6 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Colds & Flus
6 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Colds & Flus
With colds and flus running rampant this season, I wanted to share with you my top tips for naturally recovering from a cold or flu.
Remember these are natural options you can safely do at home, but always check in with your Naturopathic Doctor or Family Doctor when you’re sick. If your symptoms worsen or you have a high fever, go to the ER.
The typical medical treatment is to just wait the sickness out. The symptoms, however, are not so fun. Whenever someone in our house gets sick, these are the steps we take to quickly recover. Because let’s be serious, feeling crappy is the worst.
This is your excuse to relax. Watch a movie, catch up on your favourite show, read, or just sleep. Your body needs to be using all of its energy to fight off the bacteria or virus. Make sure to get ample, good quality sleep as well. Go to bed early and sleep as long as possible.
#2 AVOID sports drinks, ginger ale, and Pedialyte
These drinks are commonly suggested to adults and children when they’re sick. They “help” keep you hydrated, calm your tummy, or rehydrate you. Wrong.
Unfortunately, these drinks are filled with sugar. Just 1 tsp of sugar lowers your immune system for up to 5 hours. So let’s break this down…
- 1 bottle Gatorade = 34 g or 8.5 tsp sugar
- 1 can of ginger ale = 30 g or 7.5 tsp sugar
- 1 bottle Pedialyte = 18 g or 4.5 tsp of sugar
Refined sugar also causes you to retain less fluid, which further dehydrates you. It also causes inflammation that can actually weaken your body’s infection-fighting white blood cells. These drinks also contain inflammatory and health hazardous ingredients like artificial flavours, colours, and sweeteners.
Instead opt for filtered water, coconut water or my homemade electrolyte drink.
#3 Lots of warm liquids to soothe the throat and stay hydrated.
If you have a fever, drink clear liquids only and stay on bed rest until it subsides. Warm liquids help soothe the throat and the digestive system. Here are my favourites:
- Bone broth to provide nourishment
- Warm water with lemon and raw honey
- Ginger or peppermint tea to soothe upset tummy
- Warm water with a touch of pure organic blueberry or pomegranate juice
#4 Keep food very simple
Again, your body needs to be sending its energy towards fighting off invaders instead of digesting. Stick to simple foods like:
- Bone broth with fresh garlic and/or ginger – all boost the immune system
- Warm smoothies with added organic greens (Heat up the coconut or almond milk. I add a scoop of Hawaiian Spirulina a.k.a. Nature’s multivitamin)
- Applesauce with added collagen powder
When you’re feeling better, pureed sweet potato or butternut squash is an excellent option. Both orange vegetables contain high levels of beta-carotene, which boost immune system. Remember to have raw honey throughout the day as it liquefies mucus and works well as a cough syrup. Avoid dairy as it’s a mucus-forming food.
#5 Use essential oils
This is where essential oils really shine in our house. These powerful little oils can have a profound positive impact on our body and symptoms. They can help purify the air and support the immune and respiratory systems. You can even add a few drops of eucalyptus on the edge of the tub while you have a hot shower. Voila, your own eucalyptus steam room. Here are my favourite oils for when we’re sick:
- On Guard – supports healthy immune and respiratory function
- Easy Air – maintains feelings of clear airways and easy breathing
- Oregano – supports a healthy immune system and respiratory function + offers powerful antioxidants
- Lemon – cleanses and purifies the air and surfaces + supports healthy respiratory system
- Tea Tree – promotes feelings of clear breathing + purifies the air
- Eucalyptus – promotes feelings of clear breathing
I take it one step further and create a topical Cold & Flu Bomb. I combine 10 drops each of lemon, tea tree, frankincense, oregano, and on guard in a glass roller bottle. I then top it with fractionated coconut oil and apply to the bottoms of the feet or down the spine. I only use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade* essential oils on my family.
*Interested in using Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils in your home. Click here to send me a message – I would love to teach you how easy and life-changing it can be!
#6 Safe supplements
Your body produces a fever in response to fighting the invading germs. If you take over-the-counter (OTC) medication to reduce the fever, you’re actually working against your body. If you or your child develops a fever over the safe threshold, call your doctor immediately or visit your nearest hospital.
Instead of OTC medication, we use both essential oils and high-quality supplements to support our body while it’s recovering from a cold or flu. Here’s a few of the ones I keep on hand:
- Probiotics – supplies the body with good bacteria which may be effective against colds or flus
- Fish Oil – Omega-3s increase the activity of cells that fight flu by eating up bacteria
- Vitamin D – supports the immune system + those deficient are more susceptible to infection
- Vitamin C – helps improve immune function
- Zinc – critical for overall immune function
- Echinacea – reduces the duration of the common cold by almost 1.5 days
- Elderberry – used in herbal medicine to help relieve symptoms of cold and flu
5 minPrep Time
5 minTotal Time
Yields 4 3/4 cups
- 4 cups filtered water or coconut water
- 1/4 cup organic lemon juice
- 1/4 cup organic lime juice
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 tsp unrefined salt
- Combine all ingredients in a large glass pitcher or mason jar.
- Stir or shake well to combine.
Not a fan of citrus? Sub in 1/2 cup 100% pure organic blueberry, pomegranate, or cranberry (not from concentrate). You could also use an organic cold-pressed juice.