A cold or the flu can interrupt your life and prevent you from doing even your ordinary tasks. Your energy is depleted, and you hurt all over. The best idea, of course, is to prevent colds and the flu before they start. Regularly eating foods that are high in probiotics is a natural way to increase your resistance to illnesses. Yogurt with probiotics is not only a healthy food for the digestive system, but can fight respiratory illnesses as well, which are common with colds and the flu. Below are some natural remedies if, despite all you do, you catch one of these illnesses.
Natural Ways to Fight Colds and Flu
Gargling with salt water is a time-tested remedy for upper respiratory infections, as well as sore throat and congestion. Just dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. You can swish it around in your mouth or gargle. Repeat this three times a day for maximum benefit.
To use a neti pot, first be sure the neti pot is clean by washing it with water and anti-bacterial soap. Let the pot dry air dry completely. Boil a solution of salt (1/4 teaspoon) with 8 ounces of distilled or bottled water. Table salt can irritate your nose and sinuses so use a salt available for the neti pot instead. Lean over a sink insert the spout of the pot into one nostril, then into the other. Try to breathe through your mouth during this time. Empty ½ of the pot in each nostril.
Vitamin C is a preventive against colds, the flu, nasal congestion, and the upper respiratory infections that tend to accompany them. But it is also a great defense when you are already ill with these conditions. Oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits are all high in Vitamin C and lemon juice in hot tea reduces phlegm. While these foods are not a cure for colds and the flu, they strengthen your immune system to help you become stronger. Remember to eat plenty of these foods to help prevent getting ill.
Vapor Rub is a proven remedy for congestion in children and adults. The ideal time to apply is at night when it is hardest to breathe and coughs are worse. Just remember to cover the area where it is used to protect clothes. Often a handkerchief or bandana works nicely for this.
A cool mist humidifier can reduce dryness in the home and help relieve congestion. A small dab of Vapor Rub added to the water makes it extra effective. Of course, the most natural way is to turn on the hot water and stand in the steaming shower.
A natural comfort food, Chicken Soup or Chicken Noodle soups, is a soothing remedy for colds and flu. Homemade soup can be made with whole wheat noodles and carrots, as well as other vegetables. Scientific tests have shown this remedy does work effectively.
A common side effect of flu and colds is dehydration. While a vaporizer or humidifier is good for the environment when you are sick, your body needs extra water too. This is a necessity. In fact, any healthy liquid such as fruit juice or broth helps to keep your body’s immune system strong, and helps all other natural remedies to work, as well.