Steaming Herbs Recipe for Flu and Cold

Herbal Steam Treatment

During the winter's cold and flu season, why not try a natural steaming herbs recipe for flu and cold symptoms instead of going for over-the-counter cold medications?

Steaming Herbs for Flu and Cold

Herbal steam treatments can help to clear respiratory and sinus congestion due to a cold or flu. Steam inhalation is also used as a remedy for headaches, asthma, bronchitis and infections. Steam treatment alone is an effective method to fight respiratory congestion, but herbs can add additional therapeutic benefits. Herbs are also fragrant, and help promote a sense of calm and well-being. The best herbs to use for cold or flu symptoms are those with expectorant and detoxifying properties. To reduce symptoms of the cold or flu, try a fragrant herbal steam treatment:

What You Will Need

  • Pot, kettle, vaporizer or steam inhaler
  • Ceramic or glass bowl
  • Fresh herbs or essential oils
  • Water
  • Large towel
  • Facecloth

Steaming Herbs Recipe for Flu and Cold


  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Ginkgo biloba leaves
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint leaves


  1. Mix all the herbs together in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Bring water to a boil; pour the steaming water over the herbs. Cover and steep for five minutes.
  3. Cover your head with a towel to capture the steam. With eyes closed, gently lean into the bowl and slowly inhale the herbal steam through the nose.
  4. Continue to inhale and exhale the herbal steam for five to ten minutes, taking breaks when needed.

Essential Oil Steam Treatment

Alternatively, if you do not have fresh medicinal herbs lying around you can also inhale warm steam infused by essential oils. A mixture of essential oils for a cold and flu remedy consists of the following:

  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Pine oil
  • Juniper oil
  • Clove oil
  • Orange oil

Steaming Herbs from the Kitchen

If you do not have access to medicinal herbs, you can always create a steaming herbs recipe for flu and cold with kitchen herbs that are known for their therapeutic properties. A combination of steamed kitchen herbs, such as the following will help relieve common cold symptoms:

  • Basil leaves
  • Sage leaves
  • Rosemary leaves
  • Thyme leaves
  • Marjoram leaves
  • Mint leaves

Steaming Herbs for Flu and Fever

Some of the differences between a cold and flu are that the flu comes with a fever and magnified symptoms of the common cold. Below is a steamed herbal combination especially effective for reducing fevers, infections and strengthening the overall immune system.

  • 2 tablespoons elder flowers, dried
  • 2 tablespoons peppermint leaves, dried
  • 5 drops juniper oil
  • 5 drops goldenseal
  • 5 drops Echinacea
  • 1 quart water

Alternative Ways to Apply Steaming Herbs

Keep in mind, therapeutic herbal recipes can be combined together into a muslin pouch and placed into bathwater if you enjoy the luxury of an herbal steam bath instead. You can also add a few drops of oil into the water, but overdoing essential oils in bathwater may irritate delicate skin. Another method is to place herbs or essential oils into an herb vaporizer. Alternatively, steaming herbs are often applied as a hot compress, or poultice, to aching muscles, joints or congestive lung infections. You can quickly learn how to make a poultice in your kitchen. Below are expectorant and detoxifying herbs you can use to make your own steaming herb recipes for flu and colds:

  • Anise oil
  • Basil
  • Caraway seeds
  • Chamomile
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cayenne
  • Cedarwood
  • Clove
  • Cypress
  • Echinacea
  • Fennel seeds
  • Gingko biloba
  • Goldenseal
  • Horsetail
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Pine
  • Juniper
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Mullein oil
  • Orange oil
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Thyme

Choose a combination of several of your favorites to create your own personalized steaming herbs recipe for flu and colds. You can try several combinations to see what works best for you.

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Steaming Herbs Recipe for Flu and Cold