This is a guest post by Jessy of Life Insurance Finder.
Even if you love all four seasons and appreciate the weather and atmosphere that comes with each of them, you’re still forced to endure the inevitable sicknesses that follow; winter, and its eventual blossoming into spring, heralds the coming of the cold and flu season regardless of our level of preparedness for it.
Whether you’re a single person struggling with a runny nose or a parent of children made miserable by congestion and upset stomachs, your options in working to solve these problems range from prescription medication and over-the-counter options to more natural home remedies.
Flickr image by Evil Erin.
If you’re interested in taking a hands-on approach, avoiding the potential side effects of manufactured pharmaceuticals and saving money in the process, check out these five natural home remedies and tactics to use during the cold and flu season:
1. The Obvious
Flickr Image by modomatic.
The onset of a common cold or flu brings copious amounts of mucus with it, filling your nose and sinuses and working to cause general misery. At the first sign of congestion, begin gently blowing your nose early and often, gargling afterwards to kill the germs left behind. Make a point to drink as much water as your body can handle in order to stay well-hydrated and plan for a few naps as you recover.
While blowing your nose, drinking fluids and resting may all be obvious pieces of advice, they are ignored or forgotten often enough that a simple cold or flu is able to persist longer than necessary in many people.
2. Vitamins and Minerals
Flickr Image by Evil Erin.
While not exactly a cure, vitamins and minerals help your immune system to stay strong even while under attack, giving your body a better chance at winning its war on germs and recovering quickly. The following vitamins and minerals, available in natural sources or in prepared capsule form, are particularly effective in battling cold and flu:
- Vitamin C increases your white blood cell count, giving your immune system a fairly immediate boost.
- Zinc capsules serve to boost the immune system as well; natural zinc lozenges have the added ability to sooth sore, dry throats as well.
- Colloidal silver, typically found in multivitamins, has a direct effect on germs and viruses within the body, working particularly well against the flu.
Even if you already take a multivitamin daily, it is still safe to moderately increase your dosage of these supplements during the period of sickness in order to spur your body to quicker action against the offending germs and viruses.
3. For the Kids: Coconut Oil Candy
Flickr Image by Jasmic.
Not only is it delicious, but coconut, specifically its extracted oil, contains medium-chain fatty acids that serve as antibacterial and anti-fungal agents, helping to relieve overall symptoms of cold and flu and speed up recovery time; the same beneficial acids are even found in breast milk.
To give kids something to look forward to when they’re otherwise feeling miserable, combine the coconut oil with honey and raw nut butter to make a delicious candy concoction – it’s safe for parents, too!
4. Herbal Chest Rub
While Vicks’ patented VapoRub is put to use by millions of parents around the world given its undeniable effectiveness, it has an unfortunate petroleum base that many people would prefer is not breathed in by their loved ones. In order to enjoy the same fantastic sinus-clearing effects in an all-natural package in order to help sick bodies get to sleep, create a simple mix of olive oil along with a few drops each of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil, then apply to the chest to allow for deeper breathing.
5. Horseradish: Ease Sore Throat, Reduce Fever and Expel Mucus
Flickr Image by visualpanic.
Not nearly as delicious as coconut oil candy but perhaps even more effective, simple horseradish has natural properties that can help to relieve scratchy throats and encourage the upward movement of congested mucus while also possessing the ability to rapidly reduce fever brought on by the flu.
When consuming potentially unnecessary or even harmful manufactured pharmaceuticals isn’t an option, never forget that your kitchen and immediate outdoor surroundings also have something to offer where suffering due to cold and flu is concerned, giving both immediate relief and long term peace of mind to you and your loved ones.
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