Fall is my favourite season. The mild temperature drop is just perfect for sweater weather, crisp walks and picnics, and warm mulled wine. But with colder temperatures also comes sickness woes. I’m not the biggest fan of taking medication if I don’t have to, so I try to stick to natural cold and flu remedies when I can.
It turns out I’m a fan of many natural cold and flu remedies even when I’m not stuck in bed with Kleenex boxes and throat lozenges surrounding me. A hearty chicken noodle soup has always been one of my favourite meals (especially my grandpa’s homemade recipe), and I drink tea on a daily basis.
Coconut oil and water are also pretty common in my household, and green smoothies, packed with antioxidants and vitamins are one of my go-to breakfasts.
Including these things in your daily life is sure to boost your immune system and keep you healthy, but even the healthiest of people can fall ill to cold and flu.
You can catch it on the subway, at spin class, or even at the grocery store. Sometimes sickness will get the best of you and there’s nothing you can do about it but snuggle up in bed, binge your favorite Netflix series and double up on these natural cold and flu remedies.
From a homemade flu fighter chicken noodle soup to pumpkin seeds, and multiple types of tea, these are the best natural cold and flu remedies to get you back to your healthiest self.
1. Honey, Lemon and Ginger Tea
I’m sure you can find a honey, lemon and ginger tea at a specialty tea store, but you can also make it yourself at home (or make your significant other make it for you ;)). Boil some water and mix in three slices of lemon, a teaspoon of honey, and a slice of fresh ginger – you can modify the amount of each ingredient to your taste.
Ginger helps you eliminate toxins from your body and is a powerful antioxidant. Honey is a natural cough suppressant and will help soothe your sore throat, while lemon can speed up the healing process and get you back to health. The combination is a deadly remedy against the ailments.
2. Flu Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup by Baker by Nature
Chicken noodle soup works wonders to remedy cold and flu symptoms. I’m not talking Lipton’s chicken soup, I mean I hearty chicken soup filled with lots of greens and antioxidant-rich components. If you’re too sick to make it yourself, get your bestie, roommate, or S.O. to whip it up for you.
This recipe, by Baker by Nature is packed with veggies, onion, citrus and herbs to boost your immune system. The soup will help keep you hydrated, reduce inflammation, and the steam from hot soup can help eliminate congestion.
It may not taste the greatest, but apple cider vinegar has plenty of health benefits that can help you overcome cold and flu symptoms. Make sure you use raw, organic apple cider vinegar (This organic apple cider vinegar by Bragg is one of my favorites!). Mix a teaspoon into a cup of water and drink it throughout the day for best results. Apple cider vinegar helps to alkalinize the body, which helps kill bacteria and viruses.
3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is a great decongestant and works to boost your immune system, so it’s recommended if you’re stuffed up and congested. There are a few different ways you can use eucalyptus essential oil. You can run yourself a warm bath and put a few drops into the water. Make sure not to use too much as it can irritate the skin.
You can also make a eucalyptus steam by filling a bowl with boiling water, placing one or two drops of the essential oil in, and with your head at least an arm’s length away from the water, place a towel over your head and breathe in. Do this for five to ten minutes. Make sure not to keep the towel over your head if you’re uncomfortable.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
This one may seem out of the ordinary, but pumpkin seeds are a major source of zinc, which increases your production of white blood cells to help fight viruses and bacteria. Zinc boosts your immune system and can help you get back to your healthy self, so load up on pumpkin seeds this cold and flu season!
You can also use zinc lozenges or tablets if you’re feeling under the weather.
5. Coconut Oil and Water
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that coconut can do no wrong. The magical oil helps boost your immune system and fight off sickness. You can use it in your food, melted into hot tea, or even eat it straight out of the jar. Aim for 5-6 teaspoons a day for the best results.
Pure, natural coconut water is also a great way to stay hydrated, which is especially important when you have a cold and are losing fluids. It’s also a key source of electrolytes, which the body also needs for proper hydration.
6. Cold Buster Green Smoothie by Oh, Sweet Basil
Green smoothies have gained popularity for their high content of anti-oxidants and vitamins, which are both essential for banishing cold and flu symptoms. This green smoothie from Oh, Sweet Basil contains ingredients such as spinach, which is packed with vitamins; bananas, which will help boost your energy; and citrus, which provides you with a healthy dose of vitamin C.
7. Cinnamon and Honey Tea
As I mentioned before, honey is great for soothing your throat and helping to relieve a cough. Mix in some cinnamon and you’ve got a serious sickness-fighting elixir! Cinnamon is rich in anti-oxidants, and its spicy, warm flavour is incredibly comforting.
8. Tart Cherry Juice
Next time you get hit with the cold and/or flu, drink some tart cherry juice. It’s high in anti-inflammatory content and is known as a natural ibuprofen, which makes it ideal for relieving aches that come along with the flu.
Try these cold and flu remedies at the first signs of sickness. Stock up on lots of fluids, warm blankets, and as many rom coms as you can watch. See, sick days aren’t so bad.
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