Here we go again! It’s cold and flu season, and we are all looking for ways to stay healthy. Or at least we want to recover as quickly as possible from whatever bugs we couldn’t avoid.
I am a big believer in home remedies. When anyone in my family gets sick, I use pretty much any natural remedy in my arsenal to build up his body’s own germ fighting power. While none of these is a cure, they each have immunity boosting properties.
So what are the best natural remedies to use when fighting off a flu? Do they really work? Are they hard to find?
With no further ado and in no particular order, my list of natural remedies, plus the proof that they really work (besides the fact that I have now recovered from my flu in 3 days flat!):
The tough part about this one is the garlic has to be raw to really work. I have a couple of sneaky ways to eat raw garlic without it being too overpowering. I added a clove of garlic to my mashed potatoes at dinner. You can also make toast and rub it with a garlic clove until the clove is gone, then spread your preferred buttery spread on top.
Here’s an article that explains some of the studies done on garlic. Raw garlic has a compound called allacin that has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Which means that when a flu virus encounters a garlic molecule, it heads for the hills.
I used a dissolvable, high dosage vitamin C powder. My family likes the raspberry flavored single serving packets by emergenC. To get more vitamin C nutritionally I’ve been snacking on oranges and grapefruits. According to this article in Healthline, studies have disproved the idea that vitamin C can prevent colds, but it does tend to reduce the severity and duration. This is because the body’s cells use vitamin C faster when fighting pathogens.
This is what an article from BBC Good Food says about ginger, “As a diaphoretic it encourages perspiration, so it can be used in feverish conditions such as influenza or colds.” Not to mention it makes a delicious tea.
“In a study that involved 139 children, honey beat out dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and diphenhydramine (an antihistamine) in easing nighttime cough in children and improving their sleep.” WebMD
Even before reading this article, my experience was that these over-the-counter medications really don’t work. Honey works at bedtime especially well. That’s the time when the throat tickles usually attack. You lie down and the mucous in your sinuses starts trickling into your throat. When I eat a spoonful of honey, I can feel it cutting right through the phlegm.
I for one feel much safer giving my children honey than cough suppressants that really don’t work.
Here’s a recipe that combines the healing power of vitamin C, ginger, and honey. I made tea with fresh ginger root, lemon, and honey. To make your own, cut a 1 1/2 inch section of ginger root into small pieces, slice 1/2 a lemon and put them in a teapot. Pour boiling water over it and let it steep. Wait about 5 minutes and enjoy. To use what is left in the teapot later, fill half your teacup with the cooled tea and top it off with hot water. Add honey to taste.
I diffused Thieves essential oil blend by Young Living. (You get the best price when you sign up for a membership.) I also diluted a couple of drops of eucalyptus and lavender in a carrier oil and rubbed it on my chest. This one is great to keep in mind just before bedtime and is especially good for kids. In fact this plus a spoonful of honey practically guarantees several hours of cough free sleep for you and your kiddos.
Also found on WebMD, chicken soup is proven to help when you have a cold! Hooray for the king of folk remedies. Science is finally backing you up. It has always been a must in my kitchen anytime one of us is sick. My little one just informed me this morning that mine is not as good as Nana’s, though.
And my good old hot water bottle probably didn’t boost my immunity, but it sure felt good!
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I concluded I had the flu based on my symptoms, which were body aches, chills, headache, cough, and runny nose.)