Natural Remedies for the Common Cold & Flu 

By Larraine Roulston :

When you feel the onset of a cold, have a fever, or come in contact with a flu bug, there are many home remedies that will help. Keeping yourself well hydrated and allowing yourself time to rest, followed by using natural healing spices, herbs and essential oils will get you through the week. Many studies show that Vitamin C as well as zinc and echinacea are important to take at the first hint of the sniffles.  

My childhood memories of miserable colds and sore throats include remedies of mustard plasters, warm saltwater solutions and face steams. To test the mustard plaster for congestion relief, stir in enough water to make a paste out of three tablespoons of dry mustard powder. Scoop it onto a clean cloth to avoid its being too hot against your skin. You may even want to wrap the cloth around the mixture a couple of times before setting it on your chest. Leave it on no longer than 10-15 minutes. Another option with mustard is to try soaking your feet in a liter of hot water with one tablespoon of mustard powder mixed in.

woman-with-coldMy mom’s all time sore throat remedy was to gargle with warm salt water. Gargling with water and a little apple cider vinegar (ACV) will also come to the rescue. For year-round good health and in particular while you are ailing, drink daily a glass of water with an added teaspoon of ACV and a little honey to improve the flavor.

Taking the time to inhale steam will not only be relaxing but will also help relieve your discomfort. Begin by boiling a pot of water. Remove it from the heat and sprinkle in herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano. Cover the pan for a few minutes. With a towel over your head, remove the lid and lean over the pot to inhale the aroma for about 10 minutes or as long as you are able. Steaming your face and engaging in these detox baths will help loosen any congestion. A bath with ginger has been known to soothe aches and pains.

chickensoapDuring your time of illness, an excellent source of minerals and protein come from Homemade bone broth and chicken soup recipes. The help of raw garlic, which can be combined with food, also has been extensively researched in over 5,000 studies.

elderberryIndulge yourself in drinking any number of soothing herbal teas such as chamomile, yarrow, nettle leaf, peppermint and lemon. Recently, Green-mom articles have sung the praises of elderberries and ginger. Although I am presently not suffering with a cold, my daughter-in-law recently presented me with a gift of organic dried elderberries to create Homemade elderberry syrup in my time of need. This extraordinary natural remedy is renowned for boosting the immune system. By steeping a fresh ginger root, you will have a tea that is effective against congestion and sinus symptoms.

During this time it is best to avoid caffeine, processed foods, dairy and sugar. Get plenty of sleep and listen to your body!

Related Links:


Natural home remedies: Colds and flu | Best Health Magazine Canada

ECHINACEA: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD

11 Best Home Remedies for Flu Treatment Backed by Scientific …

5 Flu Natural Remedies – DrAxe.com

12 tips to treat colds and flu the ‘natural’ way – BootsWebMD

Larraine authors a children’s adventure series on composting and pollinating at www.castlecompost.com

Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

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