Being in the heart of cold and flu season I thought it would be a great time to share with you my recipe for an AWESOME respiratory support herbal tea. It tastes great, works even better and the best part is, it’s really easy to make!!

This herbal tea is tried and true and 100% my own recipe. It is my go-to tea when coughs, colds, flus etc. rear their ugly head in the Miller house! It is also great just to sip on while you curl up to a book on a cold winter night! You can buy the ingredients online or from any health food store that sells dried herbs in bulk. If you want to buy your herbs online, there are a gazillion online stores to choose from. My personal favorite is Starwest Botanicals. They have a ginormous selection and best of all, they ship the dried herbs to you in a nice thick high grade resealable plastic pouch that keeps the herb for a long time. If you want to go to a store and get the herbs yourself, the bulk herb section of a health food store usually looks something like this:

If you have never purchased bulk dried herbs, it isn’t hard but may be a little different than you are used to. To make things easier for you first time buyers, here is quick little clinic on buying dried bulk herbs from a health food store.

Locate the bulk herb section of your favorite health food store. Once there you should see the following in some way, shape, or form:

  • Jars of Herbs: If the health food store you are in has bulk herbs, most likely they are will be situated together in a big wall of glass jars. Each jar has an herb in it and most of the time there is also a PLU or look up number on the jar which the cashier will use to punch into the cash register at check out.
  • Scoops and Scoop Etiquette: Most places have ‘clean scoops’ and ‘used scoops’ bins. Its is important to use a new clean scoop with each herb that you get and not use the same scoop for all the herbs. Do this to avoid cross contamination of herbs from one jar to the next. Grab a clean scoop, use it to get the herb you want and then put said scoop in the used scoop bin. Grab a new clean scoop for the next herb, and so on.
  • Scale: The scale is there so you can measure out how much of each bulk herb you want.
  • Baggies: Most places will have a box of baggies available to put the dried herb in. Use one baggie for each herb. Do not mix the herbs that you get all into one baggie!
  • Marker/Pen: Use the supplied marker/pen to write on the baggie the herb that it contains, how much (grams or ounces) and the PLU# if available. The PLU or look up number is what the person at the checkout will punch into the system to ring the herb up. Make sure and write the supplied PLU number for the herb on the bag. This will cause a smooth check out process when you are that cash register.
  • Added Bonus Tip: If you want to look super cool and like you know what you are doing, grab a jar of the herb you want, and at the table open the lid, position your nose above the jar opening and breathe in deeply. Next, look at the herb in the jar carefully, lightly move the jar from side to side and etc. This will give the appearance that you are an herb connoisseur! Actually its good to do this because you will get used to what each herb smells and looks like and with enough practice you will be able to tell just how ‘fresh’ the dried herbs are!

There are always variations, but I’ve have purchased a lot of bulk herbs in multiple stores and states and the above is a pretty common description of what that process looks like in most places.

Ok, now that we have covered the purchase of dried bulk herbs, here is the list of herbs you need to get to make Jim Miller’s Respiratory Support Tea:

  • Chamomile Flower
  • Licorice Root
  • Marshmallow Root
  • White Willow Bark
  • Wild Cherry Bark

I would get about 10g of each herb. This will allow you to make multiple cups of tea without having so much herb that you don’t get to use all of it before it starts to loose some of its power. I generally don’t use bulk dried herbs that have sat at my house after 6 months. They won’t hurt you at all, but I just feel some potency is lost at that point.

Two other things you need:

  1. Way to grind herbs down: You have the herbs, now you need a way to grind them down. You can either go old school and buy a mortar and pestle (which is what I use most of the time). Or you can buy a cheap coffee grinder. The coffee grinder will do a better job powdering the herb and is a LOT faster than the old mortar and pestle but just personally, I love using a mortar and pestle. It’s your call but you need one or the other! You can get a mortar and pestle either online or in many health food stores. If you go coffee grinder route, just a cheap one from Walmart will work just fine
  2. Way to steep the herbs in water: tea ball, loose leaf tea infuser/filter etc. You can buy these items in multiple places both online and in places like Walmart, Target, etc.

Once you have your herbs and your way to grind them down you are ready to make the tea! It’s really simple:

  1. Boil water, enough for a cup of tea (I usually do 8oz).
  2. While the water is boiling, take 1 teaspoon of each of the five herbs and grind them down (mortar and pestle or coffee grinder). Just grind them together and then put that aside until water is ready.
  3. Once water is ready, you simply steep the ground herb mix in the hot water using tea ball, tea infuser/filter, etc.
  4. Let steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Discard used herb (called the marc) and slowly sip and enjoy your handcrafted herbal infusion!

Optional add-ins:

  • You can give your herbal respiratory support tea and added punch with a shot of brandy or bourbon. I grew up on bourbon hot toddy’s as a child and I believe bourbon and brandy in small amounts have great medicinal power. Don’t be afraid to add an ounce or less in this tea.
  • Honey: honey is amazing for you on multiple levels. I will blog about it one day soon. The tea should have a naturally sweet flavor on its own, mostly due to the licorice root but you can add honey to taste. And beyond taste, it’s really good for you!

There it is, Jim Miller’s Homemade Respiratory Support Tea Recipe! Enjoy and remember at Bucklebury we believe the best wealth is your health!