10 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies | Life Love and Hiccups: 10 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
Life Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and Hiccups

Thursday 15 May 2014

10 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

Pin It

Colds suck. There is no amount of Pinterest photos of gorgeous gals curled up on the couch in toasty socks, with a warm cuppa and a box of tissues that will make colds look even remotely appealing.

I went for 2 years without getting a single cold and then BAM in the space of two months this year I am already on to my second round and man it is a doozy.

Because I suffer from anxiety for which I take medication, I have to avoid taking all the usual cold and flu medications you can get from the chemists. These meds typically contain stuff that makes my heart beat a million times faster than it should.

A slight exaggeration with the million times bit, but anyone who suffers from the palpitations that generally come with anxiety knows that we don't need anything else adding to the pounding in our chests. 

And so I have been forced to try out some Natural cold and flu remedies this time around. And blow me down they do actually help. Alright so they don't instantly heal you like we really want them to - only time and rest will do that. But they do help to alleviate the symptoms and shorten the duration of the cold itself.

Here are my top 10 recommendations for Natural Cold and Flu Remedies for anyone in the same boat as me - a snotted up anxiety sufferer. Or someone who would simply prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals to treat a cold.

1. Flush Your Nose With Saline
There is nothing that clears the nose better than a swim in the salty ocean, so it makes sense to use this practice when we are all stuffed up with a stinking cold.

I'm not suggesting you go for a dip in the water whilst you are suffering, but you can buy natural saline sprays from your local health food shop. Alternatively, you can try syringing sterile saline (you buy this from a chemist) into your nose and then giving it a good blow.

2. Blow Your Nose - Don't Sniff!
Whilst we are on the subject of blowing - apart from the fact that constant sniffing is enough to make those around you want to peg a tissue box at your head, it is better for your body to get rid of the germs once and for all.

When you sniff, you are drawing those germs into the back of your throat which can lead to further infections. You are also swallowing the mucous which can result in stomach upsets and diarrhoea and I think you already have enough on your plate with the cold don't you?

3. Steam Yourself
Go and have a relaxing steamy shower. The steam helps to loosen the congestion and makes it easier to blow it out. It also opens and moisturises your nasal passages making it easier to breathe.

4. Have an Epsom Salt Bath
Once again it is the combination of the steam and the natural way that Epsom salts detoxifies your body, relieves inflammation and improves circulation – all important things when it comes to flushing your body of cold and flu germs.

5. Keep The Air Moist
Infections naturally enter our body through our mucous membranes in nose, throat, mouth and eyes. The membranes are designed to keep germs at bay but in the colder months we turn on our heaters which in turn dry out the air and those membranes.

Dry membranes are less efficient at protecting your body from germs, so try leaving a bowl of water in your heated room to moisten the air.

6 Wash Your Hands and Cover Your Mouth
Germs enter our bodies through our eyes, nose and mouth, which means that old saying “Wash Your Hands Geoffrey” before you eat an absolute must.

Oh and just a word up, if you cough on me and don’t cover your mouth – I WILL punch you.

Wash your hands regularly and remember to dry them well with a fresh hand towel to avoid the spread of germs.

7. Eat Garlic
Yep start chomping and eat loads of it. Who cares if you stink - you look like shit anyways!

Garlic is actually one of earth’s best natural antibiotics so take loads of it. 

10 cloves a day has been proven to reduce the effects of colds and prevent symptoms from worsening. If you can’t stomach it on its own mix it into a soup or a hot meal and have seconds and thirds etc etc.

8. Lemon & Honey Gargle
A lemon gargle is the perfect wait to soothe a sore scratchy throat.

Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice in two cups of hot water; add one teaspoon of naturally healing honey. Let it cool and then gross everyone out and gargle away.

9. Chow Down On Cold Fighting Foods
Blueberries are high in natural aspirin, which can help to lower fevers and ease aches and pains.

Chili may help to open up the sinuses and help to break up the mucus and congestion in your lungs.

Hot Mustard and horseradish can help break up the mucus stuck in your air passages, and onions contain phytochemicals which are reported to help to clear your body of bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

10. Make Yourself a Hot Toddy
One of the best ways to thin out that congestion is to drink warm liquids. Think hot chicken soup, warm cups of herbal tea … or a good old fashioned tried and true Hot Toddy.

Make yourself a cup of hot herbal tea or hot water and add a teaspoon of honey and a small shot of whiskey or brandy. Make sure you stick to just one of these though, as alcohol can naturally inflame your membranes and end up making you feel worse if you have too much.

Wow. So there really is a ‘TOO much of a good thing’.

Of course the most important thing you can do for yourself when you are feeling like crap, is to get some rest. Abandon ship, ask for help if you need to, but whatever you do - pop yourself back into bed for at least a little while and get some rest.

No one wants to look at your snotty face anyway.