Uh oh. You’re sneezing, you’re coughing, you’ve got a splitting headache and let’s not even mention how painful it is for you to swallow. Unfortunately – there’s no denying it. You’ve caught the common cold and flu. While there are plenty of over the counter tablets you can take to help ease your symptoms, sometimes it’s best to let your body fight off a cold and flu with natural supplements and foods.
If you’re looking for natural cold and flu remedies, this article is definitely worth reading. Some of the best natural cold and flu remedies include vitamins C and D, herbal supplements, essential oils, rest and eating the right foods. Below, we’re taking a look at 8 natural cold and flu remedies that will not only help relieve your symptoms, but get you back to feeling your best as quickly as possible.
1. Load Up On Vitamin C & D
Vitamin C helps your immune system function and boosts white blood cells. In fact, research shows that vitamin C can shorten the duration of a cold and decrease the number of times physically active people catch a cold. You can either take vitamin C in powder or tablet form or just increase your fruit and veg intake. Fruits and veggies high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwis, strawberries, dark leafy greens, papaya and broccoli. Also, getting enough vitamin D greatly reduces your risk of catching a cold and flu to begin with. In terms of vitamin D, sunlight, hemp seeds and fish are the best and most natural sources.
If you're looking for an all-natural, easy and potent vitamin C supplement, you might want to consider taking some Camu Camu powder. Aside from being packed with essential vitamins and minerals, just half a teaspoon will give you a whopping 600% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. You can also consider natural supplements such as Eden Health Foods Wild C. It's important to note that, unlike inferior synthetic supplements, natural and wild-harvested vitamin C supplements are easily absorbed and highly bioavailable.
2. A Spoonful of Honey
Honey is one of the best (and yummiest) natural cold remedies thanks to its antioxidants, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It’s especially effective when it comes to soothing a sore throat and cough that inevitably comes with a cold and flu. Try to buy local and raw honey when possible as this is the least processed and in its most natural state. You can add a spoonful of honey to tea with ginger and lemon, or just a cup of warm boiled water.
If you're looking for raw, all-natural honey, take a look at our select range of premium honey products that will give you the maximum nutritional value that real honey has to offer.
3. Get Yourself Some Ginger
Speaking of ginger, this root has incredible healing properties when it comes to providing relief for a cold and flu. The health benefits of this humble plant have been touted for centuries, and for good reason. Adding a few slices of raw ginger root to boiling water can greatly help soothe a cough or sore throat. Research also shows that ginger helps relieve symptoms of nausea, which can often occur when you’ve caught a particularly nasty cold and flu.
4. Echinacea Supplements
Echinacea is a herb that has been shown to help your body fight off infection by acting as an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce respiratory symptoms of a cold and flu. Echinacea directly attacks the overgrowth of yeast and other kinds of fungus. It works best when taken at the first sign of a cold and flu.
If you're looking for an easy way to get some echinacea into your diet, you might want to consider some wholesome and organic echinacea teas, such as Yogi's Echinacea Immune Support Tea or Planet Organic's Echinacea Plus Tea.
5. Get Your Zinc Levels Up
Zinc supports your immune function, has an incredible antiviral effect and is a fantastic natural cold remedy. It is usually most effective when taken at the first sign of an oncoming cold and flu. Zinc has also been shown to lessen the severity of symptoms of a cold and flu.
One of the easiest ways to increase your zinc levels is by taking an all-natural, high purity supplement such as Fulhealth Industries Zinc Colloid. This highly bioavailable supplement is rapidly absorbed and will bring your zinc levels up within days!
6. Eucalyptus Oil
Nobody likes the stuffy nose that comes with a cold and flu, which is why eucalyptus oil is a miracle worker when it comes to relieving cold and flu symptoms. You can use eucalyptus oil by putting 4-5 drops into a glass bowl and adding boiling water. Lean over the bowl and cover your head with a towel to trap the steam. Then, inhale deeply for about 10 minutes. The combination of steam and eucalyptus oil will open up your nasal passages so you can breathe better.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar Gargle and Drink
We’ll be the first ones to agree that apple cider vinegar does not have the most pleasant of tastes, but if you’re sick enough, you won’t be able to taste it anyway. Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body and also helps fight off viruses and bacteria, making it one of the most effective natural cold remedies. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a large glass of water, gargle it and then swallow. This is most effective when you first notice you’re coming down with something.
If you're struggling with the harsh taste of apple cider vinegar, there are some great alternatives such as Comvita's Apple Cider Vinegar + Manuka Honey drink. It's not only a better tasting option but also gives you the added benefits of raw honey.
8. Hydrate and Rest
Finally, perhaps the best natural cold remedy is to just rest and sleep. Seriously, we mean it! Do absolutely nothing but stay in bed or lay on the coach for a day. Your body actually needs the rest time and all the energy it can get to fight off your cold and flu germs and recover. Nobody will think you’re a hero for going into work (also, no one wants your germs!) and you’ll recover much faster if you just take one or two days to rest. It’s also important to increase your fluid intake, even if drinking water is the last thing you feel like doing. Making sure your body is sufficiently hydrated will make you feel better in the short term, and help you recover faster too.
While having a cold and flu is by no means fun, by using the above remedies and making sure you get plenty of rest, you’ll be well on your way to feeling better in no time.
...and remember, qualified nutritionists at Healthy Being are available to offer further general advice to help guide you in selecting the right products. So please, feel free to contact us at any time!
Dr Peter Succar heads up the Product Research Team at Healthy Being and is an enthusiastic Health & Fitness Lifestyle Coach. He's passionate about helping others obtain optimum health, advocating realistic and achievable changes in diets and lifestyles that promote the body’s natural immunity, its ability to self-heal and achieve overall mental and physical well-being.