Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fighting Cold and Flu the Natural Way

There is a lot of sickness going around right now, it is hard to stay well when everyone around you is coughing. I am doing my best to stay well by washing my hands frequently, using Lysol on common items at work such as the keyboard, phone and door knobs, and most importantly making sure I have fruits and vegetables in my daily diet to get the important vitamins and minerals needed to stay well. If you do find yourself becoming sick, I have gathered a few natural remedies I have found online for those like me that don’t like going to the doctor and taking medicines we seem to just become immune to. I have not tried these, so be sure to keep your allergies in mind when trying something new, and also do not give honey to children under a year old.

So what are some good natural items to help fight colds and flu?

Not on the list, but something I have been seeing a lot lately is onions....

Onions may have the ability to relieve symptoms of the common flu. Ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine revered onions for their anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and congestion-relieving properties. Onions are even placed in sickrooms as it is thought to absorb germs by placing a dish of sliced onions in the room, and replacing with fresh when they become discolored. I haven't tried this, but I do find it interesting and just may give it a try. You can read more about it at the Global Healing Center.

Next in my searching was something I hadn't heard of before...elderberries. They are said to have the ability to reduce both the severity of your symptoms as well as the duration of your sickness by almost half.
Elderberries...which are related to the Honeysuckle family...are little purple berries that grow on shrubs and are indigenous to the United States. They contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin...which is a natural antioxidant found in plants...and is a powerful immune-booster.
You can read more about elderberries over at Kelly the Kitchen Kop where she also gives you a recipe to make elderberry syrup.

Over at Seasoned Homemaker she shows you in detail how to make a flu tonic. 
 I have to say I don’t know if I could get myself to drink this, but I think The Hubs would like it since he loves all the ingredients needed to make it…horseradish and hot peppers…sounds a bit hot for me, so I would have to think about this one, but I bet it would knock what ails ya right on out.

Now these recipes over at The Yummy Life are something I can drink, and have in the past made something similar. My grandma always said there wasn’t a germ that could live in a lemon, so every morning she squeezed us a fresh lemon for us to drink down first thing, followed by a cup of water….every morning. And when we had a cough my mom always made a honey and lemon syrup to keep on the stove to sip on throughout the day to keep our throats soothed and coated.
 The Yummy Life gives you 5 easy no cook recipes to soothe your throat. Honey has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and can fight bacteria. Combine it with citrus’, herbs, and spices, and you've got a wonderful tasty natural remedy to ease cold and flu symptoms.

diyNatural has a great looking recipe to make your own basic cold and flu tea blend.   

 The tea includes:

Echinacea which is known for its ability to prevent or help the body fight colds and the flu.
Elderberry which is a powerful flu fighter with its anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulating effects. 
Lemon Balm A member of the mint family that works against a variety of viruses and bacteria, and its anti-inflammatory properties also make it perfect for soothing headaches.
Peppermint which has menthol and can improve nasal congestion and relax airways.

A jar of the tea blend and a jar of citrus honey would make a great gift for a sick friend.

What is your favorite natural remedy?


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