Did you know that there are many natural home remedies that you can use to ease cold and flu symptoms and maybe even shorten the duration of the illness?
Cold and flu season is upon us, and the likelihood of at least one family member catching one is high. That doesn’t mean that you have to run for the medicine cabinet or drugstore though.
Here are a few home remedies that you can try next time you or a family member feel a cold or flu coming on.
Honey has antiviral and anti-fungal properties which can make it quite effective at treating symptoms of the cold and flu. Honey can relieve coughing and can also help to soothe and coat the throat.
You can simply take a spoonful of honey or mix it into a mug of warm tea to sip on.
Remember that children younger than one year of age should not be given honey because of the risk of infant botulism.
Elderberry syrup has been used for centuries when it comes to treating the symptoms of colds and flu. Elderberry is full of anti-oxidants and has anti-viral properties that can help to shorten the duration of colds and flu, particularly if it is taken in the first 48 hours of the start of symptoms.
There are many simple DIY recipes available online for you to choose from if you have fresh or frozen elderberries on hand.
Garlic can be highly effective for helping to treat and even prevent the cold and flu. If you take garlic regularly you may find that you might not get sick in the first place.
Garlic is believed to be most effective in its raw form, but not everyone can handle taking it that way. Raw garlic can be added to salads or rubbed on bruschetta. If you don’t like the taste of raw garlic, garlic added to a meal can be effective as well, but you need to chop it and let it sit for ten minutes before using, this allows the compound allicin to form and be most effective.
If you really can’t stand the smell or taste of garlic, you can also try garlic capsules.
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Peppermint is another very old remedy for treating the cold and flu that is also very effective at treating nausea, upset stomachs, and headaches that may come along with them.
Drinking peppermint tea can help to soothe an upset stomach and ease a sore throat. The menthol in peppermint will also help to open up stuffy nasal passageways. Peppermint tea and oils can also be used to help break a fever.
You can also use peppermint oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and make a homemade vapor rub. Just add a few drops and you can rub it on your chest or throat for coughing and congestion. You can also rub it on your temples to help relieve a headache.
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Ginger can be used in tea form to help relieve a cough or sore throat, and it can also help to ease feelings of nausea that often accompany the flu.
Simply slice a few pieces of ginger off of a ginger knob and let them steep in warm water. After a few minutes, you’ll have a soothing mug of tea that will hydrate your body and offer relief for a sore throat or upset stomach.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with warm salt water can help to soothe a cough and sore throat. It can also help to loosen and reduce the amount of mucus in the throat.
Simply dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Once completely combined, swish the water in your mouth and gargle the water in the back of your throat before spitting it out.
These natural home remedies for treating the cold and flu may not keep you from getting sick in the first place, although some of them might, but they can help to make you more comfortable and may shorten the duration of your illness. Most of these remedies are comprised of items that you already have in the kitchen or at home so that you don’t have to worry about leaving your home to find relief.
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