Tag Archive | "flu season"

Natural Home Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

5 Natural Home Remedies in the Cold and Flu Season

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.

Woman playing in snow in backyard with Rottweiler dog.
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

Light cream teapot on table with brown cup.
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

Young woman in red pajamas making a snow angel.
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

Face of young girl with freckles inside a warm hood.
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

Young woman getting a back 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

An empty park bench in the snow.
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.

Conclusion

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.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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Cough and Cold Remedies Just for Baby

Many cough and cold remedies aren't suitable for young infants under 1 year. Even the Vicks Babyrub and Little Colds Baby Rub are only recommended for babies over 3 months. So what are parents to do? Choose natural remedies for a cold.

Mother walking baby in stroller through the park on a winter day.

Go for a walk.

If its winter and your little one has a barky cough then wrap them up warmly and go for a walk. A quick 20 minute stroll can help your baby's cough by breathing in the dry, cold air and give you extra cuddle time.

Humidifier for increasing moisture.Now if your infant has a dryer cough, more calm, then a humidifier could help. To prevent possible scalding it's recommended to use a cool-mist humidifier to add moisture to your baby's nursery.

When the manufacturer tells you to change the water daily change the water everyday. It might be annoying, but mold and bacteria can grow very fast. You also need to clean it. Again refer to your manufacturers instructions. Filtered water might help reduce the buildup of minerals on the unit.

Don't have a humidifier? Take a hot shower. Let your baby sit in a rocker or playpen, someplace safe, while you take a shower. The steam will help your baby's stuffy or runny nose.

Or if you are a nursing mother you can breastfeed in the bathroom with the door shut and running the hot water. We recommend you fill the bathtub so after baby is finished you can take a relaxing bath. This way you are conserving water and it is not being wasted.

Nasal Aspirator, also known as a bulb syringe.​Use a nasal aspirator.

Suction their mucus out. Using a nasal aspirator you can remove thinned out mucus from your infants nose. To thin out their mucus try the steam method above. You can also use saline drops to loosen it or breast milk if you are a nursing mother.

Elevate their head when sleeping.

Prop their crib mattress up. Find a way to elevate your baby's head while sleeping. Using a wedge, like a rolled up towel, under the crib mattress will help the mucus drain down. This usually helps baby sleep better with a runny or stuffy nose.

Mother comforting sick baby during cold season.

Conclusion

It's not fun for a young infant to have a runny or stuffy nose, cough, or sore throat. A baby with a cold and cough needs your help to provide relief. These natural approaches will help your child get over their cold faster. Start using these natural baby cold remedies the next time they catch a cold.

​Further Reading:

​This information is intended to help you stay better informed of natural baby health care. The information presented gives general advice on infant health care and you should consult your doctor for individual needs.

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Natural Cold and Cough Home Remedies

It's that time of year again. Sore scratchy throats, runny noses and sneezing – the cold season is back. Many parents are looking for safe and natural alternatives to the over-the-counter drugs. Experts are starting to warn parents to avoid the use of over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicine for children 6 years old and younger these days. The side effects can be dangerous. This is especially the case for children under the age of 2.

Young child being given cold and cough syrup.Safety Issue with OTC Cough and Cold Medicine

Every year thousands of children are taken to the emergency room after taking over-the-counter cold and cough medicines. About 7,000 children under the age of 11 suffer complications from these medications. And 64% of this group are young children aged 2 to 5.

 

​Fight Colds and Coughs Naturally

That's why we've compiled a list of home remedies to fight that cold and pesky cough. Many of these alternative approaches are natural and found conveniently in your home. It's always nice to not have to run out to your local pharmacy, especially when you save money.

Women using tissue after sneezing.

But if you wanted to spend money on something natural look into homeopathics. "These are my first choice for OTC symptom relief. Finding the right homeopathic remedy for each individual child can be tricky, but the good news is that homeopathy is extraordinarily safe. If you pick the wrong remedy, nothing—good or bad—should happen. But if you hit on the right one, voila! It’s magical how quickly these remedies can work."- Dr. Lawrence Rosen

Honey for Comfort and Relief

A tasty change to the common cold medicine, honey offers soothing relief to the sore throat caused by coughing. Studies show it works even better than the pharmaceuticals and kids love the flavor.

Jar of honey with honeycomb.

Safety Warning: Never give honey children under the age of one. Babies under 12 months can get botulism from bacteria in it.

What is botulism? A rare kind of food poisoning, botulism is serious and leads to paralysis. Sometimes the paralysis can lead to respiratory failure. Treatment in infants requires hospitalization.

Recommended Doses

Ages 1-5: give 1/2 teaspoon
Ages 6-11: give 1 teaspoon

Dark honeys might work the best. The darker honeys, such as chestnut or buckwheat, contain more antioxidants.

Did you know? There are anti-inflammatory qualities to chicken soup. Research is beginning to suggest this and it might be more than a folk remedy.

Water bottle filling up glass of water.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Coughing a lot generally leads to a sore throat. To help soothe a raw throat drink plenty of fluids, like ice water, juice, or decaffeinated tea. Double up on cough fighting power and add honey to your tea.

Another benefit of drinking a lot of fluids is to help you stay hydrated and break up the mucus. Getting rid of the mucus more quickly you'll be one step closer to saying goodbye to your cold.

Fever? You're losing fluids so definitely increase them. Try coconut water, not coconut milk, as an alternative to water. It's full of electrolytes and will help you stay hydrated.

Some people notice an increase in phlegm and mucus when they have a cold and drink milk. You might want to think about that. Maybe test the theory or avoid dairy milk until you are healthier.

Several popsicles in all colors.

Popsicles are a Relieving Treat

Treat the kid in you. A frozen popsicle is a fun way to soothe a scratchy throat. You'll want to suck more than bite. The cold aspect of popsicles will help with any inflammation.

Hopefully these cold and cough natural remedies will help you get through cold season and the annoying sore throat usually accompanied by it. Natural ways to get over an illness or discomfort can be tasty and your children will thank you when they are playing happily again.

This information is intended to help you stay better informed of natural health care. The information presented gives general advice on health care and you should consult your doctor for individual needs.

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