Cold and Flu Season - 10 tips to see you through

It’s that time of year again, but there is no need to dread the winter months and to spend the time feeling miserable.

With just a few simple home remedies on hand you will be well prepared and able to enjoy the coming winter months.

1. Vitamin C

Fruits and vegetables as sources vitamin C, dietary fiber and minerals

At the very first sign of not feeling 100% (itchy throat, excessive tiredness), take some good quality vitamin C – the best form is powder (1 heaped teaspoon mixed with a little orange juice), taken several times a day until you are feeling better. NB:  If you start running to the toilet then you know you have had enough!

2. Avoid Medication

Try to avoid over the counter cold medications.  Drying up the mucus is thwarting your body’s attempt to eliminate the invading virus and can often prolong the life of the cold.

3. Continue to exercise

Going for a brisk walk helps to stimulate your lymphatic system which is responsible for fighting the virus.  The fresh air will also be beneficial – breathe deeply!

4. Warm Lemon and Honey Drinks

Organic honey food photography recipe idea

Half a lemon and a teaspoon of raw, organic honey (Manuka honey would be even better) – beautiful and soothing for a sore throat.

5. Salt Water Gargle

To help heal a raw and inflamed throat, gargle with a teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in some warm water twice a day.

6. Water, Fruits and Vegetables

Its super important to stay hydrated so drink plenty of filtered water or herbal tea.

Choose fruits rich in Vitamin C (citrus fruits, leafy greens and berries).  Make soups and stews with lots of added garlic and onions.  And then add freshly chopped parsley to take away the smell.  Chillies are also a rich source of vitamin C, so add as many as you can handle to what you are cooking!

Make some soup in advance to store in the freezer so you can just thaw and heat if you aren’t feeling up to cooking!

7. Hydrotherapy

If your head is pounding, before reaching for the pain killers, try the following:  place your feet into a tub of hot water (as hot as you can stand) and apply a cold compress (a washer or cloth rinsed in cold water and rung out) to your forehead.  The principle behind this is that the blood moves from your head down to your feet (following the heat) and will therefore relieve the pressure in your head.  Try it!

8. Onions!

They are not just a fabulous addition to most meals but are also an extremely versatile home remedy kit all on their own, make sure you stock up on them during the winter months.  Try these simple tricks:  For that persistent dry, tickly cough at bedtime:  cut an onion in half and place it beside the bed (as close as possible to the head).  That’s all there is to it – and it works a treat – no more nighttime coughs.  This can also be used at the first sign of a cold.

If you are really suffering, then cut 2 thick slices of onion, place them on the soles of the feet and cover with an old pair of socks before jumping into bed.

9. Invest in a Humidifier

Very often those dry tickly coughs can be cured by adding some moisture to the air particularly if you have been using heating in the room as this will dry the air out.

10. Essential Oils

Essential Oils are a wonderful and powerful addition to your home remedy kit.  Put a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil on a tissue and slide it into your pillowcase before bed.  Breathe easy all night.

Other great infection fighting essential oils that are great to use in an oil burner or a couple of drops on a tissue or hanky are: Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, Peppermint and Frankincense.

Keeping your home and family members free of as many chemicals as possible (these include over the counter medications and topical ointments which are often full of mineral oil based ingredients) will help to ensure immune systems are able to function at their best.

Don’t forget that your body is very well-equipped to deal with the invasion of a cold or flu virus, all you need to do is to give it a chance to do its job without hindering its efforts.