As Autumn progresses and the weather starts to get colder we start to become more susceptible to change of season illnesses. This is due to many factors:
- The cooler and dryer climate provides the perfect conditions for certain viruses to thrive.
- Autumn had different allergens in the air which can lead to hayfever and cold and flu symptoms such as runny noses.
- We spend more time indoors, which means the illnesses can more easily transmit from person to person.
But fear not! We’ve put together the following list of home remedies to help your beat your cold and flu symptoms. They’ll help to boost your immune system and get you feeling better in no time at all.
1. Avoid Cold Food and Drinks
Cold food and drinks (like fresh orange juice or ice) might seem to ease a sore throat, but it can also make your symptoms worse. Cold drinks in particular, can make your mucus thicker and harder to pass through your respiratory track. Hot drinks and soups are a much better choice for helping you breathe easier. We really like hot herbal teas with the occasional spoon of raw or manuka Honey… yum!
2. Eat Garlic
No we’re not trying to ward off vampires! Garlic has been used as an immune system booster for centuries. It helps to boost the fighting response of your white blood cells when they encounter the infections that abound in the Autumn conditions. How to do it? Crush a clove of Garlic, coat it in Honey and eat up. It may not be the most appetising home remedy for cold, but it will definitely help.
3. Drink Water
No surprises here. Drinking water is essential both as a preventative measure but also to assist in alleviating symptoms. It thins the mucus in the lungs and helps you stay hydrated, assisting your immune system to operate at its peak. If you’re suffering from a fever, add some electrolytes to your water. If you don’t have electrolytes you can use some Himalayan Salt and a pinch of Cream of Tartar or drink Coconut Water.
4. Inhale Eucalyptus or Clove Oil
The us of Eucalyptus oil is probably obvious, but if you’re anything like me the last time I used clove oil was as a deterrent against mould. BUT Inhaling both Clove and Eucalyptus Oil is an excellent home remedy that help you feel better. Eucalyptus Oil decreases mucus and expands the bronchi and bronchioles of your lungs, while also having anti-inflammatory properties. Conversely, Clove Oil has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties which will both help ease the symptoms and get you feeling better sooner.
You can do this in a facial steam tent, or with your head over a bowl of just boiled water, 1-2 times a day. Add 3-5 drops of oil and breathe in the steam for 5 minutes. If you feel ad cold or flu coming on you can do this every 2 hours until it clears. The faster you do this the better! You want the oils to kill the infection before it enters your tissues and the lymphatic system.
5. Gargle Saltwater
Gargling with salt water 2-3 times a day can help you ease your sore throat. When you gargle you are drawing the virus and bacteria to the surface and then when you spit it out, you are removing it from your body. It also lubricates your throat helping to soothe the irritation.
6. Reduce your stress
This can be hard to do, especially with the looming priorities that may need to be pushed aside due to an illness. However, stress affects our immune system immediately, and prolonged stress is detrimental to health. You can develop a stress management plan with meditation, mindfulness, counselling or relaxation and prioritise self-care to keep your mental health strong.
7. Stay Warm and Rest
Keeping warm and giving your body time to do what it does best, and fight the infection is a simple, but effective home remedy to help you win the cold and flu battle faster. When your immune system activates to fight the infection it can take a toll on your body. By resting up, you’re allowing your body to redirect its resources towards immune warfare, which could reduce the time you are ill.
OR pre-emptively boost your immune health…
At this time of year it is increasingly important to make sure your immune health is strong. We can help with a holistic approach based on pathology.