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Home remedies for flu and the symptoms
Well, it’s that time of year again. Flu and cold season is bearing down on us. We live as natural a life as is possible in this modern day. That means we avoid chemical medications. These are our favorite home remedies for colds.
Of course, our first line of defense is thorough hand washing and cleaning of our home, but even then some things just get through. One of the main reasons they do get through is because our immune system is weakened. I won’t go into the food supply problem in America, you know how strongly I am against gmo foods, but I will say they play a major role in the destruction of the immune system. Some of the other issues are:
- The amount of sugar and grains that convert to sugar in our diet
- Simply not getting enough rest. We need at least 7-8 hours a night, but not more than 9
- Stress – Who doesn’t have it right? But it’s a killer. So do everything possible to eliminate as much as you can from your life.
- Not enough exercise or no exercise at all – In our modern, tech driven world, we have to set aside time for regular exercise. If you’re like me, you have a lot of physical work outside, but the body still requires exercise of the different muscle groups. I do regular stretching and walking.
- Vitamin D deficiency. It’s important that you get 15-20 minutes of direct sunshine a day. In the winter, that’s harder. We supplement our diets with foods high in Vitamin D.
Here are the top 5 home remedies for a colds, flu, and their symptoms my family has used through the years. I’m glad to share them with you because I know they work. 🙂
1) Hydrogen Peroxide: The first thing we do in our home when we feel “something” coming on is to peroxide our ears. Yes, common drug store hydrogen peroxide. We use a dropper to fill the ear canal. Let it bubble until the bubbling action subsides – everyone is different, but it usually takes 3-5 minutes per ear. Once the bubbling action dies down, place a towel over the ear and turn over allowing it to drain while you do the other ear. When both are done, gently use a q-tip to remove any excess. We have been doing this since I was a little girl and it has proven very effective. If we are very sick, we do it once a day for the first three days of illness.
2) Flu and cold tea – A tea made with organic echinacea and roots tea; 3-4 slices of fresh ginger root; the juice of one lemon; 3-5 teaspoons of raw honey, adjust according to your taste (I prefer less); 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust according to taste (again, I prefer less). This is also great for a sore throat.
Prepare your echinacea and roots tea. Some people make the tea without using this as a base, but we use it at our house because we think it adds to the benefits. Add the ginger root to the simmering tea for the last 10 minutes of simmering. Once the simmering is complete, pour through a strainer into a large mug and add the other ingredients. Drink and feel better.
3) Honey Cinnamon – Raw Honey is excellent for anything respiratory: allergies, sinus, bronchitis, coughing. By adding cinnamon to it, you create a perfect anti-inflammatory treatment which strengthens your immune system. It is excellent at calming coughs, treating bronchitis, and soothing sore throats. Mix 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in 1/2 cup of honey, adjusting the cinnamon to taste. Take by the teaspoonful as needed, 4-6 times a day. You want to be sure not to use honey on anyone under 1 year of age.
4) Essential Oil Inhalation – Rosemary, peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils are proven to sooth the bronchial tubes when you have bronchitis. They also open clogged sinus causing them to drain and can soothe coughs and aches. All of these oils have anti-bacterial properties.
Eucalyptus has been proven to have antiviral properties, especially when inhaled. I boil some water and pour it into a large ceramic bowl. Add 3-4 drops of each oil to the water and stir. Then drape a towel over you and the bowl to keep the steam in and breath deeply.
This is an old-timey trick that was used especially for young ones with croop. The steam has a beneficial affect all its own. You can adjust the drops to suit your needs, but be careful that you don’t add too many drops as the peppermint will burn your eyes and nose if it is too strong. Some people put these into a humidifier, I have not done this so I can’t say how well it works.
My granny taught me to keep a handkerchief with a few drops of these three oils on it. Whenever I am sick or around sick people, I carry it with me. Taking a deep breath clears my sinuses, if I am sick. If I am around sick people, I believe it helps keep the germs away 😉
5) Menthol Rub – I can remember when I was sick as a child and having Vick’s Vapor Rub put on my feet along with a clean pair of socks. This was usually done when we had a bad cough, congestion, and/or fever. It is an old remedy that actually works.
We don’t use petroleum based products in our home any more so we had to find a natural alternative. This is the one we like best. 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, 2 Tablespoons of beeswax pastilles, I buy mine here 20 drops of eucalyptus oil, 15 drops of peppermint oil, 10 drops of rosemary oil, and 10 drops of lavender oil, 5 drops of tea tree oil (optional). Some people leave out the lavender oil, but I find it has a very soothing effect. I don’t always put the tea tree oil, my husband doesn’t really care for it.
To prepare: put the coconut oil and beeswax pastilles into a medium size jar. Place this jar into a pot of water and turn on medium heat until they are both melted. You could use a double boiler, but I don’t have one so I use this method.
Add the essential oil drops and stir well. Let the mixture sit in the jar, or you can pour into a smaller jar if you like, to cool and firm back up. I like to put mine in the frig in my mixing bowl. Then use the whisk attachment to whip it up. It really doesn’t affect anything other than the texture, but I like whipped texture. Then I put it back into the jar and there you go.
Just so you know, you can adjust this as you like to get the potency, smell, and texture you like. More beeswax will make it firmer. If you need it for a small child, you should use about half the drops of essential oils. Also, you don’t want to keep it near a heat source as it will melt easily. Remember to always dilute essential oils before putting them on your skin.
I like a hot toddy when I am too sick to sleep, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does I don’t mind taking a shot of hot toddy. I don’t keep a bottle steeping all the time like the old timers did, so I heat 1-2 ounces of whiskey in a pot with 1 ounce of water. When it is just about to boil, turn off the heat and add a couple drops of peppermint oil, a teaspoon or two of honey, and sometimes a dash of cinnamon, just depends on how I feel. Let it all sit for about 10 minutes; then drink it and sleep.
There are several more we could talk about: ear candles for earaches, baking soda and honey for throat irritation, and the fabulous elderberry to name just a few. I do use beeswax ear candles for ear aches and they work well.
Unfortunately, in our day and age, I have to say that none of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and I am not a doctor, so I am not prescribing these things for you. There now that we’ve covered that. I hope you don’t have to use any of these this year, but it is always good to be prepared.
Remember you can always Contact Me personally. Be sure to share your home remedies for colds with me in the comments below.
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack