The sore throat, stuffy nose, headaches, and chills – even writing this is making me feel ill!
Whether you’re stuck at work or home in bed, being sick absolutely sucks (pardon my French). Given the current global circumstances we are now faced with, along with the weather getting colder, it’s important we take care of our bodies, so we remain happy and healthy. Now, I don’t know about you, but when you’re sick or you begin showing symptoms of a cold or flu, it’s easy to take medications or antibiotics to aid the discomfort. However, if you didn’t already know this, there are plenty of home natural remedies for cold and flu that can help alleviate your symptoms and get you back to living your life in no time! If you’re intrigued by this, then stick around, as I let you in on some of my favorite little natural secrets to help you overcome your cold or flu.
When your eat nutrients rich foods, which are packed with vital minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids, you are supporting your body defences. Know what fruit and veg add to your shopping basket to maintain immunity boosting properties.
The Power of Ginger
Cultures all over the world have used the curative benefits of ginger root for healing sicknesses for centuries –and rightfully so! Cut up a few slices of raw ginger root and simmer them on low heat in water. Add some natural honey to taste and voila! The steeped water is known to help soothe your cough and provide you relief from your throat irritation. You also can enjoy the refeshing aroma of ginger, as you sip your warm, invigorating, soothing drink. Health experts also suggest that ginger can help ward off the feeling of nausea that is commonly known as being a side effect of the flu. Instead of grabbing a bottle of Ginger Ale that is full of carbonation and sugars, try this remedy instead. I promise you it is going to work just as good and avoiding the added harm of consuming sugary drinks is an added bonus!
Ginger is not your forte? Head back to your pantry and find the fermented apple cider vinegar. Add a spoon of apple cider vinegar to the boiled water (cool a little, not to kill the nutrients) and then add a spoon of honey, 1/2 a squeeze of lemon, fresh mint and rosemary leaf. Soothe your throat with this antibacterial, antiviral, anti inflammatory potion, seep it warm and slowly, couple of times a day.
Secrets of Echinacea
Trust me, it’s more than a pretty pink flower! Native Americans have been using the benefits of this herb to treat infections for over 400 years! One of the plant’s active ingredients is flavonoid, which is a chemical that has “many therapeutic effects on the body and can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.” This herb can also reduce the mucous production in the respiratory tract during your sickness, which will aid your breathing and reduce congestion. Another amazing benefit of this herb that researchers found is that it can reduce your risk of developing a common cold by more than 50 percent and can significantly reduce the length of your cold as well. I personally like to steep the herb in hot water for 3-5 minutes, once or twice a day. And trust me, this alone can help you feel healthier in no time!
Sleep it Off
Sleep is absolutely essential for our bodies to rest and heal. Our skin and body heals, detoxifies and regenrates when we sleep, so not a suprise that sleep also helps us fend off infection. And did you know that being sleep deprived can actually reduce the function of your immune system? It’s extremely important to keep your body warm and rest as much as you can as your body redirects its energy to fight pathogens, bacteria, viruses. Whist you are asleep, your T cells, NK cells are in a battlefield, protecting you from getting sicker. Whether it’s taking a nap, reading a book of listening to a guided mediation, the next time you’re sick do your body a favor – REST instead of trying to maintain your routine and pretend your body isn’t in a taxed state.
Eat Foods that Support your Immune System
One of the best ways to help maintain a healthy immune system is to eat foods that are high in nutrients especially in minerals such as zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium B, E, D, K2 and C vitamins. Did you know that Rosehip contain 76% of daily value for vitamin C, it is also high in Vit A, E, both important for immunity, but also synthesis of collagen, health of our skin. The cells within our immune system actually store vitamin C and they need this vitamin to function correctly.
Next time you’re looking to relieve your sore throat, boil a pot of water and mix in some honey and fresh lemon or lime, pick up few wild rosehips from the bush when you are on your nature walk, fresh leaves of oregano and mint from the garden. The vitamin C will help reduce phlegm, honey will soothe your throat and help treat your respiratory infection. Even if you’re not sick try eating foods that are high in vitamin C such as strawberries, red peppers, and broccoli to prevent future infections.
Other tricks I recommend is to turn up the heat! When you’re congested one of the best ways to clear up your sinuses is to ingest spicy foods. Some of my favorite spices to use are turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Furthermore, try avoiding dairy and sugars when you feel under the weather, as they can create an environment that is conducive to bacterial growth. Eat foods rich in minerals or take a good quality supplement containing zinc at the inception of your symptoms. Studies lead by Ohio State University suggest that zinc positively impacts on slowing inflammation and disease. It is vital that we maintain mineral and vitamins balance in the body. These micronutrients, trace elements and vitamins often work together to maintain homeostasis within human body, for example: vitamin D is essential for regulation of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Practice These Daily Prevention Tips
Now, I know I’m not the first to say this, and I defiantly won’t be the last, but the best way to manage a cold is to avoid getting sick in the first place. You’re probably sitting there thinking “well that’s easier said than done”—but trust me, it’s simple! First and foremost, wash your hands—I’m serious! Health experts say that this is the best and number one way to prevent colds and cases of the flu. Soap and water is best. You must have noticed all the talks about Covid19 and anitbacterial hands sanitisers disappearing of the shelves in supermaket when the pandemic begun.
Another great way to protect your immune system is to live an overall active and healthy lifestyle. One of the best ways is to exercise regularly! Exercise increases your energy within cells, therefore giving you energy boost to fight infection. There is a reason why they say ” 45 minutes of walk a day, keeps that doctor away” and why we were encouraged to go outside an hr a day during lockdown. Walk is viewed as a moderate type of exercise, so get out to nature, fill your lungs with fresh air, connect with the divine.
Sweat out all those toxins and hydrate with water –your body will thank you! Not to mention that one of the best ways to avoid being sick and getting over a cold is to hydrate your body with as many liquids –but we already know this.
Have a relaxing bath, light a candle , dim the light, put on a spa music or binaural beats sounds, add 3 drops of essential eucalyptus oil to the bath, add some magnesium flakes or dead sea salts, cut yourself cucumber rounds for your eyes and have a restorative bath. Your own mini spa ritual. If you prefer shower, use a face flannel, add two to three drops of eucalyptus and rosemary essential oil just before getting in. The warm water and the steam of the shower heats the flannel and vaporized aroma is released, breathe deeply and clear that congestion.
With these tips you can kick that cold and flu to the curb. x