Natural Cold & Flu Remedies

Runny nose, sore throat, headache? It’s that time of year when colds & flu can have us in their grip and they can be really hard to shift. Colds can begin with mild symptoms that develop whereas Flu can start abruptly and knock you off your feet with aching joints, fever and a dry couch. The sign in the GP’s surgery requests that you stay home as there is nothing for you there. So what can you do to get back on your feet as quickly as possible?

Unfortunately, once a cold or flu has taken hold it’s your bodies turn to do the work. It’s better not to suppress the symptoms but allow the body to fight your corner. This isn’t great news for terrible patients as it means lots of rest and recuperation but there are some things you can do to help.

1.       It’s simple, stop & rest! Your body has its work cut out and can only spare enough energy for a box set marathon on the sofa!

2.       Eat little

3.       Drink lots of fluid in the form of water, weak herbal tea (chamomile & elderflower is good) and soup.

4.       Avoid dairy products that can be mucus forming.

5.       Blow your nose even if its sore and do not sniff the mucus back into your head.

6.       If you have a sore throat gargle with honey mixed with apple cider vinegar.

7.       Sleep with an extra pillow to relieve your nasal passages.

Good hydration makes for a hostile environment for a flu virus whilst aiding the function of your immune system, therefore lots of water is crucial. Fruit juices and sweetened drinks are not of benefit when you are feeling poorly due to the high natural sugars but are great for prevention due to their high antioxidant value. Warm drinks can help decongest and warm water with a teaspoon of honey and squeeze of lemon will also relieve a sore throat.

In the case of cold and flu, prevention is the best cure. You give yourself the best chance of this with a healthy immune system.

If you feel that you always catch colds at this time of year look at these key areas to see where you might not be doing your Immune system any favours:

Nutrition – A good diet will tip the odds in your favour. It’s a simple formula. According to the Harvard Medical School eat a diet high in vegetables, fruit and whole grains whilst cutting back on saturated fats. No fad diets necessary! They also suggest you can supplement your diet with key nutrients such as selenium, Vitamins A, B2, B6, D & E and zinc. For immune boosting benefits take 1-2 teaspoons of our Wheatgrass or Barley grass every morning in a fruit juice.

Exercise – Even daily moderate body movement will improve your immunity.

Healthy weight range – If you are outside of your acceptable weight parameters set some goals this year to bring yourself into the healthy range.

Sleep – Getting enough sleep will mean that your body will function more efficiently overall. If you get caught in the late night TV trap be vigilant with what time you are going up to bed.

Blood pressure – Stress puts a huge strain on the functioning of the immune system. Look at what raises your blood pressure and how you can remedy those situations. Try some calming pastimes and pay attention to the cues from your body.

Drink moderately – We know the goal posts keep moving on this one so just trust your instincts. Alternative with dry days in your week and stay hydrated when you do enjoy a glass or two.

Superfoods for cold & flu: Blackcurrant, Borage, Catmint, Cayenne, Chamomile, Horseradish, Nasturtium, Peppermint, Rosehip, Echinacea, Garlic, Ginger, Grapefruit, Guava, Lemon, Orange, Raspberry.

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