When I started studying Herbalism years ago, one of my main goal was to be able to make my own formulas, specific to a person for their particular condition and constitution. And I do that a lot of course. But, there are two ready made teas that I use quite a bit: Organic cold care for kids from Traditional medicinals (most kids like it and it works nicely for a simple, run of the mill cold) and Throat coat, also from Traditional medicinals (there is a version for kids and adults). There is licorice in the version for adults which you should avoid if you have high blood pressure.
The mix that I make for use by most for my family (ages 9 and up) is this one (it is great to avoid congestion and sinusitis and is also good for achy feverish symptoms):
1 part Elecampane
1 part Spearmint
1 part Ederflowers
1 part Boneset
1 part Yarrow
1/2 part Meadowsweet flowers
1/2 part Marshmallow root
Use 1 tsp for 8 oz of water. Steep covered for 20 mns. Enjoy 3 cups sipped slowly throughout the day.
And now for the dreaded coughs ...
For dry coughs, I like a combination of California poppy, Marshmallow root or Slippery elm. If it still doesn't want to go away I'll make a decoction of wild cherry bark and add a lot of honey to make a sort of syrup (similar to the Elderberry syrup). Take a tbsp every hour or so as needed.
I love Linden also, a traditional tea in France to help wind down in the evening, it'll also help with a dry cough ... I love the taste.
For thick mucus in the throat and productive coughs, I make this:
1/4 tsp of Elderflowers
1/2 tsp of Elderberries
1/4 tsp of Violet leaf
Steep covered for 20 mns in 8 oz of water.
All of the teas should be sweetened with honey if possible. It not only tastes great it'll also soothe a sore throat, and help with coughing (if you or your children are coughing at night try a spoonful of honey instead of tea ... you want to rest and not have to wake up to go to the bathroom).
The honey will be even more effective if you infused it with herbs ... my favorites for cold and flu purposes are Thyme, Rosemary, Rose, Violet, Sage, Hyssop and Lemon Balm.
I'll keep posting recipes all winter long that can help with colds and flu but I hope this helps for a start. Please post any questions on the Facebook page or email me.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to take the place of a medical diagnosis or prescription.