Being sick is not a desirable position for anyone to be in. Especially when you are down with the flu or a nasty cold. Symptoms of severe cold and flu-like headaches, runny nose, coughing, and blocked sinuses can put a complete halt on your day to day life! Since the flu is caused by viruses, many antibiotics which are often prescribed don’t help and can actually make matters worse.
Natural holistic flu remedies, on the other hand, can be found in a place as convenient as your kitchen cabinet and can significantly work to alleviate not only the symptoms of the flu or cold but also shorten the duration of its stay. And if you have a holistic or functional medicine practitioner you work with already, they can get you exactly what you need to help your body heal faster and lessen the severity of your symptoms.
14 Best Holistic Flu Remedies
Studies over the years have shown the effectiveness of Zinc’s role in relieving the symptoms of cold and flu. Experts believe Zinc is the perfect mineral to counter the effects of Rhinovirus (the virus responsible for the common cold). Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and beans all contain Zinc and can help in fighting a cold.
Zinc can also be consumed as a tablet, lozenge, or syrup. However, Zinc nasal sprays should be used carefully as they might result in the loss of one’s sense of smell.
Believe it! Chicken soup is not only a great comfort food for the sick; studies have shown it to have inhibitory effects against the bugs causing upper respiratory infections. Additionally, ingredients in the chicken soup like onions and garlic can reduce the thickness of mucus, thus reducing congestion. Garlic also has anti-microbial properties to help combat viruses and bacteria. Stick with homemade versions to avoid harmful chemicals and inflammatory additives that are often found in pre-made canned soups.
Soups are known to have high nutritional value and can help you keep hydrated. Chicken soup is one exceptional delicacy that not only helps to heal your body but also satisfies your taste buds in the process.
It is one of the best holistic flu remedies. The benefits of ginger on cold and flu can be traced back to the pages of ancient philosophies. With science now backing those words with facts, there is no doubt of how beneficial ginger is to one’s health.
Slices of ginger immersed in boiling water can soothe a cough or sore throat. A study also suggests that it can also relieve the symptoms of nausea associated with influenza.
Honey’s antibacterial properties can display a variety of positive effects to fight a cold or flu. It works effectively in healing a sore throat, thus making it a productive cough suppressant plus it has amazing antibacterial properties. In fact, studies show honey to be the new future antibiotic as it has properties that can kill bacterial infections even when antibiotics can’t.
Honey in tea or hot lemon water is usually a more desirable method of consuming it. Try raw, unfiltered local wildflower honey or manuka honey for both their flavor and wonderful anti microbial properties both for internal infections and for infections, burns, or wounds on the skin.
Drinking More Fluids
Consuming more fluids is a piece of typical advice often heard during times of cold and flu. When our body is fighting a cold or flu, it secretes a lot of mucus as a result of the increased inflammation created by the infections. Fluids help to keep the mucus thin to and to reduce congestion and make breathing easier.
Stay away from juices and sodas or anything with sugar. Sugar feeds the infections and will impair the immune system for up to 8 hours after consumed and provide the perfect food for a feeding frenzy for the virus or bacterial invaders. Instead reach for purified water, beef or chicken bone broth, or herbal teas with some honey and lemon.
Sleep plays a huge role in the ability of our immune system to fight off infections. Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. Make sure you are supporting your immune system by getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night and if you are in the thick of your cold or flu, listen to your body – it may be telling you to get even more sleep so that it can heal.
Many are familiar with Oregano as the special herb that adds that extra kick to tomato-based sauces and other foods. What many don’t know, however, is that Oregano is composed of many flu-fighting properties.
Oregano’s antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties can be used in healing lung and other respiratory conditions. The dried help can be taken twice a day with a cup of boiling water. If the taste Is bitter, you can also honey to the mix.
Cinnamon has cold-fighting properties that make it more useful than a simple flavoring condiment. Its antifungal and analgesic properties can be used to treat bronchitis. It also helps in warming the body and dilating blood. Having a cup of cinnamon tea two or three times a day can work effectively in shortening the duration of a cold.
Nutmeg is a spice that helps fight the achy restless feeling that accompanies a cold. Body aches and headaches that often accompany a cold or flu can make life miserable. It can affect your mood, sleep, and also affect your concentration. Nutmeg can help you induce sleep naturally, thus giving your body the rest it needs. You can also get it in essential oil form to get the concentrated medicinal extracts.
Rosemary’s aromatic fragrance is quite medicinal. Its antifungal and antibacterial properties are perfect combos that help in fighting the symptoms of cost. Dried rosemary in a cup of hot water can be an excellent remedy for the cold by consuming it three times a day. You can also get it in essential oil form to get the concentrated medicinal extracts.
Thyme is an herb with antimicrobial properties. It possesses oils like thymol and tannins that heal spasmodic coughs and fighting flu. As this herb belongs to the mint family, it works to alleviate the symptom of cold while also improving the digestion system. You can also get it in essential oil form to get the concentrated medicinal extracts. Try making a hot tea out of thyme and honey.
Sour fruits like lime, lemon, and oranges are rich in vitamin C. Adding the fresh juice, or essential oils of these fruits to hot tea and honey can help in reducing phlegm.
You can also opt for Vit C supplements with rosehips to boost the immune system and help relieve respiratory tract infections.
Most people are deficient in their Vitamin D, even if they live in the southern sun-drenched areas of the country. Vitamin D is essential to proper immune function, a healthy gut biome (which also regulates your immune system), and many other vital functions of the body. Be sure to keep your vitamin D levels optimal throughout the year. If you find yourself coming down with the flu or a cold, you can up your regular dose of vitamin D for 3 to 5 days to give your immune system a big boost.
Elecampane, aka Inula Helenium, is the best herb to reduce phlegm in the body. This amazing herb also has strong antimicrobial and antiparasitic properties. Elecampane can have soothing effects on a sore throat while relieving coughing and infections.
Elecampane starchy roots contain inulin that helps in normalizing blood-sugar metabolism and feeding essential bacteria in the gut. Two cups of hot water a day with elecampane can help in relieving the individual of cold.
Prevention is the best medicine. While understanding what arsenal of herbals and supplements you can keep on hand just in case cold or flu strikes, nothing can take the place of prevention. Wash your hands frequently, keep your immune system strong, get plenty of rest, eat in a way that strengthens your immune system (avoid sugars and processed foods), reduce stress and use the above best holistic flu remedies. But if you find yourself coming down with a cold or flu understanding what you can use that will actually help can shorten the duration and intensity of your symptoms and help you heal quickly.