October has come to a close and while the season of turkeys and holiday carols is drawing near, so too is another less festive one – cold and flu season. Whether you are trying to prevent the germs from hitting your home or lessen their effects once they do, these all natural cold and flu remedies have you covered.
Over the years, I have come to embrace a more holistic approach to my health and that of my family. I have seen first hand the power that things like diet and sleep can have on one’s overall well being. And I have experienced how effective things like supplements, herbs and oils can be when used with a purpose in mind. That said, while I appreciate these strategies and natural approaches when I’m “healthy”, I’ve come to value them even more during those times when I feel like sickness is creeping in.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on natural ways to prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms with a few local experts in the field. I learned so many great tips and tricks, that I felt it only fitting to come back and share them with all of you. The following are a variety of highlights from the session as well as some things we intend to do this season to help us combat the “bugs” ahead.
*Note: As I am not a medical professional, I would advise that you use this information as you see fit for your family, and always consult with your health team in regards to your specific situation.
For Preventing cold & Flu:
- Get adequate sleep each night. A lack of sleep may make us more susceptible to infectious agents.
- Avoid foods high in sugar and flour. These are inflammatory which can depress your immune system.
- Get on a good daily probiotic. And rotate your probiotic every once in awhile to change up the bacteria strains.
- Take a high quality fish and/or cod liver oil daily. Do your research on this one as you want to ensure it’s comprised of natural triglycerides, free of heavy metals, fresh, etc.
- Take a daily vitamin D3 supplement. This is especially important for those of us who live up north and are getting outdoors less in the winter months.
- Use astragalus root to build up your immune system defense for before and when the flu strikes. This one has a range of other benefits you can read more about here.
- Have elderberry syrup on hand for the entire family. We take this nearly daily at the commence of cold and flu season. You can buy this one at the drug store – but it’s even better if you can find one made locally!
- Gargle with warm salt water. This may prevent the spread of initial influenza infection from your throat/nasal cavity.
- Snag some Influenzinum from a local homeopath This is a homeoprophylaxis option that involves taking a remedy prior to the start of flu season.
For Treating COld & Flu:
- Continue and/or even up the ante on any of the above mentioned that you already have in place.
- Cook up some homemade chicken stock or purchase a high quality bone broth. Load up on a minimum of three cups a day and sprinkle in a good amount of himalayan pink salt or gray sea salt for an added bonus!
- Drink lots of fluids. This will help you pass toxins. Coconut oil is also a great addition to teas and warm beverages as it is naturally anti fungal and antibacterial.
- Seek out acupuncture and/or chiropractic care at the first signs of illness as they may reduce the length and severity of symptoms.
- Snag some Oscillococcinum (by Boiron), a homeopathic remedy that can be taken as soon as possible after flu symptoms appear to lessen the effects. It’s been said to work better the sooner you take it, so this is one that you may want to have on hand if you intend to use it!
- Take an NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) supplement. This is a staple in our home for it’s detoxifying effects and beyond. It can also be used to assist in thinning mucus.
- Suck on a Thieves Cough Drop from Young Living. They contain all the power of essential oils without the added junk.
- Soak yourself in a relaxing Epsom salt bath. It can help to sooth achy muscles, detoxify your body and help you get a good night’s sleep so that you can recover faster.
- Use a neti pot to clear out your nasal passageway. Just be sure to use distilled or sterilized water.
- Let a fever do its job. It is our body’s natural response to infection and our immune system doing what it was created to do.
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