So I've been sick this past week with a fever and light cough. I recovered from the fever on Friday, with a light cough left over. Then on Saturday, that cough was starting to get really bad. Why? It was unproductive, meaning no mucous was coming out or even moving when I coughed, but I could feel mucous building up in my lung. I was thinking "o crap, this is the last thing I have time for, being sick longer and having to go to a doctor..."
So in an act of desperation, I looked up online remedies. I found one for a garlic peppermint lemonade. I realized the lemonade probably wouldn't be as good as a tea because the warmth of a tea can help your body warm up and loosen mucous in your lungs. So using that recipe, I made the following tea:
2 cups of boiling water
2 cloves of garlic (peeled, by the way I found out a clove was a piece of a bulb from this experience....)
1 package of peppermint herbal tea (should be made from only peppermint, no other ingredients)
1 and 1/2 tbs of lemon juice (this is about half of what's in a fresh lemon)
Sweetener (usually honey) to taste
1. Cut or mince cloves. Remove water from heat, throw in garlic and peppermint tea.
2. Let the water steep for a couple minutes while the heat source is off. After a couple minutes, put the water back on the heat source (it shouldn't be bubbling when you put it back on), then turn the heat source on to a low/warm setting (the most you should be getting is tiny bubbles). Let the water steep a total of 15 minutes.
3. Remove water from heat, Remove peppermint tea bag. Add in lemon juice and sweetener.
4. I kept the garlic in and ate it afterwards, I'll explain that later.
So it worked! My coughs started getting productive about an hour afterward. Sunday morning, there was no "ball" of mucous I could feel in my lung, even though I was still coughing, I could feel I was getting better. And I felt completely fine after taking it again Sunday morning. I guess I had 2 doses Saturday night (because I felt like it was wearing off and I needed it again), but it seemed to do a good job of loosening up the mucous and I'm sure it helped kill bacteria in my respiratory system. (Did you know that your breath stinks from garlic because sulfurous compounds in it leave through your lungs? So basically I was fumigating the bacteria in my lungs.)
I also did some research on garlic afterwards. It turns out that in a test tube, it's anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It's not clear if it has the same effects in the body, but the Cherokee did use it as an expectorant (and they're right, I know from personal experience now...) So it definitely can't hurt when you're battling a respiratory infection.
I'm in no way advocating not going to the doctor if you have an emergency, but if a remedy can heal you to prevent that, what do you have to lose from trying it?