Now that we have entered cold and flu season, I often get asked what one can do to help loosen chest congestion and relieve coughs. Two of my favorite herbal products that are best taken together are Pathway Congest-Eeze and Pathway Ginger Zinger Cough Syrup. I recommend taking them at the first sign of chest discomfort. Herbs such as echinacea, garlic, thyme, licorice, wild cherry bark, ginger, and oregano oil all work in combination to support upper respiratory health and immunity.
In addition, I also highly recommend doing steam inhalations. The combination of steam and essential oils provides decongesting and antiseptic support for the respiratory passages. Inhalations also direct warm, moist air to the nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs and can help to thin and loosen infected mucus, which is very soothing to dry and irritated mucus membranes. Steam inhalations are great for both kids and adults.
Doing a steam inhalation is easy. Some people prefer using a portable device, such as the Sinus Survival Steam Inhaler. Or, you can also make a steam inhalation by heating a large pot of water until it steams. Then, carefully pour the hot water into a bowl and add 3-5 drops of an essential oil such as peppermint, tea tree, pine, rosemary, or eucalyptus. Place your head about 12 inches above the bowl and cover your head with a towel in such a way that the sides are totally closed and you form a tent over the bowl. Keep your eyes shut and breathe in deeply for about 5-10 minutes.