We’re all susceptible to the common cold and flu viruses. While there are many over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms, there are also some great natural remedies that can help you get better faster.
In this post, we’ll explore a few of the best ways to naturally help your body recover from the flu and cold. Keep reading to learn more!
What is the common cold?
The common cold is a respiratory infection caused by one of more than 200 different viruses. Symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, congestion, sneezing and cough. Most people recover from the illness in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment, but it can be very uncomfortable. Here are a few ways you can combat the cold and flu naturally:
Drink plenty of fluids
Curing colds and flu can be as simple as drinking a lot of soup, water, and juice. Drink soup and hot broth for 5-6 days, make sure you’re getting at least 2 litres per day.
Soup is important because salt helps to expel excess fluid from body tissues while pepper stimulates blood flow which helps carry waste products out of the body quickly!
Increase your vitamin C intake
Observational studies have shown that increased intake of either vitamin C or zinc reduces the intensity, duration, and symptoms of colds in some people.
The average orange will give you about 52 milligrams of Vitamin C, and there are other fruits and vegetables that are just as packed- one medium Kiwi fruit-71 milligrams, a half cup of kale- 80 mgs, and half a cup of broccoli: 51 mg.
It is less known that vitamin C is also highly concentrated in immune cells and quickly depleted during an infection. A deficiency significantly weakens the immune system, increasing risk of getting sick. So to protect yourself from infections, get enough of this important nutrient!
Use lemon balm essential oil during a cold or flu epidemic or as needed
Lemon balm is calming and can be used with peppermint and eucalyptus oils to help relieve congestion and calm your mind and body at bedtime (3-5 drops). The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy suggests adding three to seven drops of essential oil in hot water, then using a towel over your head and nose. The steam will help open up your sinuses if you breathe through them for no more than two minutes at a time with your eyes closed.
Get plenty of rest
One of the most important factors in your ability to fight off common colds and flu is getting plenty of rest. Even if you think you feel just fine, it’s crucial that you get seven hours or more per night, to give your body time to recover from everyday stressors and ward off new infections.
Dress in layers and stay away from drafts. Staying warm is the first thing you should do if you have caught a cold or flu. A fever can help fight off disease, so try to keep your body temperature up by staying wrapped in blankets and making sure you stay hydrated.
Steam and moisture
Cold and flu germs love to live in dry climates. When you add moisture to your home, you increase humidity levels – which makes it harder for viruses to survive.
Water has amazing natural benefits, and can help you fight off the flu and cold. When you feel a sore throat beginning or your sinuses start to tighten up, try taking a nice hot shower or bath and breathe in the steam. The moisture will help loosen mucus and relieve tenderness — two very important aspects to fighting off illness!
Gargle with salt water to help clear congestion
Gargling with salt water helps clear congestion in the chest. And when you’ve already got a cough and phlegm, it can be difficult to get rid of – drinking lots of water and gargling with salt water is an effective way to fight off the flu without medication!