Natural Cold and Flu Care
by Purple Herbal
We’re now into spring, but cold and flu season is not over yet!
When I had my cold this winter, instead of choosing an over the counter drug intended to suppress the symptoms (which can actually make the illness worse) I chose to use herbs and natural remedies to help my body heal.
The reason is because the symptoms are the cure! It’s not good to suppress the cure!
Runny noses, coughs, and fevers are actually the body’s way of getting rid of the disease. When the body’s temperature raises, microorganisms can no longer survive. Generally, as long as a fever is below 105 it is not dangerous. Coughs help release phlegm and mucous (which catch bacteria and such) and rid it from the body, as does a runny nose.
Getting sick can be healthy sometimes, because it allows our bodies to cleanse themselves and get rid of toxic substances and organisms.
I usually try to take a homeopathic remedy when I first start feeling sick. Depending on if the illness has come on suddenly (usually a flu) or more slowly (a cold), and what symptoms I feel, determines what homeopathic remedy I use. Aconite is great for very acute, sudden illness with a fever, but also coldness. Belladonna is also for sudden illnesses, that is accompanied by hot, red skin, and burning fever. Influenzinum can be used when it is known it is the flu.
Homeopathic Chamomilla is great for calming the nerves during this time.
I also like to start drinking peppermint and nettle tea. They contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, that my body needs to heal, and they are both mild and refreshing. Chamomile tea is a good idea if you don’t have the homeopathic version.
Squeezing some lemon juice into the tea gives me lots of vitamin C. The hot tea helps soothe my throat. So does adding honey.
I always avoid refined sugars and manmade sugar substitutes like sucralose, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, etc.. And refined carbohydrates like bread and crackers. Dairy can increase mucous discharge, so that is to be avoided as well.
I love to chop up a few cloves of garlic (which is anti bacterial) and mixing them in olive oil (contains high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant) to saute with some steamed broccoli or asparagus when I start feeling sick. Eating vegetables (and fruits, though not together) is important, because I want to give my body the nutrients it needs in order to heal faster.
Taking a hot bath with lavender oil mixed into the water with Epsom salts is another thing I like to do when I start feeling under the weather. The Epsom salts draw out impurities, while lavender helps soothe my mind and body.
Tea tree oil, camphor, or eucalyptus essential oil can be used, especially if I am already sick and my sinuses need opening. Taking a hot shower also helps if I am having the chills.
If I know for sure that I’m not going to be getting better, despite my attempts at fighting off the initial infection, I make a big pot of chicken soup. It’s a great home remedy for colds and the flu for a reason. It’s full of vegetables and protein, healthy stuff that heals. I like to put lots of garlic and fresh parsley as well as some lemon juice, in addition to the onion, carrot, and celery in the soup. They all add more levels of flavor and health benefits. Plus, it’s mostly water, so when you’re eating it, it’s like you’re actually drinking it…in short, it’s hydrating as well as filling!
For a more in depth look at a few herbs that help boos our immune system go here. I talk a little about hyssop, astragalus, goldenseal, and echinacea. They are all recommended when immune strengthening is necessary.
Drinking plenty of fresh water and juices is paramount to healing quickly and easily.
Using a steam facial to help open up the sinuses and to relieve a headache. A few drops of lavender or a citrus oil can be added for more effect.
Also, if I am tired I go to bed, take a nap, or rest my eyes. When I listen to my body and try to catch some zzzs, I get the great benefits of sleep, as it is one of the best healers!
Finally, going outside and getting some fresh air and sunshine is paramount. Even if I really don’t feel good, the sun is always warm and nurturing. The fresh air contains lots of oxygen, the best anti-oxidant there is! Going for a walk in nature to helps recenter myself. I try to focus on feeling better instead of worse.
There’s also something else that’s supposed to help boost your immune system :
It is that time of year after all 🙂