If you are suffering from a cold or influenza, there are herbal remedies within the field of Moroccan folk medicine that may fight your infection. Many of these herbal remedies are available in Western countries and, traditionally, are taken as an herbal tea or with food. When used internally every day, these Moroccan herbs and spices may alleviate symptoms and support overall health. Always check with your doctor before taking any herbs.
Fresh spearmint leaves, or Mentha spicata, infused with green tea is a popular national drink in Morocco. When taken during a cold, this combination is useful for treating sore throats, spasmodic coughs, fever, nausea and digestive complaints. The combination of mint and green tea provides extra antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions for the respiratory and digestive systems.
Black Cumin Seeds
Black cumin, or Nigella sativa, is a popular folk remedy used in Morocco as a panacea for a range of diseases and conditions. Science now supports several of these traditional uses, as research shows black cumin possesses anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating properties. In a study titled Immunomodulatory and Therapeutic Properties of the Nigella Sativa L. Seed, published in the journal "International Immunopharmacology" in 2005, Mohamed Labib Salem discovered black cumin was capable of stimulating the immune system in humans. Increasing white blood cells during an infection helps fight pathogens and reduce time spent ill.
Wormwood, or artemisisa absinthium, is an herbal infusion in Morocco often combined with mint leaves. During a cold, wormwood can be taken as a tea and gargled to soothe a sore throat. Plant chemicals within wormwood have antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. While not specifically antiviral, drinking wormwood can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract and prevent secondary bacterial infections during a cold.
Cayenne peppers, or Capsicum annuum, are effective in reducing fevers, fighting bacterial and viral infections and breaking down phlegm in the respiratory tract. Cayenne contains quantities of a plant chemical called capsaicin. This chemical acts to block the replication of viruses and improve the immune system of humans when taken internally. Cayenne peppers are added to Moroccan cuisine as a spice and to prevent food poisoning.
Ginger root, or Zingiber officinale, is a common herb used in spicy Moroccan cooking. Medicinally, ginger root contains essential oils and other plant chemicals that can benefit the common cold or flu. According to Kerry Bones, author of "The Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs," ginger root is anti-inflammatory, reduces phlegm, fights pathogens, stimulates immune function, reduces fever and alleviates nausea. Bones recommends an infusion of the fresh root for treating the common cold.
- Botanical.com: Mints
- "International Immunopharmacology": Immunomodulatory and Therapeutic Properties of the Nigella Sativa L. Seed; Mohamed labib Salem; December 2005
- Journal of Pharmacy Research: Phytochemical and pharmacological potential of Artemisia absinthium Linn. and Artemisia asiatica Nakai : A Review
- Newhope: Spicing Up Health with Capsaicin
- "Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs"; Kerry Bone; 2003