istock/Vitalina Although oregano is best known for giving pizza and pasta an extra kick, Patrick Fratellone, MD, a leading integrative medicine doctor and registered herbalist with the American Herbal Guild, recommends reaching for this herb to treat a hacking cough. “Oregano is a powerhouse of flu-fighting properties, since it’s antibacterial, antifungal, and an antioxidant, and it can also be used as an expectorant to treat lung or respiratory conditions,” says Dr. Fratellone.
You could take an oregano capsule twice a day with meals, but if all you have on hand is a bottle of the dried herb, you can make an oregano tea: Pour eight ounces of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried oregano and let stand for ten minutes. If the taste is too bitter, add some raw honey. Aim to drink two cups a day. This elixir can also be used topically to treat skin infections and calm down an upset stomach. Check out 10 natural cold remedies that are always worth trying.