The cold and flu season is upon us. Eating healthy whole foods, getting enough rest, and washing your hands more often are the best ways to avoid getting sick. But if you do happen to catch something recover quickly by using the right remedies.
Forget over the counter ways to medicate a cold or flu! Most are filled with chemicals and preservatives that you do not want to put in your body. All natural holistic remedies are much better for you and more effective.
Here are some tips to keep you healthy and happy this holiday season!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Use 2 tablespoons ACV, 1-2 tablespoons honey, lemon juice and a little bit of hot water to dilute. Sip or gargle 3-4 times daily.
2. Oil of Oregano
Oil of Oregano is an excellent antimicrobial and antiviral treatment. Take 1-2 drops of medical/food organic grade once a day (do NOT use if pregnant). Take at the first sign of a cold.
Zinc lozenges can make a cold and sore throat shorter and less severe. Take at the first sign of a cold.
Ginger brings down inflammation, clears congestion and supports the immune system. Drink 2-3 cups of fresh ginger tea daily.
5. Increase Vitamin C & D
Vitamin C has long been known to support the immune system and fight off colds. As with any supplement, check with your doctor first but about 500-2000 milligrams every 2 hours is recommended. Fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C are oranges, kiwis, bell peppers, guavas, strawberries, dark leafy greens, papaya, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Additionally, having enough Vitamin D reduces your risk of catching a cold in the first place. Sunlight and fish are great sources of D.
6. Neti pot
Every morning and night, fill the net pot with a small amount of salt (about 1 teaspoon) in warm water to wash out sinuses. The salt kills bacteria and the warm water flushes out the nasal passages. Nasal irrigation can be an effective way to relieve sinus symptoms.
7. Eucalyptus Oil
This can be done as a quick steam in the shower (just shake a few drops at either end of the tub/stall) or if you have more time, a more intense steam treatment. Put 4-5 drops of eucalyptus oil in a glass bowl. Add boiling water and lean over the bowl. Cover your head with a towel to trap the steam in and inhale deeply for 5-10 minutes. Repeat twice a day (those with liver disease/problems should not use eucalyptus oil). The steam will open up your nasal passages so you can breathe better. Your stuffy nose will be a thing of history!
Make sure it’s local and raw. Honey has antioxidants, antiviral and antibacterial properties, boosts the immune system and soothes sore throats and coughs. Add 1-2 tablespoons to your ACV tea, ginger tea or just a cup of warm boiled water. Add some lemon for the added benefit of Vitamin C.
(Don’t give honey to infants and young children). As healthy as honey is, make sure you don’t overdo it (see #8 below!).
9. Just say NO (to sugar!)
Sugar weakens your immune system! It may be tempting when you have a sore throat to have hard candies, sugar in your tea, pudding/jello, popsicles/ice cream but if it’s high in sugar … STEP AWAY! This will only make you sicker and prolong your cold. Opt for sugar free items or better yet, just stick to tea sans the sweetener and soups.
10. PLENTY OF REST AND HEALTHY LIGHT FOODS!