Catarrh and Herbs

Herbs, Catarrh and Decongestants


Catarrh Less

"Thank you for the Catarrh course which you put me on recently. After trying just about everything else to cure my catarrh, this is the only one that has worked - so your course works beautifully. I would recommend anyone with the same problem to try this."
David Lowe

Catarrh is an excessive mucous secretion from the respiratory mucosa. There are two origins of catarrh:

A. Catarrh of the upper respiratory system - nasal and sinuses.
There are two types of sinus catarrh
1. The more common, hence called the common cold type, is chronic: 'vagotonic'. It is usually a feature of those with a sluggish metabolism, those who feel the cold, are always cold, love the warmth, the sun, and hot drinks. They love stodgy foods, sweet puddings, sweets, sugary things. Their catarrh is always watery and copious; they frequently have wet noses, often have to blow their noses, but the flow always comes back! Often it is embarrassingly copious, e.g at meal times or in the bedroom! Their mucous membranes are pale and puffy: cold symptoms that don't often develop into a full-blown cold infection; a runny nose, a running cold without the infection. This can be found associated with bronchitis.
Treatment Warming herbs, anti-virals, herbs for the sinuses. Take CatarrhLess Tonic
2. The hot type. Here the person has a fast metabolism; is hyper, a nervy person, easily stressed. Their catarrh is thicker, more scanty, and the mucous membranes are more inflamed. It is a thick exudate of mucus and white blood cells caused by the swelling of the mucous membranes in the sinuses in response to a viral or bacterial infection. This congestion calls for decongestant herbal treatment.
Treatment Cooling antiinflammatory herbs for the sinuses, with relaxants, or even sedatives. Take ColdLess.
B. Bronchial catarrh of the respiratory system that occurs in the lower system, i.e. below the larynx (throat). This form or catarrh is relieved by the use of expectorants. For this form of catarrh please go to bronchitis or cough for information. You will need our BronchiShield or CoughLess.

More on catarrh

Catarrh is a symptom usually associated with the common cold and chesty coughs, but can also be found in patients with infections of the adenoids, middle ear, sinus or tonsils. The catarrh may either discharge or cause a blockage which may become chronic. It can cause headaches and change to the sound of the voice, a 'nasal' sound. Take ColdLess.

Anti-catarrhal herbs have a traditional use to clear catarrh, the sinuses, sinusitis, catarrhal stuffiness, blocked nasal passages and breathing problems. Depending on the diagnosis (thin or thick catarrh) you should take either the CatarrhLess or the ColdLess, see above.

Herb List
I cannot list the herbs due to the "claim" laws in UK for "unproven" herbal medicines (despite the 100s of years of use by 10s of thousands of people in many countries). But I'm happy to email to you the herb names that are specific herbal anti-catarrhals.

Nasal Polyps
There are herbs that have been traditionally used for the reduction of nasal polyps which are the cause of sinus and nasal congestion, see nasal information

Make sure you also take ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus

Order at our online store

Other herbal health information to consider:
Colds and AntiVirals for colds and flu
Nasal polyps

Order at our online store


Related Products

Herbal tonics

CatarrhLess (Sinus) Tonic — clears the sinuses and catarrhal problems




Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH FINEH.

Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.

Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.

MRCHM - see Alan Hopking's statement about renouncing his association with membership of this organisation

HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436

General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ( Department of Health, UK

• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.


Pregnant/Breast-feeding mothers

Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.

Volatile Oils

Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.


A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.

Breast-feeding mothers

A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.

Paediatric Use

Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.

Perioperative use

The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ( Department of Health, UK


To make a donation to Herbactive, click here and enter an amount in GBP. Any amount will be gratefully appreciated, and we will send you a surprise FREE gift with your order. Your donation will be added to your order total when you check out.