By Kate Tietje, Contributing Writer

Nobody likes getting colds. That runny nose, the pounding head, the congestion — everyone wants to get rid of these unpleasant symptoms as soon as possible!

There are many commercial products on the market. We choose not to use any of them, and, in fact, doctors have said in the last few years that they’re not even safe for kids under 6!

They don’t really address the root cause of the cold. They stop the symptoms, which may actually prolong the illness!  

Did you know that the coughing, sneezing, and runny nose are your body’s way of carrying the germs out of your body?  The symptoms are how your body heals itself!

Instead, we turn to natural remedies to support what the body is doing and help ourselves feel better (hopefully) faster.

It’s important to understand that with natural remedies, they’re not going to work for everyone. There are a bunch of different ones out there and you have to find the one that works for you.

We’ve tried elderberry syrup (which is more potent than you think!), vitamin C, and lots of other supplements recommended to us by our doctors.

This one, however, is one of my favorites. This tea is comprised of mullein and fenugreek.

You may be familiar with fenugreek because it’s recommended to nursing moms to boost their milk supply. Fenugreek also helps to thin out and clear mucus from the body and soothe sore throats.  (Interestingly, fenugreek can also detox the body of aluminum and protect the liver, may be beneficial for heart health, may protect against cancer, and may stop cholesterol gallstones. It’s a pretty neat herb!)

Mullein has some pretty neat properties, too. It can kill some strains of staph and E. coli, may be effective against tuberculosis, and has been reputed to help with a number of respiratory illnesses (like colds, coughs, pertussis, bronchitis, and more) and to aid in restful sleep.  I also use mullein in this immune-boosting tincture!

These seemed like the perfect combination for my cold tea!

**I am not a doctor, herbalist, or other medical professional. This is based on my own research and how I use it in my own home. If you have any medical conditions or concerns, please see your doctor.**

Safe, Simple Cold and Cough Tea

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Simple, Safe Cold and Cough Tea


  • 1 tsp. mullein leaves and flowers
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 c. water


Boil water. Add the mullein and fenugreek and allow it to steep for 10 – 15 minutes.  Strain, sweeten lightly with raw honey (if desired) and drink while hot. Drinking hot seems to help open up the sinuses and clear them out, as well as relieve a sore throat.

Sometimes I make it much stronger and let it sit for an hour or two. But, you should be aware that mullein can help you sleep. I haven’t noticed feeling drowsy while taking it, but I have noticed sleeping more deeply — so don’t take too much until you know how it affects you. (I slept better with a much, much stronger drink than this one — probably 1/4 c. or more of mullein in 1/2 c. water.)

What is your go-to cold remedy?

top image by John Tann