You know the feeling. It may start with a scratchy throat or with a few more aches and pains than normal. Or it could begin with a runny nose and a feeling of exhaustion. Yes, it’s a cold coming on — or maybe worse — the flu. Before you reach for the antihistamine, however, why not try an effective natural remedy instead?
Essential oils have been used for centuries to fight the symptoms of the common cold. You can add them to your bathwater, diffuse them in the air you breathe, some you can take internally or even apply them directly to your skin. Essential oils help the body fight off infection and serve to strengthen the immune system
1. Tea Tree or Melaleuca Essential Oil - Extracted from the tea tree (Melaleuca), which is native to Southeast Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, tea tree oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiviral properties. Used in an inhaler or in a bath, tea tree oil helps you fight the congestion and the resulting discomfort caused by the cold or the flu.
2. Lavender Essential Oil- Lavender essential oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, and it is gentle enough for use with children. Use in a warm bath, on a pillow or in a diffuser.
3. Lemon Essential Oil- Lemon essential oil, with its high vitamin content, helps boost the body’s immune system and stimulates the production of white blood cells, thereby increasing your ability to fight off illness. Lemon oil also improves circulation throughout the body. Put a drop in water, tea, use it with honey and cinnamon!
4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil- As an antiviral and a decongestant, eucalyptus essential oil (eucalyptus globulus) helps treat colds and congestion. In her book Aromatherapy A – Z, author Patricia Davis recommends using eucalyptus oil in a steam inhaler to help open blocked nasal passages, to soothe inflammation and to fight bacteria.
5. Oil of Oregano - Oregano oil might be one of the most natural potent flu-fighters, but few can stand the taste. You may put a drop or two into a veggie cap to take, some put it in water or a drop directly under the tongue. For a stuffed-up nose or tickled throat, Dr. Oz recommends adding a few drops of oregano oil to a bowl of hot water, then holding your head over the bowl to inhale the vapours – for maximum effect (and if you can stand it!) drape a towel over your head while you do this to trap in the steam.
Best foods to eat when sick!
Ginger - Potent fresh ginger is excellent for calming nausea when you have the flu, and is also beneficial for colds. It has been scientifically shown to have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, making it a perfect ingredient to boost immune function and combat cellular damage.
kefir – is a good source of probiotics, which promote a healthy gut and build up your body’s immune system, helping it fight back against infection.
Chicken Soup-There’s a reason moms have been prescribing chicken noodle soup for decades and decades – it actually works! “Chicken soup really can help fight a cold due to its ability to alleviate inflammation -- particularly respiratory tract inflammation
Coconut Water -You probably already know you should drink beverages high in electrolytes when you have the flu, as vomiting and diarrhea dehydrate your body. Instead of reaching for sports drinks, which contain added sugars, opt for coconut water instead, which is a natural source of electrolytes that helps restore balance to your body.
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