Natural Cold And Flu Remedies
From the depletion in numbers at the office to the incessant sniffing and chorus of coughs on the bus, there is no escaping the fact that the cold and flu season has arrived.
With no sign of a cure on the horizon and the cost of over-the-counter medication eating into your daily budget, we've found the best natural remedies for tackling your symptoms - from runny noses to sore throats and headaches.
Wash your hands - the germs that cause colds are spread from your hands to your nose or eyes, and then to the nasopharynx where the nose meets the mouth at the back of the throat. Most cold viruses can survive up to three hours on nonporous surfaces (doorknobs, work tops and coffee cups) and stay alive on your hands for hours if you don't wash them.
Get more sleep - lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to develop the cold virus as it weakens your immune system, making it easier for bugs to contaminate your body.
Stock up on vitamins D and C - boosting your vitamin intake is crucial for building up the body's resistance to illness. Vitamin D, or the 'Sunshine Vitamin' is great for boosting the immune system as it Vitamin C.
Drink plenty of water - keeping the body hydrated is important when preventing a cold developing. When a cold strikes, it strips the body of its fluids causing dehydration, so top up the water levels to ensure this doesn't happen.
Beat the bug the natural way with these home remedies...
Natural Remedies For Colds And Flu
Garlic is well known for its immune system benefits and is best eaten raw or crushed in soups and hot drinks. Garlic combats snotty noses by releasing a compound called allicin, which is full of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, tackle the problem with a stick of celery. Celery contains phthalidesm which has sedative powers and helps the body shut off and rest easy during the night.
A great natural remedy for respiratory disorders as it helps to release mucus from the body. It is also an antispasmodic which helps relax bronchial tubes, clearing the airways. Brew a cup of thyme tea or use it as an oil to treat chesty coughs or emphysema.
Nosebleeds can be a symptom of cold and flu. Prevent this from happening by adding leafy greens to your diet. Packed with Vitamin K, greens fortify sensitive capillaries and help your blood clot quickly if you have a nose bleed.
Jujube tea is rich in Vitamin C and great for the immune system and is widely used for relieving aching throat muscles.
Carrots are ideal for treating cold-induced headaches as they contain beta-carotene, which can reduce inflammation in the blood vessels of the brain. Chop them up and put in a stew, grate them on top of a salad or blend them to create a headache-friendly soup.
We already know that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/11/22/eating-protein-instead-of-sugar-keeps-you-awake_n_1107273.html?ref=uk-lifestyle" target="_hplink">proteins are best for boosting mid-afternoon energy slumps</a>, and they work just as well with energy-zapping colds and flu. A handful of raw nuts helps give the body a well needed energy boost, especially almonds and walnuts.
When the flu bug strikes, chances are the lack of sleep, appetite and constant nose blowing will begin to wear you down. Lavender is great for calming the nerves and relieving feelings of anxiety and stress. Use either dried lavender to scent the room or apply lavender oil on your pulse points for an instant calming boost.
A low immune system can lead to weakened digestive system. Strengthen it by using pineapple which helps reduce intestinal inflammation and speeds the breakdown of protein, reducing gas and discomfort.