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Natural Cold, Flu & Infection Remedies

Updated on December 9, 2014

Winter is the season of colds and flu and as our bodies are becoming more resilient to antibiotics, we're more aware of chemical reactions on our systems and with the ongoing economic challenges, many people are looking for natural alternatives~ which are cheaper, safer and more effective.

I have used all of the following list myself and rarely visit the doctor. Most of these remedies have multiple uses (including tasting great!) and are great at preventing illness when used as a regular part of your balanced diet.

Please note: I am not a doctor and this is all based on my own research and experiences. Please use common sense when trying something new. Anyone can be allergic to anything~ if you have any doubts seek professional advice first.

Garlic is a powerful little plant!
Garlic is a powerful little plant!

How To Take Garlic

There are several ways to make use of the healing properties in garlic, but I have found this one the best.

  • Peel a garlic clove (one of the smaller sections of a whole bulb)
  • Cut into pill sized pieces (roughly quartered)
  • Swallow with water as you would pills


Garlic

The benefits of garlic are so great that it deserves several hubs of it's own!

In 2011 I had a very complicated tooth extraction and soon after developed an infection from it. I hate antibiotics, they kill your good bacteria and cause all sorts of other health problems including thrush. So I took 2 cloves of raw garlic every day and the infection cleared in two days. I have been so impressed that I continue to take one clove a day to aid overall health and prevent colds and flu.

Garlic improves your immune system and is a powerful antioxidant, with reports of it even preventing and aiding the cure of cancer. Soldiers in both World Wars applied garlic to their wounds to prevent infection and gravediggers in France used crushed garlic in wine to prevent themselves getting the Great Plague.

Lemon has many uses for medicine (and beauty)
Lemon has many uses for medicine (and beauty)

Lemon

Chest infections and sore throats can really drag you down and last a long time. That's where our zesty friend the lemon comes in to play.

Lemon's are a rich source of Vitamin C which strengthens your immune system. On top of that Lemon's also bring down a fever, is antibacterial and cleanses your stomach.

For a sore throat, gargle with a mix of warm water, lemon juice and honey.

Steer clear of processed lemon drinks and only use fresh whole lemons. The artificial lemon products contain lots of sugar, painkillers and even caffeine which suppresses the immune system.

Honey was more expensive than gold in ancient Egypt
Honey was more expensive than gold in ancient Egypt

Honey

Ahhh honey, once more expensive than gold in ancient Egypt. Prized for it's sweet taste and healing benefits, you can see why they called it 'Liquid Gold'. This is another that deserves a hub of it's own!

As mentioned above with lemon, honey does wonders for a sore throat and chest infection. Not only that but it has antiseptic, antioxidant and cleansing properties and it is claimed that mixed with cinnamon it can pretty much cure anything, including clearing your sinuses!

From a money point of view it's useful to know that honey doesn't spoil either, so always keep a pot in the cupboard for emergencies and prevention (if it survives that long, it tastes so good!)

***Please note: Honey is not suitable for babies under 12 months old.***

Honey and Lemon Drink

Making this drink is cheap, quick and very good at fighting colds, flu and infections:

  • Cut two slices of lemon and put into an empty cup
  • Add one heaped teaspoon of honey (or to taste)
  • *Slice 3-4 small slithers of ginger root and add to the cup
  • Fill the cup with boiling water and stir
  • Drink when cool enough not to burn, but still warm you (I like to wrap my hands around the mug to help warm them up while I wait for it to cool~ this also makes sure I don't forget to drink it!)

*Adding ginger not only adds good flavour, it increases the healing power.

Drink daily for prevention and at least 2-3 times a day when healing.

This hot little root can cure all sorts
This hot little root can cure all sorts

Ginger

Ginger like many of the foods mentioned here, is a powerful antioxidant. Not only that but it relieves headaches, nausea, soothes respiratory infections, is anti inflammatory and helps to stop vomiting.

One of the most popular and effective natural treatments for common illnesses has to be the classic combination of ginger, lemon and honey (see above). You can't help but to feel better with all that goodness going through your body!

onions don't just make your burger tasty
onions don't just make your burger tasty

Onion

A close cousin to our aforementioned friend garlic, onions possess many of the same qualities.

A powerful antioxidant (more so than vitamin E), onions also contain Quercetin~ a natural anti-inflamitory~ and Prebiotics, which promote our good bacteria to thrive. Why's this important? Our good bacteria (probiotics) help support our natural defences, letting our body's do what they really want to...keep us running in tip-top shape!

We all know we need to keep hydrated but do we all take it seriously?
We all know we need to keep hydrated but do we all take it seriously?

Water

A boring one? Maybe, but essential too.

It's actually very easy for us to get dehydrated and when that happens your body starts to shut down, directing the water it does have to the most important functions. If you're running a fever, you're burning water much quicker and since soda & caffeinated drinks actually help to dehydrate us, your best bet is to reach for some of the clear stuff. If that's too boring add a slice of lemon!

Water also detoxifies and aids the absorption of nutrients...more vital than usual when you're fighting a cold or infection. Most headaches are caused by dehydration too, so rather than reaching for the pills, try a big glass of water first.

Chili Peppers do more than add a punch to your food, they're a powerful natural remedy
Chili Peppers do more than add a punch to your food, they're a powerful natural remedy

Chili Peppers

Chili's are packed full of goodies!

One of the most impressive being capaisin~ a natural painkiller so effective it's one of the only things that can help the dreaded pain after a bout of shingles.

It's also high in Vitamin C, increases circulation, clears congestion, helps break a fever, fights infection (including cancer), cleans your system, and is wonderful at clearing a stuffy head~ just add a little to a bowl of hot water and breathe it in.

Adding a small amount of chili in any form to your food regularly. will help clear and prevent numerous ailments. It's worth noting that if you want the full benefits of chili, go for Cayenne pepper~ it's a super-food in every sense of the word and calling it a miracle plant would not be an understatement.

Note: As you no doubt already know chili is potent stuff, so don't go touching your face (especially your eyes) after handling chili of any kind...IT WILL HURT!!

Cinnamon

Previously mentioned, cinnamon is another great aid to healing colds, flu and infections.

The dried inner bark of a Sri-Lanka tree, cinnamon warms you and increases circulation which is vital for a strong immune system and can help clear stuffy sinuses.

Cinnamon relieves pain, so is perfect for inflammation and achy muscles and one of the most widely use natural remedies in India. Research shows it has been combined with honey for healing, for over 5000 years now.

Combine with honey for tasty natural healing:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and mix thoroughly.
  • Add to hot drinks or swallow one teaspoon 'neat' every few hours.
  • You can also use this as a toast spread or to dip fruit into for a healthy snack!

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    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      Garlic is my favorite. I now grow it and add it to almost all main dishes. I discovered fresh ginger a few months ago when trying a new recipe that called for it. Fabulous! I didn't know what I was missing. Thanks for all the great information!

    • Elderberry Arts profile image

      Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Another garlic fan here. Garlic bread is one thing I really miss now being wheat free. Good added raw to salads though

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