12 Natural Remedies For Cold And Flu
By: Mayukh Saha
It’s that time of the year. All you can hear around is probably sniffles and coughs. Yes, it’s that special flu season. There are many terrible diseases that we human beings face, but flu can be referred to as one of the peskiest ones. It makes your body just give up and your mind is always tired. Plus, there is that nose block. Flu is really irritating – especially if you are a productive person. It slows your entire day and even if you are resting, you can’t rest properly because of the constant headache and the sniffling. Well, there are not many cures to the flu. You have to take your mummy’s word and sweat it out.
Honey is an amazing age-old remedy for cold and other sicknesses. If your throat is irritating you a lot, then you should opt for honey. It is a cough suppressant and it can easily soothe the irritants in your throat. Dark honey is probably the best remedy you can go for. By the way, did you know that honey doesn’t expire? That’s just another thing that attributes to the magic of honey.
You may have heard of honey being a product of bees, but have you heard about propolis? Propolis is another substance that bees make – they use it to seal their hives. Well, it has many antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to help you with your flu. It is a resinous fluid and has also been known to treat burns. If you thought bees were just useful for pollination, think again.
3. Gargling with salt water
Image credit: photopips
This is a common treatment for a sore throat and it works. Well, this is not just some granny’s magical treatment – there is proper science backing it up. Let’s go back to science once more – let’s look at osmosis. Osmosis mentions that water follows salt and so, when you gargle using a salt solution, it takes away the water from the viral fluids around the neck. So, bid your sore throat goodbye – with science.
Ginger has a lot of properties that have made it a traditional flu remedy. It has a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a great natural remedy for congestion, colds, and even nausea. However, ginger is not your usual palatable food. Bite on it and you get a cringe-inducing shock. So, the best way to get the benefits of ginger and not get affecting by the ‘shocking’ taste too much is by getting yourself ginger juice. Just gulp it down.
This is another strong-tasting food. Garlic has strong antioxidants in it along with antibiotic and antiviral properties. On top of that, they have a lot of minerals, selenium, vitamin C, etc. Just add a tinge of garlic in your meals but if you want to risk the strong taste, then just pop one on your tongue.
6. Elderberry syrup
Elderberry syrup is one of the best flu remedies, especially in the way that it tackles a number of things in one go. Elderberry is grown on elder trees and the fruits can be used to make into this wonderful syrup. This syrup has been known to shorten flu and cold and relieve sinus infections too.
7. Essential oils
There are many essential oils coming out from some important plants. These essential oils are often used in many OTC medications as well. While there are several essential oils which can help you combat flu, a few of them are especially strong and worth mentioning, Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial and antiviral properties and has been used as a remedy against colds for centuries. Peppermint oil can be used as a decongestant and can reduce fevers. You can mix these oils with a carrier oil (since they are very strong in their natural form) and then rub it on the affected parts.
8. Bone Broth
Bone Broth is a traditional Jewish preparation that is often known as a chicken stew. When you are going through a strong bout of flu, it is quite possible that you are not feeling hungry or if you just don’t know if you are hungry or not. Your taste buds are not properly receiving the taste. A bone broth is the best food during this time. It has anti-inflammatory substances fortifying your immune system as well as different minerals and vitamins. Plus, it’s easy to digest and so, it won’t be too hard on your stomach. A perfect meal for your sick body.
9. Epsom salt bath
Epsom salts can have an amazing detoxifying effect on your body. These salts have anti-toxins and if you add it in your bathtub, along with a few essential oils, you can get an amazing boost in your immune system. On top of that, you can also feel re-energized after taking an Epsom salt bath.
A mentholated salve can help in opening up your nostrils and breathe easier. If your nose feels raw, you can use eucalyptus or camphor which has a numbing element to make your raw nose feel a bit better.
Vitamins are always trying to help you by strengthening your immune system. Vitamin C is one such vitamin that helps you to fight off cold and flu. So, start eating food by applying a healthy dash of lemon or lime.
It is essential to keep your digestive tract healthy when you are going through an unhealthy phase like a cold. Probiotics help to keep your gut clean and in the process, ensure that your immune system gets the right boost to fight off the cold.
These were some of the natural remedies when you are going through a strong bout of flu. However, none of the natural remedies are strong enough to completely get rid of the flu. If you want these natural remedies to work and in fact give you a fair chance to get rid of the flu fast, then you have to take some precautions on your own. Here are some tips to help you fight the flu. Integrate these tips with the natural remedies so that you actually can combat flu and get rid of it fast:
You have to sleep properly when you are going through a bout of flu. Whenever you sleep or at least rest your body, the immune system of your body becomes stronger. It makes it more potent and hence, you can take a shot at combating flu properly.
Flu is a viral fever. One of the best remedies for viruses is fluids. Take lots of water and do not allow your body to get dehydrated. The more water you intake, the better are your chances of fighting off the flu.
Know when you are treating your symptoms
Remember high school biology and understand why you feel feverish when you have the flu. The virus is attacking your body cells and your immune system is defending it. Fever is raising the body temperature so that viruses can’t thrive in it. Also, it helps increase blood flow so that the WBCs can reach the required areas. So, suffering a day or two of fever can actually help your body fight off flu.
The right way of blowing your nose
Blowing your nose can end the stuffy feeling inside your nose and it gets rid of some of the germs as well. But you have to blow gently and in the right way. Press one side of the nostril and blow down the other gently. If you do it too hard, your ears might get affected, resulting in earache.
Sleep with an extra pillow
By elevating your head up, you can relieve your nose from strong congestions. So, place two pillows – one on top of another, to elevate your head in such a way that it does not cause neck pain, but can soothe your stuffed nose.
These natural remedies and tips can help you tackle this flu season. Be prepared, and be well. Eat healthy, sleep well, and keep your fingers crossed that the pesky flu doesn’t affect you.
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