Are you looking for some natural cold and flu remedies? In our household, the cold and flu season has been in full force. We had two ‘nurse dogs’ watching over sick humans throughout most of February. While I would love to say love makes everything better, we all know that sometimes our immune systems need a bit of a pick me up, especially when we get the horrible news that there is nothing a doctor can do because it is a virus. Luckily, there are a variety of natural cold and flu remedies available to make getting over being sick a bit easier!
Drink Hot Tea
Did your mom ever fix you hot tea when you were sick? Hot drinks help loosen secretion in the chest and sinuses, helping you feel less congested, as well as helping sooth a sore throat. While just about any tea will work, it is usually best to stick with lighter tea (such as green or white tea) or herbal teas. While some herbal teas can help during the cold and flu, this is one of the only natural cold and flu remedies I recommend checking with your doctor first – some herbs can interact with certain medications. Just make sure you are drinking hot tea since the heat is one of the most important parts of this cold and flu remedy.
How many of you were given honey and lemon growing up? When mom said it was important to have honey when you are sick, she wasn’t wrong. Honestly it is one of the best natural cold and flu remedies, if not THE BEST. It is considered one of the best super foods out there, with antiviral and antifungal properties, as well as being an antioxidant. Part of what makes raw honey so amazing is that it is filled with vitamins, nutrients, and natural enzymes (unlike pasteurized honey). As well, raw honey seems to help prevent allergies from forming, and the only thing worse than being sick with a cold or flu is to have allergies making things worse. Want to know the best part? It helps soothe sore throats too, making it one of the best things for helping wait out viral infections and feel better sooner. One of the important things to do, though, is make sure you are getting real raw honey. Regular honey found in stores is sometimes diluted with corn syrup (often from countries with little to no FDA-like oversight), then strained and pasteurized to the point that it has little to no content other than sugars, taking out virtually all the nutritional benefits of honey. One of my favorite brands for raw honey is Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey.
Gargle Salt Water
Before I go any further, I will freely admit, when it comes natural cold and flu remedies, this remedy isn’t fun. I think we all hoped that the old fashion gargle water and salt thing was just something crazy our parents came up with to torture us while we were sick. Most doctors actually recommend that you gargle a teaspoon of salt in about 8 oz of warm water four times a day while you are sick. Gargling salt water has been proven to help not just sore throat symptoms but provide temporary toothache relief as well, making it a go to when it comes to temporarily managing mouth pain by many medical professionals. Who knew that mom was right (again)?
If there was one thing in my house I couldn’t live without when I’m sick – it is my humidifier. Being from a family full of nurses, I learned how important it was to have a good humidifier in my home. Not only does moist air help ease nasal congestion, but sore throats too! I also use a humidifier that can be handle the addition of essential oils, allowing me to get the benefits of using some essential oils and feel better too! If you don’t have a good humidifier though, considering taking a hot shower multiple times a day or a nice hot bath. Out of all the natural cold and flu remedies on this list, this is likely the cheapest long term, even if you go with a high end humidifier.
Natural Cough Drops
When it comes to sore throats, there are some things that time and time again are some natural cold and flu remedies proven to help – like cough drops. While you can make something at home, sometimes you need something on the go, especially if you still have to go into the office or run errands. Since I try being as natural as possible, I love getting natural cough drops like Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Drops. These natural cough drops are made using a time-tested recipe, crafted in small batches, and are gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut and tree nut free, egg free, and GMO free. Since they are made using real honey, you also get all the amazing health benefits that come with real honey. Oh, and they taste amazing too, unlike most cough drops that are…well…just nasty. For adults, they come in 3 flavors – lemon, ginger, and eucalyptus. For kids though, you amy want to go with the Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Pops since they are flavored to be more kid-friendly!
Eat & Rest
Did you know that rest is one of the most ignored natural cold and flu remedies? While you may be tempted to clean the house or take care of business while you are home sick – don’t do it! Anyone who knows me is likely laughing at this one, since my husband has to nearly sit on top of me or distract me with a book while I’m sick. I grew up in a household that if you are home sick, you better be nearly dying or be prepared to take part in the housework. As an adult, this meant I want to clean when I should be resting and taking care of myself. This is one of those times where it is okay to be a couch potato, or lay back all day with a good book. Give your immune system a chance to fight while the rest of you rests. If you feel up to exercising though – do it. End of the day, listen to your body, or you will regret it by being sick even longer!