Is it just me or does the flu season this winter seem incredibly long? I’ve had a cold for months now and it’s so frustrating! Just when you think you’re getting over it, your body tricks you and kicks you with ‘I’m kidding! I’ll let you suffer a little bit longer!’ To be honest though, I haven’t really been taking care of my body that well so I shouldn’t be surprised. I haven’t taken the necessary steps to make myself better either. I’ve just been going and going and going and not listening to my body. It’s challenging because there are so many things to get done during the day and it can be hard to be honest with yourself, listen to your body and actually take time out. We’re good at letting guilt overpower rational thought and we forget that we only have this one body and it’s important to take care of it the best we can.
After thorough research, I’ve made a list of natural remedies that help to get rid of colds because I myself have made it my mission to nip this cold in the butt. I want it gone once and for all! Obviously, if you’re feeling super lousy and really sick, medical intervention is completely necessary but if possible, I like to see if I can fix things the natural way.
Cook with garlic – garlic is known to reduce the symptoms of cold and flu and boost the immune system. It contains Manganese, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. If you want to be a full-on warrior in defeating a cold, they say eating raw garlic will do the trick but that’s way too much for me.
Drink ginger tea – ginger tea brings me so much comfort. I love that slight burning feeling down your throat. It makes you feel all warm inside. There are so many benefits of ginger such as eliminating nausea, improving digestions, reducing inflammation, fighting respiratory problems, improving blood circulation and strengthening your immunity.
Have a bath with Epsom salts – you have probably heard the name Epsom salts before and have been wondering what the fuss is about? Epsom salts are said to boost magnesium levels, reduce stress, eliminate toxins, reduce pain and inflammation and improve blood sugar levels. So relax to the max and run yourself a hot bath, light some candles and feel zen.
Drink a turmeric latte – turmeric seems to be the latest health food craze and there are many healthy benefits of turmeric, but for me, turmeric in a latte is a bit hard to swallow. Turmeric is great for digestion, improving liver function and pain relief. If you’re not keen on a turmeric latte, start cooking with it more and make more soups and curries. These are great, warm foods to eat while you’re sick. It’s comfort food.
Up your Vitamin C – it’s really important to consume more Vitamin C when you’re sick to boost your immunity. Take Vitamin C supplements and vitamin-rich foods such as strawberries, citrus fruits, papaya, black currants, kiwis, bell peppers, cherries, guava, melons, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and sprouts. Incorporate a couple of these ingredients in every meal.
Use a humidifier at home – winter means lots and lots of dry air (hello AC) and humidifiers bring moisture back into the air. There are many benefits to this, such as reducing the risk of infections, comfortable sinuses, faster healing times and improving sleep. Using a humidifier with essential oils will make you feel more relaxed and reduce stress as well.
Do some aromatherapy – take some time to pamper yourself and use essential oils. They are not only great for combating cold and flu symptoms but are amazing mood boosters and anxiety relievers. Oregano, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and cinnamon should be your go to. Use them for massages, bath blends, hot and cold compressors, diffusers and steam inhalation.
Take in some sunlight – if you feel up to it, take yourself out on a brisk walk in the sun but if you’re feeling really sick just go outside in the backyard, front yard or on your balcony and sit in the sun for a few minutes. It’s easier to get a Vitamin D deficiency in the winter so make sure get some sunlight when you can.
Visit a Naturopath – if you want to seek alternative methods to conventional medicine then visiting a naturopath is a great way to gain some more knowledge about your body and the natural ways to help relieve cold and flu symptoms.
Hack your sleep – set yourself up to have the best sleep possible. Block out all light from your room. Even the light from your TV and charger can affect your sleep so make sure your room is completely dark. If that’s not possible, sleep with an eye mask and earplugs to guarantee a deeper sleep. Also, make sure you don’t use any technological devices at least 2 hours before you sleep.
Calm your mind – meditate, do some yoga, stretch or just lie on your bed and listen to a podcast, audiobook or some music. Do things that will calm you down and take your mind off things to limit overwhelm.
Use a sinus rinse – don’t leave a sinus rinse as the last resort, it should be one of the first things you do. It’s equally the most disgusting and satisfying things you will ever do for yourself.
Get a massage – when you’re sick it feels like you’ve been hit by a truck and all your muscles and bones hurt. Relieve some of that pain and pressure and get a massage.
Lower your sugar, dairy and gluten intake – Foods with lots of these ingredients increases inflammation which is exactly what you don’t want when you’re sick.
Drink water water water – Hydrate and get rid of all those toxins in your body. Drink warm or room temperature water as it is better for your digestion.
By Tamara Bose.
The material published on this blog is intended for general information only and is not professional/medical/legal advice.