Coughs and colds

What you need to know

Have you checked for reliable medical advice about persistent respiratory infections? We recommend NHS Choices and here is their respiratory tract infection page.

Before you start to look after any repeated coughs and colds yourself you should  run though the pre-launch Self Care CHECKLIST (downloads as a pdf)

The herbal medicine option

In Europe there is a unique category of herbal medicines, registered on the basis of their traditional use. As an example, in the UK the medicines regulator (MHRA) has both registered and fully licensed herbal medicines. A condition of medicine status is that manufacturers have to guarantee quality standards, label with appropriate self care conditions and agreed doses, and insert approved information leaflets to assure safe use. The following, available in UK supermarkets and pharmacies or online, are registered or licensed for use in helping coughs and colds.

Simple medicines


  • Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief tincture (Nelson)
  • Echinaboost tablets (Pharbio)
  • Echinacea cold-relief tablets (Herbal Classics)
  • Echinacold effervescent tablets (Schwabe Pharma)
  • Echinacold soft capsules (Schwabe Pharma)
  • Echinaforce Forte Cold and Flu tablets (Bioforce)
  • Echineeze tablets (Natures Aid)
  • Echinoforce Chewable Cold and Flu tablets (Bioforce)
  • Echinoforce Junior Cold and Flu tablets (Bioforce)

Pelargonium root

  • Kaloba Film-Coated Tablets (Dr Willmar Schwabe)
  • Kaloba Oral Solution (Dr Willmar Schwabe)
  • Kaloba syrup (Dr Willmar Schwabe)


  • Bronchosan Pine Cough syrup (Bioforce)


Compound medicines

Cajaput oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, juniper oil

  • Olbas oil (Lanes Health)
  • Olbas oil for children (Lanes Health)

Eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, juniper oil, clove oil

  • Olbas pastilles (Lanes Health)

Black cohosh, ipecacuanha, lobelia, pleurisy root, skullcap, elecampane, horehound and hyssop

  • Potters Herbals Cough Remover (Potters)

Horehound, pleurisy root, senega, lobelia and squills

  • Potters Herbals Chest Mixture (Potters)

Boneset, blue flag, burdock root and hyssop

  • Potters Herbals Catarrh Mixture (Potters)


Further information

Plant Medicine offers a free detailed review of the evidence for echinacea, andrographis, thyme and ginger for the public and health professional. (NOTE this site is currently being reconstructed – please come back in August 2016)