Jan 17 2012

Natural home remedies for winter, flu season: Honduras

Herbs used for home remedies in Honduras

Clockwise, from top left, are eucalyptus leaves, orange leaves, anise seeds and ginger root. Maria, grandmother of three CFCA sponsored children in Honduras, uses all these items for her natural home remedies.

In our ongoing series about natural home remedies used by sponsored friends and their families, we look to Honduras.

Maria is caretaker of three CFCA sponsored children in Honduras. She has a vast knowledge of herbal remedies intended to alleviate discomfort from common ailments such as coughs, colds, fever and nausea.

Her practice does not discourage her neighbors from visiting doctors or hospitals. However, because of her vast knowledge in herbal remedies, neighbors prefer going to her first for a quick diagnosis and affordable treatment.

(Read more about how she uses herbal remedies to help her community.)

Here are some herbal remedies Maria recommends during the winter and flu season.

Note: This blog post is provided purely for informational purposes to shed light on the lives of CFCA sponsored children and elderly. CFCA does not endorse these remedies or encourage readers to try them.

If you do decide to try a natural home remedy, please check with your doctor first. Certain home remedies, particularly herbal ones, can interact with prescription medications.


  1. Anise tea ñ Anise contains many anti-inflammatory properties and works as a good cough suppressant. Half a teaspoon of dried anise is added to a cup of hot water, and the patient takes 2-3 cups a day after meals.
  2. Verbena tea ñ Verbena can be effective in treating bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses. One teaspoonful of dried verbena leaves is added to a cup of water for 10 minutes, and the patient drinks 2-3 cups a day.
  3. Thyme tea ñ Thyme is a potent antiseptic, eliminating germs and reducing symptoms caused by fever. It can alleviate throat pain when the palate, tonsils or pharynx is inflamed. A tablespoon of thyme is combined with two tablespoons chamomile in about 33 fluid ounces (a liter) of water, then boiled until about a third remains. Once it’s sweetened, the patient takes 3 teaspoonfuls a day.


  1. Eucalyptus tea ñ Eucalyptus can help reduce inflammation of the nasal passages and allow for better respiration. For making tea, a pinch (3 grams) of dry leaves are boiled for every cup of water. Cold patients take 2 cups of eucalyptus tea, sweetened with honey.
  2. Ginger tea ñ Ginger is useful for alleviating nasal congestion and joint pains resulting from toxins produced by flu microorganisms. A teaspoonful of dried ginger root is added to a cup of water, then boiled and drunk as a tea. Maria recommends taking a couple of cups a day, adding the juice of half a lime to strengthen it.
  3. Mint tea ñ Mint is rich in menthol, which increases sweat production and decongests the respiratory passages. These properties are used in treating flu and colds since helps lower fevers by evaporation and opening the respiratory passages. To make mint tea, infuse a tablespoon of dried mint leaves for 10 minutes. A couple of cups a day is recommended.
  4. Verbena tea ñ see above “Coughs” section.


  1. Elderberry tea ñ Elderberry flowers can help produce sweat, which contributes to healing. It is very useful against respiratory problems, especially to alleviate coughing or reduce fever. Approximately 0.7 ounce of leaves is infused for 10 minutes in about 33 fluid ounces (a liter) of water. The tea can be taken all day long.
  2. Orange tree tea ñ The orange tree has medicinal properties that can help reduce fever. For making this tea, a whole orange is crushed with its skin and softened with sugar in a glass of boiling water. Nine leaves from the sour orange tree, with the veins removed, are infused for every cup of water. About 4-6 cups of tea are recommended per day.

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What’s your favorite natural home remedy? Feel free to share in the comments!

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