My proven strategies for preventing colds and flu, and some simple, natural cold and flu remedies I use.
It’s that time of the year again when the signs of a cold or flu settling in, about to derail us, however temporarily from our day-to-day live. I must count myself lucky or blessed not to get colds and flu. However if I do get any symptoms of a cold, I would quickly make myself some sort of home remedy to stop it right in its tracks. Trust me, it always works. My two favourites are lemon and raw honey tea and fresh ginger tea.
Both my husband and my seven-year old daughter have had colds recently. My husband caught it off my daughter. She caught it playing out doors on a very cold autumn’s afternoon without a cardigan or coat – not very sensible for a seven-year old.
For us, if an illness struck, natural and herbal remedies are our first port of call, it helps shorten the duration and get you feeling better faster.
We as a family have never had the flu jab, nor do we intend to take it, because of the long-term effect it has on the immune system. Instead of waiting until we experience the cold and flu symptoms, I tend to build up and strengthen my body’s natural defence mechanism–my immune system with a number of vitamins, minerals, herbs and essential oils that naturally boost our immune system. But most importantly we eat a well-balanced healthy whole food diet,consisting of mainly fresh whole and natural foods like good cuts of meat and fish, free range eggs, nuts, seeds, good fats, fruits and vegetables.
Get juicing this winter. Your immune system will love you for it !!
Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to boost your immune system and benefit from Vitamin C and other phytonutrients found in fresh raw foods.
Choose orange fruits and vegetables like carrots to get more beta carotene, the precursor your body turns into Vitamin A. This nutrient helps your immune system by supporting healthy lungs and lymph.
Dark greens like kale and spinach contain beta carotene and Vitamin E that help your body fend off cold and flu infections.
Fresh red and pink fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, strawberries and pink grapefruit are especially high in Vitamin C.
We love juicing this time of the year, rather than making smoothies.
Orange, beetroot, kale and carrot juice – the kids loved it!!
Say No To Sugar
Sugar can cripple your immune system for up to 5 hours after eating sugar! So I stay well away from it. According to a 1973 study done by Loma Linda University, when you eat 100 grams of sugar, about as much sugar as you find in a 1 litter bottle of coke or fizzy drink, your white blood cells are 40 percent less effective at killing germs.
Some of my favourite natural remedies, essential oils and herbal supplements.
Echinacea acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce bronchial symptoms of cold and flu.
Garlic has antibiotic and antibacterial properties. In a recent study, people who took a garlic supplement for 12 weeks got about 60% fewer colds than those who didn’t and recovered faster if they did get a cold.
The best way to take garlic, other cooking with it, is to swallow a raw clove. I like to make garlic tea. But you can take garlic capsule as well.
Ginger naturally boosts the immune system. It believes that because ginger is so effective at warming the body, it can help break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our body’s sewage system. Dr. Oz says, “By opening up these lymphatic channels and keeping things clean, ginger prevents the accumulation of the toxins that make you susceptible to infections, especially in the respiratory system. I do enjoy a good cup of fresh ginger tea, its so refreshing. As a child, when ever we get a cold or cough, my mum use to make us ginger tea to get rid of it and I do the same for my kids now.
Eucalyptus works as an expectorant and helps cleanse your body of toxins and harmful micro-organisms that can make you feel sick. My husband love adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in our diffuser in the evening – it bring the room to life to say the least.
Vitamin C can boost the immune system and reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. I usually add about ¼ teaspoon to my kids water (700 ml) they take to school. And I take it in capsule form.
Vitamin D is produced in the body by sunlight and regulates the expression of over 2,000 genes, including those of the immune system. Recent research has found that low vitamin D levels are linked to higher rates of cold, flu and respiratory infections.
Homemade Vapor Rub
Total Time: 30 minutes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup grated Bees wax
- 20 drops peppermint essential oil
- 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- Glass jar
- Pour all oils in to a jar.
- Place a saucepan with 2 inches of water over medium low heat
- Place jar in saucepan and allow oils to melt. Stir to combine.
- Once combined, allow to cool slightly and add in essential oils.
- Pour mixture into metal tins or storage containers and allow to set.