Home Remedies for Cold & Flu Season
Winter is coming, and with it... Cold & Flu season! Now, I am a personal believer in preventative measures... so, my husband and I take our multi-vitamins and pack in the vitamin C if we start to feel under the weather—but should the nasty bugs strike, there are many healthy alternatives to over the counter drugs that work with your body to heal, rather than just suppress symptoms. Oh yea, if you didn’t know that no cold/flu medicine in existence actually fights the virus that makes you sick, there’s a nugget of wisdom for you. :)
(And remember, when you do feel under the weather, rest and intake fluids as much as possible!)
So, let’s get to it. These are my recommended remedies for Sick Days:
#1: Lemon-ginger Tea.
Home-made, or organic/natural (read your ingredients!) this is a mucus-busting warmer that is an essential winter pantry item for me. It soothes the throat and since tea is a diuretic, helps move toxins out of your system.
- THE SIMPLE VEGANISTA: LEMON GINGER DETOX TEA
An example recipe for making your own!
#2: No-Flu "tea"
I have not yet tried this remedy yet, so I can’t comment on flavor, but turmeric, garlic, and ginger are all powerful allies against colds, and of course, the classic chicken broth—this should fight the flu valiantly!
#3: Apple-cider vinegar steam.
This is a great alternative to saline nasal spray to open up the sinuses, and I’ve heard it can help headaches, too. Pour about 3 cups of boiling water into a large bowl, then add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar. Put a towel over your head while you have your head over the bowl. Deeply inhale the steam for 5-10 minutes. (Then rest!)
#4: Detox Bath
This one’s real simple, and doubles as a de-stresser: Take a warm detoxification bath with 1 cup of Epsom salts or magnesium salts to relax aching muscles and relieve the chills.
#5: (For adults only) The Hot Toddy.
I usually make mine from apple cider just to enjoy on the weekend, but the classic mix of bourbon (for pain), ginger, lemon, and honey can be a powerful cold remedy… or at least help you sleep at night. http://earthfriendlygoodies.com/10/my-date-with-mr-hot-toddy-a-natural-cold-fighting-remedy
#6: Here’s a quick, kid-friendly version of a cough syrup
This is a great knock-out remedy for a myriad of ailments, and something sweet for the kids... medicine never tasted so good.
#7: Honey, Honey, Honey.
Put it in everything-- your tea, anything you bake, and anything that requires sweetness. Honey is antibacterial, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral; its health benefits are recorded as early as ancient Egypt. It’s in most of the natural flu remedies, so stock up—to get the most effectiveness, the less processed honey you can find, the better!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we live in a society where everyone is expected to constantly be “on”. It’s okay to take a sick day once in a while, you can only be as effective at your job as you are healthy and alert…. So if you’re really sick, take the day to rest. The office/store/company will carry on. (And your co-workers should thank you, since your keeping your germs at home!) Your body does its best healing when you’re asleep, so give it the proper nutrition and time to do its job. One without the other only hinders you’re ability to kick the illness.
Again, common sense… but some people shut down and don’t feel like eating when they’re sick. The easiest way to get nutrients into your body without solid food is to intake broth, tea, and oj. Since you should increase your intake of fluids to help the recovery process anyway, make sure to take in the right fluids. Electrolyte-rich drinks and water are just as important; skip soda, sugary drinks, and coffee until you start to feel better.
#10: Cure-all Cough Syrup.
Yes, I saved the best for last! This is a cough medicine recipe that will cure what ails you!