For athletes who don’t want anything to impact their performance or folks who just want to go a more organic route, the following home remedies are alternate forms of medicine that can alleviate typical cold/flu symptoms.
***As always, you should consult with your physician to ensure nothing will interact with current medications or other diagnosis.
If you are suffering from a cough or excess mucous,
- Make a ginger wrap as ginger is a diaphoretic and has antibacterial properties (1) . Before bed, using a mortar and pestle or other methods, make a paste out ½ cup fresh sliced ginger. You can put it through a cheesecloth to get rid of the excess juices. Spread on a clean kitchen or face towel, and place it on your chest for at least 20 minutes while you lay down elevated.
Adults can opt for an overnight wrap, using 1-2 tbsp fresh ginger or ginger powder, honey, olive oil and a little flour to make a paste. Spread this on a napkin of gauze and secure to your chest with tape or a wrap. Be aware it will make you sweat more through the night and when you remove it, it will be all discolored from pulling all the toxins out of your body.
- Elderberry Syrup– this can be made at home with fresh or dried elderberries or you can buy the premade stuff at the pharmacy/online. If you are to make it at home, you can add flavorings like cinnamon sticks, honey, citrus, etc. You can check out a recipe from Katie Wells by clicking here (2). This berry has several antioxidants, vitamins, and is said to boost your immune system (3).
If you are experiencing a sore throat, the following can help alleviate symptoms/ help reduce the number of days you have the symptoms for:
- Take a tablespoon of honey, mix in a dash of cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne pepper and swallow once every couple hours as needed. All ingredients have antibacterial properties and the honey will help smooth the cilia in your throat.
- Gargle 8 oz warm water and ¼-½ tsp of salt (4), you can also add in some apple cider vinegar for added benefit (5). Adding ½ teaspoon of turmeric can also boost your immune system as well as fight bacteria. You can do this several times a day as needed.
Several overall cold-like symptoms such as nausea, stress, lethargy, sore throats, etc, can be alleviated or reduced by a hot cup of tea (6):
- Peppermint or lemon balm tea can help reduce congestion and sore throats.
- Ginger tea, especially with fresh lemon can help soothe nauseous stomachs as well as reduce inflammation in the throat.
- Echinacea is said to help boost your immune system.
- Chamomile or Lavender teas can help calm anxiety, stress, and help put you to sleep.
Typical suggestions of staying hydrated with lots of water, bone broth, as well as getting adequate amounts of rest are also advised to help keep your immune system up. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your body is able to fight off whatever sickness it is fighting. Using these home remedies only assists your body’s natural fighting capabilities and does not substitute actual medical care.