Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Top 10 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

Since the weather is getting colder, the cold/flu season is upon us. Every year, when I think I might be getting a cold or a flu, I try to remember all the natural “tricks” that might help me in that situation. Moreover, I often get asked of what one can do to help with cold/flu symptoms naturally, so I decided to put a list of “must have” things to do when you are trying to beat those symptoms. This is our family list of natural remedies when we feel under the weather. If you are trying to combat cold or flu symptoms naturally, give these a try! 

  1. Raw Garlic. Growing up, this is something that we always ate when we were sick. If it is too much for you to just eat some raw garlic, for instance, you can mince it and mix it with avocado. My garlicky avocado toast is a great example of how to get in lots of garlic but in a very delicious way. You can find the recipe here
  2. Probiotics. I swear by Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics. At home, we always take them on a daily basis if we are not feeling great 
  3. Oreganol P73 Softgels. In the past, I was trying to find a natural “antibiotic”; something that would provide antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits and came across these capsules. Oregano oil is a powerful antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal compound that helps to fight infections. I found the Oreganol P73 softgels to be the most potent and helpful when it comes to fighting various infections. However, this potent “antibiotic” is not recommended during pregnancy, so I advise to skip it for those of you who are trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant
  4. Lemon honey tea. While I always try to add lemon to any tea when not feeling well, I always feel that simple lemon slices with hot water and honey just do the job. Lemon is very high in vitamin C and has antibacterial properties which are very much needed when you are under the weather. Honey is also antibacterial and antifungal and reduces cough and helps with throat irritation, so it is a definite must add
  5. Saline nasal spray. While you can always go for a prescription/medicine nasal spray, I prefer to stay natural or at least start that way. While some people use neti pot with salt water, I don’t have time for that, unfortunately. I need a user friendly solution J I found a natural nose spray that’s safe for daily use that’s gentle, and is great for allergies, cold, flu,  and sinusitis. The one that I use is called Ocean Saline Nasal Spray and can be found in pharmacy
  6. Avoid dairy. Research shows that during the cold/flu, the body produces more phlegm. Phlegm is a thick mucus that is responsible for post-nasal drip and congestion. With consumption of dairy, the amount of phlegm increases, which makes it even harder to function, since phlegm irritates throat and makes the cough worse
  7. Foot bath. If I find myself freezing during the day, event etc., I always try to make a foot bath for myself when I get home. My mother always told me that one gets sick from their cold feet, so the feet need to always stay warm :) Grab a large bowl or large enough container where you can give yourself a foot bath. You can always add some salt or drops of essential oils to resemble a spa treatment. In our home, we heat the kettle and put it next to us while sitting and heating our feet. Water gets lukewarm quicker than you think, so by adding some hot water, you can make your little “treatment” last a little longer. When you are done, make sure to put warm socks on, and either go to bed right away or keep your feet warm and maybe get yourself hot tea with lemon and honey!
  8. Gargling with salt water. With cold and flu, most of the time, the throat suffers. Gargling warm water with salt (I usually add no more than 1 tsp of salt to a cup of warm water), helps sore throat tremendously. This step reduces swelling and irritation. I suggest gargling at least 2-3 times a day
  9. The Olbas products. This is a wonderful brand and we always have these products at home. From the analgesic salve which provides relief not only to sore muscles and pains, but to coughing due to colds (rub on throat and chest before going to bed to get some relief); to Olbas inhaler, powerful vapors of which provide instant relief, make nasal passages feel cleaner and provide cooling and refreshing sensation to your nasal passages: to throat cough syrup which tastes good and consists of five herbal extracts, six essential oils, and wildflower honey. We have used these products for years and swear by them. Such products can be found at Whole Foods or other natural grocery stores
  10. Fresh ginger. While ginger is often used for nausea, it also helps with inflammation and pain reduction and has immune boosting action. Ginger is not only warming, but it also helps promote sweating, which is very helpful during the cold and flu symptoms. I grew up with a saying “you need to sweat it out if you are sick.” Until this day, foot bath and hot tea, I try to cover myself with warm blanket, so I can sweat. By sweating, the body  not only reduces the temperature which helps when you are running a fever, but research also shows that sweat contains a germ-fighting agent that helps fight off the infections
Please feel free share if you have some natural remedies. I would love to add some new "tricks"! :)

Be well and hope you found this helpful!


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