Cold and flu are the most common diseases affecting millions around the globe. Viruses are responsible for both cold and flu, which affect the respiratory system. Most cold and flu symptoms are similar. However, flu could be a little more severe with symptoms of fever, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. For most of us cold and flu infections are reoccurring, meaning we can be hauled up on the sofa coughing and sniffling multiple times a year. In such cases, home remedies are highly effective in both treating and preventing illnesses. Here are the most effective natural remedies for cold and flu that you can make at home…
Natural Remedies For Cold and Flu
Natural remedies are typically made using various fruits, vegetables, herbs, and drinks, which not only treat the illness but also enrich the body.
Echinacea is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries for its tremendous health benefits. Extracts of echinacea are known to boost the immune system, which helps the body in defending against the germs. It is known to alleviate various symptoms of cold and flu, including sinus pressure, sneezing, and stuffiness. It also aids in healthy cell growth, which could have been damaged by the illness.
How to make it:
- Take some fresh flowers and leaves of echinacea, clean them, and place them in a bowl.
- Boil some water in a pot and add these flowers and leaves to the water.
- Let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the flowers and leaves from the water by straining it and then drink it.
Elderberry is rich in bioflavonoids, tannins, and other active components that are useful in fighting influenza. It inhibits a component called hemagglutinin, which is used by viruses to replicate, attach or enter into the host cells. Thus, it helps in treating and reducing the severity of the illness. The compounds of elderberry stimulate the cells to release chemicals that encourage the immune system to boost the coordination between the cells to fight the pathogens.
How to make it:
- Take two tablespoons of dried elderberries, put them in a saucepan filled with water.
- Add some cinnamon and turmeric.
- Boil it and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Cool the solution and strain the excess elderberries from it.
- Drink it to experience significant relief from cold or flu.
Remember that raw elderberries are harmful and must be processed to make them edible. Eating fresh elderberries can cause vomitings, diarrhea, or nausea.
Honey And Ginger
Ginger is, without a doubt, is the most effective ingredient to include in your natural remedies for cold and flu. The anti-inflammatory compounds of ginger alleviate sore throat, treats congestion, and also helps in fighting the viruses in the body.
How to make it:
- Chop some ginger and it to some warm water. Filter the water and drink it.
- Adding ginger to teas is also beneficial.
Honey is loaded with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It also has soothing effects on a sore or dry throat. Honey is also an excellent mucus thinner that can relieve coughing up phlegm, which is common during cold or flu.
How to make it:
- Combining honey with cinnamon and lemon juice augments the benefits and is a perfect way to fight the chronic cough.
- Take a cup of honey.
- Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Add this to a ¼ cup of lukewarm water.
- Stir it and drink it.
Cold, flu, and its associated symptoms like runny nose and sweating can increase the loss of fluids in the body. It can also lead to dehydration, which can complicate the illness. In such cases, drinking coconut water can hydrate the body and can also help in replacing the lost fluids in the body.
Coconut water is rich in several nutrients and exhibits excellent antioxidant properties. These can help the body in restoring the nutrients that are lost during the illness. It is also an excellent source to reduce blood pressure, support heart health, and prevent kidney stones.
Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens are rich in vitamin C, and vitamin E. These two and other essential nutrients in these veggies help in enhancing the immune system and enriching the body’s capabilities to fight the illness. Leafy greens also include various other health benefits such as reducing high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.
Other Effective Natural Remedies
Vitamin C is often considered as a natural remedy for treating various symptoms of cold and flu. It contains essential chemicals that reduce both the duration and severity of the illness. The antioxidant property of vitamin C supports the production of collagen in the skin, which helps in strengthening the tissues and also keeping it flexible. This property of vitamin C is highly useful, especially when the viruses can pose a threat to the tissues during the infection. Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, capsicums, and citrus fruits are some of the common fruits that are rich in Vitamin C.
Resting and staying warm is highly essential to treat cold, flu, or any illnesses. When in rest, the body increases its support to the immune system in battling the viruses and other harmful germs in the body. So, make sure to avoid traveling or stressing yourself when infected by cold or flu.
Gargling is a great way to moisturise the sore throat, which can give instant & temporary relief.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt to a glass of water and gargle. Do it two to four times a day for effective results.
Hot liquids or soups eases nasal congestion, dehydration, and the inflamed membranes in the nose and throat.
Do’s and dont’s during cold or flu
- Stay hydrated by drinking fluids – It prevents dryness of membranes in nose & throat
- Cut down the consumption of coffee or caffeinated drinks
- Sleep with an extra pillow to help the body drain the sinus fluids
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid tobacco
- Stay warm
Home remedies are a great source to prevent or treat cold, flu, or other infections. However, if the symptoms stay for longer duration associated with chest pain, skin rashes, chronic headaches, painful cough, or trouble breathing, it is necessary to visit a doctor. As these could be signs of some underlying health complications.
Author Bio: Emylee is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.