Natural Home Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

SOME NATURAL REMEDIES FOR YOUR FAMILY
*Adapted from “Supermarket Super Remedies” by Matthew Hoffman

 

One item you will find over and over again in these remedies is garlic. Garlic is a powerful anti-fungal/viral found in nature. Adding garlic to your daily diet can help fend off many ailments, and using at the site of the issue can produce fast results in healing.

EAR ACHES
Gargling hot salt water– promotes healing of ear infection by bringing more blood to the Eustachian tube. Gargle several times a day with ¼ teaspoon salt dissolved in a glass of hot water.
Garlic oil– mash a garlic clove with a fork and saturate it with several drops of olive oil; let it sit overnight. In the morning, strain out the garlic and warm the oil so that it’s pleasantly tepid, not hot. Tilt head so sore ear is facing up and drop 2-3 drops of oil in ear. Remain lying for 2-3 minutes to allow oil to settle. Repeat a few times a day and discomfort should ease within a day or two.
Lavender oil– mix several drops of lavender oil with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Rub the blend behind the ear (where lymph glands are located), and/or place an oil-saturated cotton ball inside ear to soothe earache and stimulate lymph glands to remove infectious agents.

SINUS CONGESTION (USUALLY THE CULPRIT OF EARACHES!)
Eucalyptus– can help relieve head and chest congestion, as well as relieve pressure that can cause ear pain. Fill a bowl with boiling water, add up to 10 drops of eucalyptus oil, and lean over the bowl with a towel draped over your head so that the steam is captured underneath (be careful you aren’t close enough to burn your face). Inhale the mist for five minutes. Eucalyptus oil can also be added to bath water.
Eating spicy foods (especially those that contain garlic) can help reduce nasal and sinus congestion. The chemical compounds can help promote drainage. Try adding garlic to chicken soup to reap the benefits of both.
Another steam option– adding 2-3 teaspoons of aromatic herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano (which is also a natural germ-killer!), or basil to the boiling water, as well as eucalyptus oil (if you have it), then proceed with the breathing in the steam for 10-15 minutes with a towel draped over your head. Do this 2-3 times a day.
Ginger tea– the pungent aroma of ginger comes from dozens of powerful properties that strengthen immunity, increase healing circulation, and kill germs that cause sinus infections. Try a cup 1-3 times a day (preferably made with fresh ginger root!).
Vitamins– A, C, & E are among the best weapons against sinus headaches during cold and allergy seasons. Unless you’re pregnant or may become pregnant, take 5,000 IU of vitamin A daily to strengthen your mucous membranes.

SORE THROAT
Calendula– to quickly heal the soreness, coat the back of the throat with fresh calendula juice or tincture using a cotton ball. If these are not available, steep 1 heaping teaspoon of calendula in ½ cup hot water, then gargle as needed.
Carrots– a carrot neck wrap can help you recover more quickly from a sore throat. Grate a carrot onto cheesecloth, then fold in half lengthwise and moisten with warm water. Wrap around your neck and keep a warm towel on top for 20-30 minutes.
Chamomile– drinking a cup of warm chamomile tea with honey can help is a traditional remedy for sore throat pain.
Garlic– when experiencing a sore throat, eat 2-3 cloves of garlic a day. If this proves to be bothersome, consider taking garlic capsules; look for ones that contain about 10 milligrams of allicin, the active ingredient.
Additional options for gargling to relieve sore throat– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water: gargle and spit until glass is gone, relief should come within 3-4 hours; ½ teaspoon turmeric (a spice) and ½ teaspoon salt in a cup of hot water, gargle morning and evening; 1 teaspoon salt in 8 oz warm water- helps dissolve mucus, cleanse throat, and reduce swelling and inflammation, gargle 4-5 times day.
Willow bark tea– can also reduce pain and swelling while providing soothing moisture.

ALLERGIES
Berries– the bioflavonoids in blueberries, blackberries, and cherries are good for controlling allergies because they keep mast cells from releasing troublemaking histamines, the chemicals that cause stuffiness and other symptoms.
Apples– also contain a powerful bioflavonoid-antihistamine combo called quercetin, which reduced allergy symptoms. Eat an apple a day during peak allergy season/symptoms.
Bromelain– an enzyme found in pineapples, it reduces inflammation and fluid retention in the sinuses. Taking a combination supplement of bromelain and quercetin may help ease allergy symptoms.
Fennel tea– fennel helps to thin mucus and is a traditional remedy for opening the bronchial passages.
Fish oil– the omega-3s in cold-water fish inhibit inflammation, while vitamin A from fish boosts antibodies that are released in the saliva and attach to allergens to keep them from entering your system.

DIARRHEA
BRAT Diet– bananas, rice, applesauce and toast: these foods work as binding agents and are easy to digest.
Barley– can slow intestinal motion and curb diarrhea. Adding a cup of beef broth will improve flavor and replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
Yogurt– preferably organic, contains beneficial bacteria which can wipe out bad bacteria that may be causing diarrhea. (Be careful not to buy yogurts that contain artificial ingredients such as color additives or added sugars like high fructose corn syrup, which may further upset stomach.)
Garlic capsules– take 200-400 milligrams three times a day until diarrhea subsides.
Peppermint tea– contains menthol and has anti-spasmodic properties. To relax muscles of digestive tract and calm diarrhea-causing spasms, stir one teaspoon fresh or dried leaves into one cup boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes; strain and enjoy. Drink as many as three cups after meals.

COUGH
Anise tea– sipping a cup of anise tea can make “dry” coughs productive, since it’s an excellent bronchodilator.
Catnip or slippery elm teas– steep 1-2 teaspoons dried catnip in a cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes, then strain. Drink up to 3 cups a day to relive cough.
Honey and onion– slice an onion into rings and place in a deep bowl. Cover with honey and let sit for 10-12 hours. Strain out onion and take 1 tablespoon of the syrup 4-5 times daily.

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