate to the amount of bulk herb used. Since this condition seems to be acute, making an herbal extraction will not work because of the two weeks needed to create an extraction.
For this formula I will use:
3 TBS of Echinacea
3 TBS of Nettles
2 TBS of Ginger and Cayenne
1 TBS of Licorice
1 TBS of Lobelia
For a condition such as this I have found that it is helpful to take a dosage of about ½ teaspoon of the herbal decoction orally, at two hour intervals. Once it is clear that the primary symptoms of the condition are under control then one can choose to reduce the amount to ½ teaspoon 6 times a day, or 1 teaspoon 3 times a day and may continue this until the condition appears to be completely resolved.
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