10 Natural Remedies For Cold And Flu Season
Tis the season to be jolly… and full of phlegm! Ok, that’s no fun, but it’s a mean joke that the cold season and the holiday season are one and the same. I want to enjoy holiday parties, my daughter’s Christmas recital, tree-trimming, and baked goods! I do NOT want to be stuck in bed, grumping and whinging about runny noses and fevers and sore throats. No thanks!
Today, in honor of keeping us all feeling our best this holiday season, or at least recovering quickly should the Grinch-y cold come and steal our fun! Here are 10 natural remedies that’ll help you get back on your feet this year and every year!
10 Natural Remedies For Cold And Flu Season
01. Gargle warm salt water.
Sea salt water, that is! While you’re fighting your cold, chances are your throat is feeling pretty icky — phlegmy, scratchy, swollen — and this simple trick can bring you LOADS of relief. Just fill a glass 1/2 way with some warm water from the tap. Or, if you’ve just boiled the kettle for tea or to fill a hot water bottle — both great ideas when you have a cold! — you can use the boiled water, but add a little cool water so you don’t burn your mouth. Dissolve a generous amount of sea salt in the warm water, then gargle for as long as you can stand it. It’s not delicious, by any means, but the longer you gargle it right at the back of your throat, the better you’ll feel! You can actually feel it loosening up all the gunk that ends up making you feel miserable. Do this every single time you think about it while sick. Or at least every 1-3 hours! The more the better.
02. Sip all the soup.
Make up a hearty batch of chicken and vegetable soup in your crockpot. The addition of garlic and ginger is perfect to help you fight off your cold and it’ll be easy on your tummy, just in case your stomach isn’t feeling so hot either. A bone broth recipe would also be fantastic — be sure to use big bones with lots of marrow! Soup, sleep, more soup!
03. Skip the sugar, dairy, and wheat.
Even if you’re not someone who usually avoids these foods, when you’re under the weather, you’ll give your body its best chance for a speedy recovery by removing foods that are a bit tough on our systems. Even if you’re not lactose intolerant, celiac, or anything like that, you’ll do your body a favor by steering clear of these common allergens while fighting a cold.
04. Take a eucalyptus shower.
If you’re feeling congested or your runny nose is making you miserable, simply add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your hot shower. You can also use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser while you sleep to aid in decongestion — there’s nothing more miserable than not being able to sleep well because you can’t breathe out of your nose.
05. Sip warm apple cider vinegar with raw honey.
Add a tablespoon of raw honey to a warm glass of apple cider vinegar. This concoction will help to loosen up the phlegm in the back of your throat.
06. Sleep with a humidifier close by.
There’s some debate as to whether a cold mist or warm mist humidifier is your best bet, but I can tell you from experience that BOTH offer a considerable amount of relief when you’re deeply congested. I personally love the humidifier that comes with a small divot on top where you can put a few drops of essential oil — I would recommend eucalyptus (for decongestion) or lavender (for relaxation and sleep).
07. Take a peppermint steam.
Boil a large pot of water and remove it from heat. Add either a handful of peppermint teabags (5-8) or a few (2-3) drops of peppermint essential oil and stir. Placing a towel over your head, lean your head over the pot (closing your eyes), and breathe deeply. If you have a headache, you can also try this steam method!
08. Make your own decongestant salve.
Instead of opting for the store brands, you can make your own natural salve which can be rubbed on your chest and feet to aid in cold symptom relief, especially when you’re congested. You can make a simple salve using tea tree and rosemary essential oils, but feel free to customize it to suit your needs. I love this Homemade “Vaporub”. You can also make a really simple massage oil from a carrier oil (like coconut or I’ve even used olive oil in a pinch) and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. For the cold season, I’d stick with eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, and lavender!
09. Drink more water! Drink more tea!
This is a simple one but often overlooked. When we’re really feeling ill, we might even forget to stay hydrated and that’s a big no-no. My favorite teas for cold and flu season are peppermint, catnip (helps with fevers), and camomile (for sleep). Be sure to add a large dollop of honey! A mix of hot water, lemon, honey, and ginger is also delicious!
It’s tempting to watch bad TV under the covers all day when you’re ill, and if you’re a mama, you’re probably still trying to chase some tiny padding feet around the house, but at every chance that you CAN sleep, do it! You’ll recover so much faster! Bonus points if you sleep with a rice bag (pour some rice in a sock and microwave it — easy peasy!) or a hot water bottle. Oh so cozy!
Do you have any favorite natural cold and flu remedies that work for you? Share them in the comments!
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Désirée is the Canuck mama behind So Fawned Lifestyle. Blogger, social media wrangler, go-to girl. Living the life with her partner Rich and awesome daughter Gretchen, she spends her days typing and drinking copious amounts of tea, and watching Gilmore Girl reruns.