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Young woman with cold and flu symptoms

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Cold & Flu

The common cold and flu are very contagious illnesses that are caused by viruses.  They spread easily from person to person through the air and by direct contact. The most common way for these viruses to enter the body is through the nose or the mouth.

The difference between the flu and a common cold is that the flu results in much more severe symptoms. It is also more common for the flu to cause fever and sometimes develop into pneumonia, a serious condition.

Symptoms of a Cold

  • Stuffy and runny nose.
  • Sore throat, scratchy throat, sneezing, and coughing.
  • Mild to moderate fever.
  • Headache, body aches, and tiredness.

Symptoms of the Flu

Flu symptoms are similar to that of a cold, but more severe.

  • Moderate to high fever.
  • Sore throat, cough, and chills.
  • Fatigue, severe muscle aches, and headaches.
  • Stuffy and runny nose.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea.

How the Cold and Flu Spreads

Having a weak immune system makes it easier to get a cold or flu. Here are the most common ways that the virus enters the body.

  • By inhaling it from the air when standing next to somebody who is coughing or sneezing.
  • By touching a surface that has the virus on it, then touching the nose or mouth.
  • By sharing utensils or food with somebody who has the virus.

To protect yourself against the cold and flu virus, wash your hands very well after touching dirty surfaces. Don't touch your nose or mouth unless your hands are clean.

What can you do?

The first line of defense against a cold or flu is the immune system. It is responsible for making the cells that will successfully kill the virus. A weak immune system takes longer to kill virus cells, making the illness last longer. Eating the wrong foods, lack of sleep and working too much can weaken the immune system. The best thing to do is to take it easy, get plenty of rest, and eat healthy foods that nourish the immune system.

Types of Remedies

The remedies listed below work in two different ways. Some of them target the virus itself, while others improve immune function. The remedies that improve immune function are the most beneficial when the virus has already spread. This is because the immune system is specialized to deal with viruses in the entire body.

The remedies that focus on killing viruses, such as oregano oil are most effective when the cold or flu is just starting. They can help to get rid of the virus before it has a chance to spread in the entire body.

Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu


1. Boost Immunity with Raw Juice

Glass of immune booster juice and its ingredients as remedy for cold and flu

This juice provides nutrients that boost to the immune system and give you more energy.

Ingredients

  • One bunch of spinach or kale.
  • Two carrots.
  • One bunch of fresh parsley.
  • One unpeeled organic lemon. Peel the lemon if it's not organic.
  • One inch of fresh turmeric root or one teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • One small piece of fresh ginger. Don't use a lot of ginger if you don't like spicy foods.
  • Two apples.

Juicing Directions

  • Wash the ingredients very well to remove pesticide residues.
  • Juice all the ingredients.
  • Stir and drink it within 30 minutes.
  • The best time to have this juice is in the morning and afternoon.

Benefits

  • The greens are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene.
  • Lemons help to detox, and fight infections, and provide Vitamin C.
  • Turmeric and ginger kill bacteria and viruses while providing a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Apples are rich in antioxidants, helping to protect healthy cells.

2. Chew Cloves and Make a Clove Tea

Cloves for cold and flu

Cloves have many benefits that make them useful against a cold or flu. Chewing cloves is like an anesthetic for a painful sore throat. It numbs the pain while killing the virus at the same time.

Benefits of Cloves

  • Kill some viruses and bacteria.
  • Prevent inflammation.
  • Reduce the pain of a sore throat.
  • Reduce fever and chills.
  • Help the fight against a cold or flu.
  • Thin mucus, allowing the nose and sinuses to drain better.

Cloves Tea

  • Add 4 cloves to one cup of hot water.
  • Infuse for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the cloves and add honey to taste.
  • Drink while the tea is warm.

Chewing Cloves

  • Slowly chew one or two cloves for ten minutes.
  • Feeling a numbness of the tongue or throat is normal and expected.
  • Spit the cloves after ten minutes.

3. Oil of Oregano

Bottle of oil of oregano

Oregano is a great herb to fight a cold or flu. Its oil is famous for killing germs. 

Benefits of Oil of Oregano

  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Kills most germs.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Clears mucus from the throat.

Types of Oregano Oil

This oil comes in two varieties.

