Phlegm in the nose or lungs is analogous to the newly poured cement of a sidewalk. In a moist, humid environment, the cement takes a long time to dry. In an arid environment, it sets up and hardens quickly. Phlegm in our respiratory passageways acts similarly. In humid climates, phlegm stays moist, so drying herbs and medicinals may be used to alleviate cough and sinus conditions.
However, in a dry climate or arid environment, drying phlegm serves only to harden what little phlegm already exists. This dry phlegm cements into the lungs and nasal passageways and is the culprit for the chronic sinusitis (pressure, congestion, headaches) and dry coughs common to Colorado, the Rocky Mountain region and the desert Southwest.
For those of us who live and work in arid environments, we can not afford to dry phlegm. WE MUST MOISTEN PHLEGM! This is counter-intuitive to people living in New York, San Francisco, Shanghai and almost everywhere else in the world.
For the five percent of us living in Denver, Santa Fe, Phoenix and the West, we understand this instinctively. For us, proper treatment moistens the lungs and sinus passageways, increases circulation in these areas and gently transforms phlegm. The difference between drying phlegm and transforming phlegm is subtle but important. The former literally dries phlegm. The latter employs herbs which are gentler on the body. Often these are seeds, which are oily and moistening. Otherwise they wouldn't be life-giving.
By moistening dryness, increasing blood flow in the respiratory passageways and gently transforming phlegm, conditions such as chronic sinusitis and dry coughs are alleviated and balance restored.