The essential act of breathing, which brings oxygen into the body, removes waste and carbon dioxide from the lungs, and plays a role in the smooth functioning of the nervous system, can be hampered by viruses, bacteria, and allergens. Targeted nutrients and holistic remedies help to protect and strengthen the respiratory system, optimizing respiratory function and enabling the body to resist infection effectively.
Catching a cold or flu is often inconvenient and unpleasant. It is also, to some extent, avoidable if you take preventative action. Natural remedies not only boost resistance— they can also help to shorten the duration of the illness if you do succumb to a virus.
Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
Antimicrobial herbs help to fight the infection and can be supported with herbs that boost immunity. Herbs that promote sweating and reduce fever can help to manage these illnesses.
Elderberry has proven antiviral activity to help fight infection.
-Make a fresh berry syrup in autumn or buy a syrup. Take 1–2 tsp daily.
Echinacea is antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, and boosts white blood cells. Avoid with immunosuppressants.
-Take 1.5–2.5ml extract in water 3 times daily, or see remedy, right with elderberry.
Elderflower promotes sweating to lower fever, and is soothing and anti-phlegm.
– Infuse 1–2 tsp dried elderflower in 6fl oz (175ml) boiling water. Drink 3–4 times daily.
Yarrow induces sweating and is antiinfective. Avoid in pregnancy or if sensitive to Asteraceae plants. Overuse can increase skin photosensitivity.
– Infuse 1–2 tsp dried yarrow in 6fl oz (175ml) boiling water. Drink 3–4 times daily.
ESSENTIAL OILS Oils
ESSENTIAL OILS Oils can relieve a cough, sore throat, and congestion, and the fatigue or fever of flu.
Eucalyptus is a decongestant.
Ravintsara is an effective antimicrobial.
– Add 5 drops of oil to a bowl of hot water to inhale or 2 drops to a diffuser. Or, add 3 drops to 2 tsp (5ml) almond oil for a chest rub.
Peppermint is cooling, helping to relieve fever and headache.
– Add 5 drops to a bowl of hot water, lean over, covering your head with a towel to trap the steam, and inhale until it cools. Or add 2 drops to a diffuser and inhale.
When suffering with a cold or flu, eat light, nutrient-dense meals with complex carbohydrates and drink plenty of fluids.
Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions (preferably raw) are antibacterial and antiviral.
– Add a chopped garlic clove or a chopped raw onion to a soup or vegetables after cooking.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which can help to speed recovery.
– Have a glass of fresh orange or grapefruit juice daily.
– Use instead of regular mushrooms.
WHAT TO AVOID
Sugar, which rapidly depresses immune function.
Supporting the diet when immunity is low can be beneficial.
Aged garlic extract
Aged garlic extract can significantly reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu.
– Take 2.5 g daily
Propolis is rich in bioflavonoids, thought to give it antiviral properties.
– Take 500 mg 1–2 times a day to relieve symptoms.
Stress is the main contributor to lowered immunity, so take measures to relax.
Regular gentle exercise
Regular gentle exercise boosts circulation and immunity, but pushing past your limits may weaken immunity.
Cover your mouth when sneezing
Cover your mouth when sneezing and wash hands to avoid reinfection and spreading germs to other people.