  • Products labeled "Oil of Oregano" comes already diluted with olive oil in a ratio of 1:3.
  • Products labeled "Oregano Oil" are pure and undiluted. It needs to be diluted before using.

Using Oil of Oregano

Find an oil that is safe for internal use and follow the instructions.  Try not to eat or drink for 30 minutes after taking the oil. Take the oil every day until you feel well again.

If you have a sore throat, massage on the outside of your throat with some oil of oregano. If your skin is sensitive to the oil, be sure to dilute it first. To dilute, mix equal parts of oregano and olive oil in a small glass.

Caution

  • Always make sure to read the label of your product to be sure it is safe for internal use.
  • Oregano oil should not be used by nursing or pregnant women, children, or infants.

4. Drink Lemonade with Honey

Warm lemonade with honey for cold and flu

Lemonade is a very beneficial drink when you have a cold or flu. It provides many nutrients that help to fight viruses and help to get better faster.

Lemonade Benefits

  • Lemons have a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants that boost the immune system. They provide Vitamin C, an essential nutrient.
  • The honey in lemonade kills germs found in the mouth and throat. It's also soothing to the throat.
  • Water mixed with lemon juice hydrates the body better than water on its own.

How to Make Lemonade

  • Squeezed two tablespoons of lemon juice in one cup of warm water.
  • Add two teaspoons of honey.
  • Stir well and drink it while it's warm.

Make a Lemon Tea

If you don't want to drink plain lemonade, you can add lemon juice and honey to a herbal tea. Chamomile, calendula, and peppermint tea are good options for a cold or flu.

5. Lemon Oil for Cold and Flu

A bottle of lemon essential oil near a few lemons on a table

It takes 45 lemons to make just 15ml of lemon essential oil. This precious oil has been used for hundreds of years to treat the cold and flu.

Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil

  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Fights bacterial infections.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Relieves congestion.

Using Lemon Essential Oil Internally

For this remedy use pure lemon essential oil that is approved for internal use. Do not use more than six drops per day.

  • Add half a teaspoon of honey into a cup.
  • Add one drop of essential oil over the honey.
  • Mix them together with a spoon.
  • Add 1/4 cup of warm water on top, stir well, and drink.
  • Prepare this drink every 2 hours, up to 6 times per day.

Use for 3-5 days or until symptoms disappear. Stop using the oil if symptoms become worse.

Caution

Be careful to use only pure essential oil of lemon that is approved for internal use. Don't use more oil than recommended. Keep the oil away from the eyes.

6. Probiotics for Cold and flu

Probiotics for cold and flu

Friendly Bacteria

The human body is made up of more bacteria than human cells. The friendly bacteria living in the gut are named probiotics. They perform a lot of useful functions and help to strengthen the immune system.

Benefits of Probiotics

  • Stop the growth of bacteria and viruses.
  • Improve digestion.
  • Boost the immune system.
  • Prevent loose bowel movements caused by a cold or flu.

The best way to get more probiotics when you have a cold or flu is by taking a supplement. You can find one at most health food stores and grocery stores in the refrigerated section. They usually provide much higher amounts of live cells compared to probiotic foods.

When choosing a probiotic supplement, pick one that contains at least 5 billion live cells and make sure that it is enteric coated. This coating helps the live cells survive through the acidic conditions of the stomach. This is very important because the cells have to reach the gut to provide any benefit. We have noticed excellent results when using the Flora brand.

7. Basil and Ginger Juice with Honey

Basil leaves, ginger and honey for cold and flu

Basil, ginger, and honey have strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. They are all very good at fighting the cold and flu.

Making Basil and Ginger Juice

A masticating type of juicer is recommended for making this juice. A centrifugal juicer will work as well, but it will result in less juice.

  • Juice twenty fresh organic basil leaves.
  • Juice a piece of ginger root, big enough to obtain a teaspoon of juice.
  • Mix them together adding a teaspoon of honey and enjoy.

Directions

  • Drink the juice two times a day, in the morning and evening.

8. Drink Echinacea Tea

Echinacea tea for cold and flu on wooden table

Echinacea is a very popular herb for improving the immune system. Drinking echinacea flower tea is an easy way to get all the benefits of this herb. It has a pleasant aroma and helps to get over a cold or flu faster.

