Cabbage Leaf Therapy

The change in seasons can be hard on our bodies.  Recently, I woke up one morning with tight lungs, and no warning signs at all.  It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  It wasn't until the second day of feeling miserable that I remembered this magical treatment.

This is the best remedy for bronchitis, or a tight chest with a dry cough.  It's better than over-the-counter cough syrups, which work to suppress coughing and contain a host of bad ingredients.

What You'll Need

  • green cabbage
  • honey or castor oil (optional)
  • a bowl or dish
  • boiling water
  • plastic bag (optional)
  • towel or scarf


  1. Separate two or three leaves from the outside of a green cabbage, enough to cover your chest (and back if the cough is really severe)
  2. Pour boiling water over the leaves in a bowl and let them heat up for a few minutes (this step is optional, however I speak from experience when I tell you that it's not fun to put cold cabbage leaves on your chest)
  3. Take cabbage leaves out of the water, pat dry, and spread a bit of honey or castor oil onto one side of the leaves (this is also optional, but hugely influences the anti-inflammatory effects of the treatment)
  4. Place onto bare chest and cover with a plastic bag (optional) and then a towel to help trap body heat
  5. Keep in place for as long as possible.  I use this treatment before bed for about 30-45 minutes, but you can also sleep with the cabbage leaves in place.  Personally, I have never tried this because I don't find it's necessary and I don't particularly want to smell cabbage all night while I'm sleeping.  But that's me, I won't judge if you'd like to try it!
  6. Remove cabbage leaves from chest and wipe skin clean.  Discard used leaves. 
  7. Repeat this treatment for three to seven nights in a row, depending on severity of cough.  I feel better after the first treatment but you definitely want to do it for a few nights.  Natural remedies are much more gentle than their chemical counterparts, and therefore take longer to heal our bodies

Excess mucous production or build up in the lungs also benefit from:

  • drinking lots of water to help with detoxification
  • eating pungent foods such as garlic, onions, ginger, asparagus, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, kale, collard greens, bok choy, turnip, arugula), turmeric, spirulina
  • avoiding or minimizing highly inflammatory foods such as:
    • sugar!!
    • dairy (which is mucous-producing)
    • fried foods, vegetable oils (corn, palm, safflower, soy, sunflower)
    • refined flour (bread, bagels, crackers, pasta, pretzels)
    • processed foods (boxed, canned, processed meat) and fast food
    • artificial foods (sweeteners, additives) usually found in processed foods
    • alcohol

Warming Socks

Updated March 19, 2017

Are you feeling tired and achy?  A little more sluggish than usual?  Maybe a sore throat?  These early symptoms of cold and flu are your body's warning system.  Time to step up your game.

Use warming socks, a hydrotherapy method, to get your lymphatic system pumping and kick your immune system into high gear.  This is usually my first suggestion when people tell me they are experiencing any sort of head or chest congestion.  The typical response:  they look at me like I've got too many heads.  But I swear to you, if you do this for three nights in a row, you will lessen the effects of whatever your body is fighting off, and possibly even avoid it altogether.  

Warming Socks Helps Treat:

  • head cold, nasal congestion
  • sinus infection
  • chest congestion
  • flu symptoms, like aches and chills
  • sore throat
  • earache
  • headache

Other than relieving the above-mentioned symptoms, this method is safe any age, from infants to the elderly.  There are no side effects, aside from feeling better, and you don't have to take medication!  Interested yet? 

What you need:

  • a pair of regular cotton socks, not too thick
  • a pair of wool socks, a wool blend will do here
  • water
  • your bed
  • a foot bath or your tub (optional)
  • an extra blanket or towel (optional)

The method:

  1. (optional) just before bed, soak your feet in hot water for 5-10 minutes, then towel dry
  2. wet the pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring out slightly so they are not dripping wet, then put them on
  3. pull the dry pair of wool socks on over top of the wet cotton socks
  4. climb into bed
  5. (optional) place an extra blanket or towel over top of your feet
  6. repeat for three consecutive nights for best results

How it works:

Your body wants everything to be balanced (this is called homeostasis).  When you put cold socks onto warm feet, your body wants to equalize the temperature difference, which creates a pumping action between your blood vessels and your lymphatic system.  This, in turn, stimulates your immune system which effectively fights off congestion and viruses. Warming socks works better than decongestants and antihistamines to relieve congestion while you're sleeping.