Natural Remedies for the Common Cold
The natural remedies we use for the initial stage and full blown stage of a cold differ. At the intial stage we are fighting the virus from taking hold and strengthen our immune system. But once it becomes full blown we have to treat the symptoms such as coughs, congestion, joint pain etc.so that we can rest and recover. But even before feeling that a cold is coming on we can take preventative measures.
In these times of Swine flu epidemic and antibiotic resistant viruses, we need to be as prepared as possible to fight any illness large or small.Here I offer some of my natural and herbal remedies for the common cold that has worked for me and my family for years.
How to Relax When You are Under a Great Deal of Stress
When you feel under a lot of stress and you are overwhelmed with meetings, deadlines, appointments, dates, etc. always remember to take a 5 minute breather a few times a day. I like the word 'breather', because that is exactly what you can do to relax yourself. Take a few deep breaths not from the chest but from deep down your abdomen. If you have taken a basic yoga class you will know what I mean. This is better done sitting in a chair. Feel your breath moving in and out from right below your navel. You can quietly say to yourself “ in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale or you can just follow your breath and just relax into it. This has an effect of centering you and bringing you back to yourself. Just five minutes of this even once a day has quite a refreshing effect.
Taking 5 to 10 minutes nap, if that is at all possible, sometimes during the day, is surprisingly invigorating. Other ways of relaxing can be taking a ten minute walk in a park or any pleasant area. Doing a 5 minute yoga stretch or any kind of stretch that moves every part of the body in different directions is very helpful.
When You Feel a Cold Coming On
We have all felt that feeling of weakness throughout our body, that feeling that all we want to do is lie down and be pampered. Sometimes it presents itself as a headache, backache or ache allover the body, or we might feel upper respiratory congestion and some sniffles. So most of the time our body gives a signal that something is up. That is the time to be vigilant and get out our arsenal of natural cold remedies that wards off a full fledged flu or cold. Here are some of mine.
Hot Orange Juice and Garlic Remedy
- Pour a glass of orange juice in a pot
- crush a clove of garlic and throw it in the pot without removing the peal
- bring to boil
- drink while still hot right before bed time
This recipe has worked for me and my family for years. It doesn’t taste too bad at all and since you are drinking it at night you don’t have to worry about the garlic giving you bad breath. But if that is a concern just chew a sprig of fresh Italian parsley.
Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Remedy
- crush a clove of garlic
- grate ginger the size of a clove garlic
- squeeze one lemon juice
- mix together and add 1 tsp of honey
- add a cup of warm water and mix well
- drink two to three times a day until symptoms subside
Here is a variation of the above just in case you don't have those ingredients.
Lemon, Cinnamon, Honey remedy
- squeeze one lemon into a glass
- add half a tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of honey
- fill the glass with warm water mix well
- drink three times a day until you feel better
Here are Some More Easy to Prepare remedies
- Simply peal a clove garlic and swallow whole daily
- Add lots of chopped fresh ginger to a pot of mint tea simmer together for 5 minutes and let it steep for another 5. Add honey and drink 1 to 3 cups daily.
- Add cloves and cinnamon to a pot of boiling mint tea, boil for 5 minutes and let it stand for another 5 minutes. Add honey and drink hot 1 to 3 cups a day.
Aromatherapy to Clear the Air of Ill effects
To ward off anybody else in your family from catching the flue or cold, and to clear the air of viruses, boil water in a in a large pot and add a handful of dried eucalyptus leaves. Set the heat to low and let it simmer for about an hour. By then the whole house will be infused with the invigorating smell of eucalyptus. Turn off the heat but leave the pot open for it to continue infusing the air. You can use this same infusion for a couple of days. Just keep adding water and simmer.
If you can’t find dried eucalyptus leaves you can always buy the essential oil and use a diffuser or you can add a few drops in a pot of boiling water.
After a Full Blown Cold
After you have developed a full blown cold treating your illness is a little bit different. You now concentrate on treating the symptoms such as clearing mucous, relieve sore throat, reduce coughing, and reduce fever so that you can rest and get your immune system back on track. The simplest thing you can do is take a day or two off if you can and get plenty of rest. Drink plenty of fluids such freshly squeezed orange juice diluted with water.Eat a lot of vegetable or chicken soup spiced with cayenne and plentiy of colorful fruits and vegetables. Reduce your consumption of red meat, high fat and high sugar foods such as fried food, cheeses, pastry etc.
Here are Some Herbal Remedies to help with the Later Stages of a Cold
For high fever
Basil, cardamom, cinnamon infusion
- 1tsp dried basil
- seeds from 1 large cardamom pod (about 1 Tsp)
- half a tsp cinnamon
- 1 pint boiling water
- half a tsp brown sugar or molasses
place the basil and spices in a tea pot and pour the boiling water over it let it steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten it with the brown sugar or molasses. Drink this in a small cup every 2 hours.
This helps to reduce fever and helps sooth joints pain.
Help with Persistent Coughs
Hyssop and Honey cough syrup
- a handful of dried or bruised hyssop
- 1 lb of honey
- 1 tsp of powdered licorice or 1 licorice stick crushed
- 1 tsp crushed aniseed
- half a tsp powdered ginger of crushed root ginger
Bring the honey to a boil remove the scum from the top. Stir in the remaining ingredient, cover and simmer very slowly for half an hour until it has a distinct hyssop flavor. Strain through a sieve and pour into a pot. Cool it and take a spoon full whenever you have persistent cough.
Some Simple remedies for Coughs and Congestion
Aromatherapy to clear the Upper Respiratory Tract
- Essential oil of eucalyptus or fresh or dried eucalyptus leave
- a big pot of boiling water
Add a few drops of the essential oil to the hot water, cover your head with a towel to prevent steam from escaping and inhale the vapors. This is best done at night right before bed when you can stay warm. If not, stay in a warm room after this treatment.
Infuse a teaspoon of sage 5 to 10 minutes with hot water and drink as tea or use it as a gargle. You can add a teaspoon of thyme to it if you prefer. Red sage is best for this purpose.
Boil 1 pint of water add 1 oz of the seed. Strain and drink with honey. This is a great expectorant.
All the above natural cold remedies are by no means to be taken as medical advise. They help us strengthen our immune system, illuminate toxins, and restore our vitality. If you have serious flu symptoms always consult a qualified health professional.
Let’s drink to our health!
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