It’s cold and flu season! I know this because everyone around me is getting sick and dropping like flies. Yikes! This used to be an impending sign that a sore throat and sinus infection was in my future. From a young age I was chronically ill and suffered from repeated bouts of pneumonia, strep throats, U.T.I.s and G.I. issues. That makes me kind of an expert at being sick, which has led to me becoming an expert at NOT being sick. Of course my top preventative strategies are to eat well, get enough sleep and exercise regularly (OK, that last one I’m still working on), but sometimes even those aren’t enough to fight off a contagious super bug. After many years of perfecting my anti-cold and flu protocols, here are the natural remedies I use the most.
- Hydrogen Peroxide. This is seriously my #1 secret remedy for almost anything cold or flu related. Seriously, it’s a miracle worker. Put three drops in one ear and let it sit for 15 minutes before draining and doing the other ear. It also helps to relieve clogged ears, fever and sinus infections.
- Goldenseal Powder. Goldenseal is a root that has some kickass antibacterial properties. Before going to bed, dip your finger in some honey, roll it in the goldenseal powder and drip it down the back of your throat. Be careful not to touch your tongue. This stuff tastes like cat poop! (I’ve never actually tasted cat poop but I imagine it tastes exactly like goldenseal.) This, along with the hydrogen peroxide eardrops stop most of my sore throats right in their tracks.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar seems to be the wonder-elixir of the moment. And rightfully so. Its antibacterial properties help to relieve everything from hiccups to yeast infections. For sore throats mix with equal parts honey and a dash of cayenne pepper and gargle it every 45 minutes.
STUFFY NOSE & COUGH
Nettie pot. Yes, squirting warm saline water up one nostril and watching what comes out the other is not my favorite past time, but it sure does wonders for clearing the sinuses. Just make sure to keep your head upright for an hour or so afterwards to let all that water drain out.
- Steam. Boil some hot water and pour it into a large bowl. Add a few drops of tea tree oil and steam, taking deep breaths in, with a towel tented over your head for 10-15 minutes. This helps to loosen mucus and relieve sinus pressure. Plus, it does wonders for the skin.
- Drink hot water with lemon and honey. Put down the Theraflu and all the unpronounceable chemicals that come with it. Lemon juice is incredibly alkalizing and honey is antibacterial. Put the two together and cold-fighting magic is made.
Meat & Veggies. What? When you have the stomach flu, meat and vegetables are probably the last thing you want to eat. My husband had the stomach flu over the weekend and immediately started asking for ginger ale and soda crackers. Sugar and gluten feed both bacterial and viral infections. In fact, according to my nutritionist, it’s their favorite food. I gave him bone broth and chicken vegetable soup (without noodles) instead.
Bone Broth. Bone broth is a great source of easily digestible vitamins and minerals as well as gelatin and collagen to help heal the intestines. For an easy bone both recipe click here.
Coconut Oil. I rarely get headaches and when I do, I use Advil, which is not a natural remedy by any means. But recently on a trip to the Caribbean I met a strapping young man who swore that you can get rid of a headache by rubbing coconut oil into the top of your head. As you can tell from this man’s bulging biceps and flat abdominals, he is in stellar health. He spends his days eating fruit, and climbing 2,500 foot mountains so he could probably put anything on his head and be still be healthy. Regardless of this fact, I keep waiting for a headache so I can try out this remedy.
URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Grapefruit Seed Extract. Most women grab the cranberry juice when they feel a U.T.I. coming on. For faster relief I go for the grapefruit seed extract. If the pain persists, go see the doctor. A medical doctor. U.T.I.s can turn into kidney infections if they aren’t treated quickly.
REST! It’s estimated that 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. That means that when you’re sick, you shouldn’t go to work. You shouldn’t go to the gym. Your body needs all the energy it can muster to fight off that illness. Plus, if you’re contagious you shouldn’t be around people anyway. The only place you should be going, is to bed.
Of course, if any of your symptoms seem beyond the scope of a natural home remedy, go see a doctor. And if you’re having chronic symptoms like I used to have, you might want to also look into taking preventative measures. You can read my story of how I cured my chronic illnesses naturally, here.
Do you have any good home remedies that you swear by? Share them below and don’t forget to like me on Facebook!