Studies have shown that drinking this tea early on during a cold can improve recovery time.

Echinacea Tea Benefits for Cold and Flu

  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Reduces cold and flu symptoms.

Preparing Echinacea Tea

  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a pot.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of dried echinacea flowers (or 1 tea bag).
  • Turn off the stove and cover the pot with a lid.
  • Allow the tea to infuse for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the herb or take out the tea bag, and pour the tea into a cup.
  • Add a little honey to taste and drink it while it's warm.

Throat Spray

If you have a painful throat, try a throat spray made with echinacea. They can be found at most natural stores. Choose one that has a mix of echinacea and propolis for the most benefit.

9. Get Plenty of Rest

Young woman sleeping

Rest is the best way to get over a cold or flu faster, but sometimes a stuffy nose can make it hard to sleep.

How to Sleep Better

  • Run a humidifier during the night to keep a comfortable moisture level. The humidity will keep the lining of the nose moisturized, and help breathe easier. Make sure to clean your humidifier regularly.
  • Use an aromatherapy vaporizer and with two drops of lavender and two drops of eucalyptus oil before going to sleep. Lavender helps to fall asleep faster and eucalyptus keeps the airways open.
  • Use two pillows on top of each other. This helps raise the head and make breathing easier. It also prevents mucus from flowing back inside your nose and clogging it up
  • Don't drink alcohol. It makes cold symptoms worse and it makes it harder to sleep.
  • Before going to sleep drink a warm tea, it will soothe the throat and help clear the airways.

10. Eat Immune Boosting Fruits

Fruits for cold and flu

Eating fruits is a quick and easy way to boost the immune system. They provide many nutrients that help the body recover faster.

Immune Boosting Fruits

Citrus fruits and berries are generally the most beneficial for the immune system.

  • Blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, cranberries and strawberries.
  • Grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines.
  • Lemons and limes.
  • Kiwis and apples.

Adding Fruits to the Diet

Here are some ways to add more fruits to your diet.

  • Eat an apple at breakfast.
  • Have an orange or grapefruit as a morning snack, or in between meals.
  • Make a smoothie every morning with fresh fruits.
  • Squeeze a grapefruit or a few tangerines at lunch.
  • Drink one or two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice at dinner.

Make a Fruit Salad

  • 1 peeled and sliced tangerine or orange.
  • 1 peeled and sliced kiwi.
  • 1 peeled and sliced apple.
  • 4 strawberries.
  • 1 teaspoon of dry coconut flakes.
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla powder.
  • 1 teaspoon of honey.

Mix everything up and enjoy.

Make a Berry Smoothie

This smoothie tastes great and makes a wonderful treat as well. It will also satisfy sugar cravings for those who have a sweet tooth.

  • 1 cup of blueberries.
  • 1 cup of strawberries.
  • 1 cup of coconut milk or almond milk.
  • ½ cup chia seeds.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or agave syrup.

Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender and enjoy. Place any smoothie that is left over in the fridge and try to finish it in the next 12 hours.

11. Eat Garlic

Garlic cloves in a bowl on wooden table

Garlic is a great remedy against a cold or flu. It provides antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties. The good part is that you can use it almost anywhere, as long as the strong smell and taste of garlic is not a problem.

Sprinkle Garlic Daily

To use, wash and peel a few garlic cloves and chop them up finely. Wait for five minutes for the oils in the garlic to mix. This releases the beneficial properties. Sprinkle the chopped up garlic over your favorite food. Add it to a soup, over rice, in a salad, and just about anything else.

Sprinkle some garlic daily on your food to get over the cold and flu faster and to prevent it from coming back.

12. Avoid Junk Food and Dairy

Fatty, sugary junk foods

Dairy

We recommend trying to limit or avoiding dairy products when you have a cold or flu. This is because many people are allergic to dairy foods, and some don’t even know it. Having an allergic reaction to food will only slow down the immune system and make the symptoms of a cold or flu get worse.

Fatty Foods and Refined Sugar Produce Inflammation

Foods that contain a lot of fat and refined sugars produce inflammation in the body. They also weaken the immune system. Stay away from fatty and sugary foods to keep the body strong and healthy.