Home remedies for colds are amazing at soothing symptoms and even preventing those seasonal bugs that get passed around, especially with little ones. Here are few gentle and natural remedies for colds and flu.
Well, it’s that time of year again. Children, parents, coworkers, and friends are dropping like flies with colds, sinus infections, and the dreaded flu. And this year, the flu is a particularly nasty and rough strain.
If you have ever suffered from the flu before, you know that it can throw you off your weight loss and health game immediately. You work so hard staying active and getting your microbiome flourishing, just to have to ruin it with antibiotics. Which are great at killing the bad stuff, and the good stuff.
Don’t let the cold and flu season get you down. Here are a few of my favorite home remedies to treat and prevent colds and flu. As always, please consult your doctor before utilizing these methods and follow their prescribed protocols at all times.
Home Remedies for Cold & Flu
Tea with honey.
Besides being a delicious beverage even when you’re not sick, there is something so comforting about a hot cup of tea. The hot water will keep you warm and soothe irritated throats or sinuses. And the honey in particular helps coat your throat, easing pain even more.
Having a cup of tea is also soothing and relaxing, especially if you’re not at your best. There are immune support teas as well that offer specific benefits. But even just hot water with lemon provides instant relief.
My personal favorite is ginger, because it is tangy and delicious (also good at soothing stomachaches). I like to think of a cup of tea as a handheld humidifier.
Raw and Oil of Oregano.
Oregano in its whole raw form is really more of a preventative measure. I like to consume raw oregano in pill form every day of the year. It’s medicinal benefits are plenty.
You can check out my other post on this amazing herb here. Ultimately oregano is a fantastic natural remedy as it is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. And is super effective against most of our colds and infections.
If you do fall ill you can up your dosage by using oregano oil. Make sure it is the highest quality and of wild Mediterranean origin. Oregano oil is far more potent than the raw herb and can be very harsh on your microbiome.
Only use it sparingly and for a few days at a time. Just a drop or two twice a day is plenty to start with. [One more time for the people in the back, please consult your doctor prior to utilizing any of these recommendations.]
Diffuse essential oils.
I know that the efficacy of aromatherapy is still iffy in the scientific-sense. But, there is something to be said about the placebo effect. Because every time I’m sick, diffusing essential oils at least makes me feel better. I have a roller that contains a blend of essential oils called a flu bomb, and honestly I just love the smell. There are also some specific minty varieties that can really help clear out your sinuses even if it is pretty temporary. Using these may make you feel better and that’s a good thing.
There is something to be said about the healing power of sleep. Your body is able to redirect all of the energy that your brain is normally using, towards your immune system. And you become an infection fighting powerhouse.
If you are ill, take yourself to bed and stay there. Make sure to get as much sleep as possible. Sometimes, you can even catch a cold early enough with a good night’s sleep, and you’ll just fight it off before it takes hold. And keeping yourself in bed assures you’re not spreading your germs and to possibly reinfect yourself later.
Elderberry or Oscillococcinum.
There are two homeopathic cold and flu remedies that have been widely used. They are easy to find and consume. But because they are a supplement they are not regulated by the FDA or required to provide research support. But they are supported by quite a large amount and could be effective for you.
The first is Elderberry syrup (also known as sambucus). There is very little research performed on its efficacy. But what has been done points towards a reduction of symptoms and shortening the duration of the cold.
Oscillococcinum is a proprietary blend of extremely diluted duck heart and liver. Once again, very little research has actually been performed on this remedy.
But it is widely used and supported for its antioxidant content. And has been known to reduce symptoms and duration of colds and flu as well.
Nutritious Whole Foods
Giving your body good fuel is going to significantly boost your immune system. Make sure you focus on whole foods and skip processed and sugary foods. I like to focus on fats and proteins as much as I can stomach. There are also a ton of health benefits like vitamins and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables. Garlic specifically is known for anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
And don’t forget to support your microbiome when you are ill. New research suggests that a large portion of our immune cells are actually located in our gut.
Making sure you’re consuming pre-biotic and pro-biotic foods will support your microbiome. And not surprisingly chicken soup is a great option. It has lots of healthy fats and vitamins, while being easy to stomach.
If you’re sick, odds are you are also dehydrated. Between coughing, sneezing, and other bodily functions, you’re losing a lot of liquid. Make sure to replenish as much as you can as often as you can.
Add a slice of lemon as well for some quick electrolytes. Yes, you can completely skip the Blue 3 and Yellow 5 found in most sports drinks and get plenty of electrolytes simply by adding lemon to your water.
These can be an absolute life-saver. Once upon a time a had pneumonia and I also happen to be allergic to most antibiotics, so I decided to tough it out (terrible decision, do not do this, and most importantly talk to your doctor!). And the only way I could sleep at night was to hang off the bed with my face basically over the humidifier.
The moisture helped ease the pain in my throat and nose. It can really help calm down those throat and sinus symptoms. Make sure to always check the area around it for moisture and dry it thoroughly after every use. They can cause mildew and mold if not properly cared for.
Grossan Hydro Pulse
And last but not least, the first key to health is preventing sickness. The easiest way to do that is to maintain the health of your sinuses. Especially if you are prone to allergies or experience congestion, keeping your sinuses clear can make a huge difference and help prevent sinus infections. The Grossan Hydro Pulse is a daily sinus cleanser.
This machine is similar to a neti-pot (that uncomfortable sinus rinse that comes in a squeeze bottle or pot). But it is so much better! It has a far more gentle pulsating water jet that clears away mucous and build up in your sinus cavities. You can use it everyday to ease allergies and prevent congestion.