Beat the Cold + Flu Naturally: 4 Herbs to Always Keep on Hand
Its that time of year, folks! Everyone is coughing around you and you are doing your best to avoid those pesky germs. But sometimes the cold wins, and you are forced to stop and recover. Cough and cold medications often only mask symptoms. Herbs on the other hand give you a two for one – decrease symptoms AND boost your immune system to help you recover faster.
Here are easy, simple and effective ways to combat that pesky cold at home:
This one works like a charm for sinus congestion. The eucalyptus helps clear the nasal passages, the moist water droplets help soothe and the essential oil itself has anti-microbial properties to help you recover faster.
Steps: -Pour boiling water into a bowl. Add 5-10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
-Place your face over the water and cover with a towel so the steam cannot escape
-Inhale for 5-10 minutes
-Continue to add more water if the steam dies down or more essential oil if the smell becomes not as strong
-Note – the steam is hot!! Keep your face at a safe distance from the water and let some steam out if needed.
This wonderful herb has been shown to shorten the intensity and duration of the common cold. It is easy to find most pharmacies, grocery stores and health food stores. It comes in a variety of forms including teas, hot drinks, tinctures and capsules. I personally love drinking Echinacea tea when I am sick as it also helps get you get more fluids in.
Ok, hear me out on this one! Garlic is one of the best antimicrobials we know. It not only targets bacteria, but also viruses! And is likely already stocked in your kitchen. Simply chop up some raw garlic and place on a spoon of honey or a small piece of toast. Eat 1-2 cloves per day when sick.
Note – it may make your stomach upset for a few minutes afterwards.
Honey & Onions:
Natural immune boosting cough syrup!
Onions and garlic come from the same family, so it is no surprise it also helps with colds. Honey has been found to be just as effective as over the counter cough syrup. Simply thinly slice onions and place in jar. Cover with honey and let sit at least 24 hours. Take a spoonful of the honey to help soothe coughs. Extra bonus – you can make this at the beginning of the cold and flu season and keep it in the fridge ready to go.
I always recommend patients touch base with their naturopathic doctor when they are sick. There are many more herbs, supplements and at home remedies that can be made specific to each case. I also do phone consults in case you are too sick to leave your bed! Remember to consult your health care providers before starting any new treatments.