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22 Natural Remedies to Combat Colds and Flu

Woman with handkerchiefCold and flu season is upon us again. Learn the difference between H1N1 and the regular flu, and how to combat the bugs, naturally.

by Svetlana Konnikova, MA, AN

Do you know that several hundred different viruses cause the common cold and a seasonal flu? You can get infected when sneezing and coughing people near you pass infected droplets into the environment. Usually it happens during cold winter months. However, a cold or flu can strike at any time.

Cold season has already started. At first, the best defense is to be prepared how to prevent these seasonal sicknesses and know the difference in the common cold , H1N1 and seasonal flu symptoms. Try to get proper treatment as soon as you get prickling sensation in the nose. It’s a sign that you must take urgent care of yourself before it’ll get worse.

Let’s see how colds, H1N1 or seasonal flu are different:

Common Cold Symptoms:
Prickling sensation in the nose
Running, and later stuffy, nose
Sore throat
Body aches
Growing cough
Symptoms last 3 to 5 days

H1N1 or Seasonal Flu Symptoms:
More Painful Body Aches
Dry Cough
Severe Fatigue
Respiratory Problems

Sources say that it may take testing to determine if you have seasonal flu or H1N1.
If you got a cold, your body sends you a signal that you run down and your immune system is weak. First of all, clean up your body. I don’t use the word ‘detoxify’ because it is so overused. Just try to treat yourself with the following effective, natural healing remedies.
1. Make a hot foot bath with a mustard powder. Add 2 tsp. mustard powder to 2 pt. of water. Mix it and put your feet in for 15 minutes. It will enhance the body’s ability to get rid of toxins and will make easier on your immune system to fight the common cold.

2. A hot bath with chamomile or lavender will produce steam you can inhale to clear a stuffy nose and relax the muscles.

3. Prepare a glass of warm mineral water and gargle to relieve a painful throat.
Healing with Herbs and Superfoods:

4. Take two finely sliced garlic cloves and mix with 2-3 tsp. organic raw honey. In my experience, acacia or linden honey are the most effective. Eat this mixture and drink a cup of hot spring water with a piece of squeezed lemon.

Acacia honey is one of my favorites because of its golden clear color, great taste and potential to remain in liquid for a long period of time due to its high concentration of fructose. Linden or Lime Tree honey is also clear and has fresh, balsamic, meadowy flavor and delicate aroma.

5. Drink hot elderflower tea, It’s excellent for almost all cold symptoms. Place in a cup one tsp. (one packet) dried elder flowers or 1 tbsp. fresh elder flowers. Add boiling water and steep for 15 minutes, then strain and drink as is. To make this herbal tea more pleasant, add one 1 tsp. linden or acacia honey and a slice of lemon or lime. Drink several times a day.

6. Put 1-2 tsp. raspberry preserve in a cup with hot spring water. Mix it and drink. It’ll help you to relieve high fever.

7. Take 1-2 capsules Echinacea extract or pour several drops of Echinacea tincture into 1/4 cup with spring water and drink. Echinacea Echinacea Angustofolia) is immune stimulant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, blood purifier, antibiotic and antiviral. The same you can do with Astragalus, if Echinacea is not available in area you live.

8. Some organic farms in the U.S.A. and Canada produce organic Echinacea tea blends with delicate flavors of mint, licorice, orange or lemon which are effective natural healers for colds and flu.

9. You can also find in health food stores a very effective treatment for sore throat–Herbal Throat Spray with herbs that have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, such as Echinacea mixed with Oregano oil, Astragalus and St. John’s Wort.

10. Eat several times a day oranges. Even one orange a day is a great source of vitamin C which will help you to relieve cold symptoms and block further infection.

11. Eat bell peppers and other vegetables. Drink freshly squeezed juices from carrots, parsley and green apples, as a supply of antioxidant nutrients. It also helps to boost your immune system and makes for faster recovery from colds.

12. Eat white and red, delicious cherries for the same supply of antioxidants and to prevent colds and flu.

13. Eat 1-2 tsp. a day a raw honey from bees who feast on Echinacea flowers. It is an instant boost to your immune system and energy building food.

Falcon Ridge Farms in Canada produces this delicious product which contains all essential minerals necessary for a healthy life. This honey is unprocessed, but just extracted from the honeycombs at room temperature to preserve all natural enzymes. The American Botanical Council states that “Echinacea may be of value for any infection, chronic or acute, but especially where there is not long-term immune deficiency or dysfunction.”

Taking Vitamins and Minerals
14. Drink extra fluids: spring water with a piece of squeezed lemon or lime and 1/2 tbs. honey. Make freshly squeezed juices or steep herbal teas to avoid becoming dehydrated. I like to use pomegranate juice, which also helps with fatigue and loss of energy when you are sick with colds or flu.

15. Some experts recommend to consume 4-6 oz (120-180 g) of fresh protein daily to help build cold-fighting antibodies and enzymes.

16. 1-2 capsules (about 2-3 g) of natural (not synthetic) vitamin C with bioflavonoids daily helps to treat a headache provoked by colds.

17. To relieve pain and irritation in the upper airways, buy zinc gluconate lozenges or Ricola lozenges with mint and lemon that give better effect if sucked rather than chewed or swallowed whole.

18. Drink freshly squeezed juices. Fresh pomegranate juice (8oz) with with one tsp. honey will take away anxiety, fatigue and stress, which deplete levels of immunity.

19. Herbal essential oils help effectively to treat sinus, stuffy nose and painful sore throat. Prepare 2 cups (about (18-20 fl.oz) with boiling water, add 3-4 drops of pine needle essence, 2 drops of clary sage, 2-3 drops of eucalyptus essence, and 1 drop of thyme (optional). Mix it with a special medicinal glass stick. Then inhale to clear throat and sore nasal passages.

20. Keep 1-2 plants with geranium flowers in your bedroom and/or family room to clean the air from dust and bacteria.

21. Place bowls of water with green herbs like basil, parsley or dill on the windowsills to keep the environment moist.

22. When you’ll feel better start doing outdoor exercise, which will help to combat anxiety and stress associated with colds and flu, which deplete levels of immunity.

Good luck in preventing and/or treating colds or flu!

Copyright 2009.

References: Mama’s Home Remedies: Discover Time-Tested Secrets of Good Health and the Pleasures of Natural Living by Svetlana Konnikova, MA, AN, Aurora Publishers, 2008; Complete Well-Being, A Guide to Symptoms and Cures by Dr. Caroline Shreeve, Paragon Books, 2003

svetlanaSvetlana Konnikova, MA, AN is an award-winning author, publisher, consultant, herbalist, researcher and entrepreneur. Svetlana is perhaps best known for writing her latest book, 2009 Gold Mom’s Award Winner, Mama’s Home Remedies: Discover Time-Tested Secrets of Good Health and the Pleasures of Natural Life, which has become a best-selling book worldwide. Visit her blog at http://mamashomeremedies.com/

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