It is that time of year again, the beginning of cold and flu season. Yuck! Although many of us would love to stay inside and avoid all those nasty germs lurking about in public, it is not always feasible.
So, let’s look at a few ways to fight off and relieve the symptoms of a cold or the flu, Naturally:
One of the best herbs to stimulate immune supporting white blood cells, T cells, macrophage and interferon activity is Echinacea. This can be taken at the first signs of a cold and will help to ease the symptoms. Boneset is another herb that will help to stimulant the immune system and is one of the most effective herbs to fight a cold or the flu. It promotes sweating and helps your body to release toxins. Although you could steep it and drink as a tea it is best to take it in pill form if possible, as it can be quite bitter tasting. Yarrow leaf is another highly effective herb that helps to reduce fever and is also an antiseptic. It can be steeped and drank as a tea. Peppermint leaf has antiviral properties, promotes sweating to release toxins and is gentle enough to use on children. This is found in pill form or raw leaves for steeping and making a tea as well. Ginger root is a terrific herb that helps to warm chills and fight infection. It is known as the warming herb that helps to also alleviate stomach distress that is sometimes associated with a cold or the flu.
When it comes to taking vitamins, there are two that are a must have. These include Vitamin C and Zinc. Taking 1000 mg three times a day will help to shorten the length of a cold. Zinc helps to stimulate T cell response and helps to prevent a cold virus from replicating. Note that it is not recommended to take more than 50 mg of Zinc daily.
3. Homeopathic Remedies:
Anas Barbariae also called Oscillococcinum, is a wonderful remedy used for onset symptoms of the flu. Some of these symptoms include ear pain, congestion, chills, frontal sinus pain and nasal discharge. It is recommended to take 3-4 pellets three times a day under the tongue.
4. Foods to Help:
If you find yourself fallen ill, many foods have beneficial affects. To break up congestion try chicken soup or miso vegetable soup with plenty of garlic and onion. Garlic and onions both have antimicrobial properties that will help fight infection. Another terrific antimicrobial item is cinnamon. Add cinnamon to applesauce, sweet potatoes, or tea. Foods that are rich in beta-carotene such as sweet potatoes, help to strengthen mucus membranes in the lungs. Other helpful antioxidant foods that help are carrots, cabbage, mustard greens, turnips and broccoli. One always helpful favorite of mine, is hot tea with honey which helps to soothe a sore throat and helps to reduce coughing.
5. Essential Oils:
It is commonly known that essential oils have multiple health benefits. Using an essential oil diffuser can help prevent other family members from getting sick. Some of the best oils to use are juniper, tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and rosemary. A personal favorite and very effective essential oil for treating cold and flu symptoms is called thieves oil. Thieves oil is generally a blend of Clove, Lemon, Rosemary, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus.
Remember if you do come down with a cold or the flu, getting enough rest is vital. It is during this time that that your body heals itself. Also don’t forget to drink plenty of clear liquids to help flush out your system. Be sure to avoid caffeine and milk products as these can actually increase mucus production. This will only prolong your illness and make you feel worse.