Simple, Safe Cold and Cough Tea 1
| | | | |

Simple, Safe Cold and Cough Tea

mullein edit

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

image from

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

Similar Posts


    1. Fenugreek I am unsure of…maybe iffy. Mullein is safe. Both are safe during nursing. In pregnancy, I would use plain mullein or try ginger.

  1. My grandfather has always made me drink catnip tea when I have a cough (usually caused by my allergies and post nasal drip). It pretty much tastes like mint tea, but it does actually seem to help. He swears by it and drinks it at the first sign of a cough himself.

    1. Catnip is another great herb! It is in the mint family. We use it a lot, because it’s safe for babies. 🙂

  2. I just made one myself….with some additions…. dried rose hips,red clover, heal-all, and elderberries I foraged myself, along with coltsfoot, and boneset and a few dried apples for flavor….it was very pleasing….because mine went beyond my bronchi I also added pleurisy root….so far so good….the one thing I was not able to remedy was the splitting head ache..and pressure in my head so…I did a dilution of oregano oil, in with my water for a nasal rinse…and a vinegar and eucalyptus. inhalation with hot water and a towel over the head……again, so far so good. Here’s to Natural Healing!!

  3. FYI…….Another concoction we make every fall which is used more as a preventative….is called the CURE! You juice organic if you can; garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish root, habanero peppers, and braggs apple cider vinegar. I even use in on my salad, just mix it with a little extra virgin olive oil and I mix it with honey for a gargle.

  4. Do you know how to harvest the mullein, we have several plants growing on our farm. I would love to try both the tea and the tincture recipe. Thanks

  5. This takes me back to my childhood. My mom would go out and pick mullein, alfalfa, eggs and butter (or is it butter and eggs? a plant that she knew about), add in some clover and mint (and anything else she found). Nasty tasting stuff, but boy did it work. We kids hated getting sick–didn’t know which was worse- being sick or mom’s tea!! Now that she is gone, I wish I had learned a few of these things earlier. Thank you for the recipe and the memories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *