The irony is not lost on me that I’m currently writing this post while recovering from a cold/cough. I generally get one really bad cold every year and seeing as I managed to evade it for most of 2017, I’m not surprised that it reared it’s ugly head in the final weeks of the year. Hoping this will be the only one I get during cold and flu season!
Sometimes you get sick. It happens to all of us. And even though it could always be worse, it still totally sucks to be coughing up a lung or plowing through tissues like it’s your job. Sometimes sympathy is the best remedy!
But when that doesn’t work, I have my go-to protocol to help my body heal faster. I’m someone who takes meds as a final course of action. I’m not against western medicine and using medication to treat your body, but for things like colds and flus, it’s just not my jam. There are so many effective remedies for treating colds and flus naturally that I’d rather reach for my kitchen cupboards than my medicine cabinet.
I know I’m not alone in this sentiment, so I’m thrilled to see big brands jumping on board with consumer demand for natural remedies. I’m thrilled to be partnering with CVS pharmacy on this post, who has just come out with their Live Better line full of products that provide simple solutions that help your body heal naturally. Using only essential ingredients, Live Better products are free from artificial preservatives, dyes, colors and flavors, so you can feel good about using for yourself or sharing with your loved ones. It’s amazing to see consumer demand driving business supply. Let’s keep it up!
With that, I do have a protocol I like to follow when I feel my body getting sick or if the illness has already set-in. These 10 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies will help your body heal naturally without the use of over-the-counter drugs. Do all 10 or pick a few to stick to, but remember to remain consistent and be kind to your body. Stress can also induce and perpetuate illness so don’t forget to relax, sleep and let your body slow down. With that, here are 10 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies that actually work:
1. Gargle with salt water
Do this as soon as you start feeling sick! Not only can it help relieve a sore, scratchy throat, but if you go back to your middle school science days, water follows salt (#osmosis) so the idea is that gargling salt water actually pulls viral fluids out from the throat area. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gargle it all 1-2x a day.
Honey not only helps soothe a sore throat it also works as a cough suppressant. Honey can soothe irritated mucous membranes which helps remove the irritation that is fuelling the cough reflex. CVS’s Live Better Cough Syrup is a great drug-free remedy, which uses a blend of dark honeys, vitamin C and zinc. Both vitamin c and zinc have been shown to help support your immune system so that’s a triple whammy! There’s also no artificial ingredients or added dyes or flavors so it’s a great natural solution for your cold and cough symptoms. Don’t forget to reach for the Children’s Cough Syrup for children over 12 months.
3. Take a Ginger Shot
Ginger is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It has been known to help with congestion, nausea, colds, and fevers. Either pick one up from a local juice store or juice a knob of ginger yourself. Eating ginger can also help but for the best bang for your buck, go for the juice shot.
4. Elderberry syrup
Elderberry is a fruit grown from the elder tree that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making it a powerhouse when it comes to fighting colds. Studies have shown taking elderberry syrup can shorten colds and flus and also relieve sinus infections. Triple threat.
Did you know that bees produce more than just honey? Yep, they make propolis too. Propolis is the substance bees use to seal in their hives so it’s super anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It’s great at fighting the common cold or sore throats. This one is my favorite.
6. Essential oils
Power to the plants! There are many powerful essential oils for cold and flus but here are a few that are easily accessible: Eucalyptus oil has antiviral and antimicrobial properties which have historically been used to treat the common cold. Peppermint oil is used as a natural decongestant and fever-reducer. It’s like a natural VapoRub. Just make sure when applying topically that you mix with a carrier oil!
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. Garlic is packed with minerals, enzymes, vitamin C, sulphur, and selenium which all help bust colds and flus. Enjoy garlic in your meals or eat a clove whole if you’re seriously brave.
This one is a little tricky. If you read my SIBO post, you might remember that when my gut wasn’t healthy, probiotics did me no good (in fact, they made things worse) HOWEVER if you have a healthy gut, probiotics can help give your immune system a boost. Whether through a probiotic pill or probiotic rich foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, it all starts in your gut!
9. Bone Broth
Bone broth, or that chicken soup Jewish grandmothers have been making for centuries, actually isn’t just a tall tale. A bowl of chicken soup, or homemade bone broth can be effective in helping to fight colds and flus. Bone broth contains anti-inflammatory amino acids and is packed full of immune supporting vitamins and minerals that are extra easy for your body to digest.. Don’t reach for those bouillon cubes though – you gotta use the real stuff to get the benefits!
10. Epsom salt bath
Add epsom salt to a hot bath along with some essential oils if you’d like to have a relaxing, detoxifying evening. Again with the osmosis thing, the minerals in the bath cause the toxins in your body to be released in the bath so not only is it relaxing, but it’s good for you too.
BONUS: Sleep! Give your body the rest it needs. I’ve learned this lesson many times over, but to really help your body heal you need to sleep as much as your body needs. Don’t just try to push through illness. Your body is working extra hard to fight something so rest and allow it to recover. If you’re having trouble sleeping, check out Live Better’s Immunity + Melatonin, which is a mixture of immune-boosting vitamins + minerals plus melatonin to help you sleep.
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Huge thank you to CVS for partnering with me on this post and offering natural solutions for helping our bodies fight common illnesses. I’m excited to see what products you come out with next! In the meantime, I’m super excited that they are offering one lucky THM reader and awesome prize pack full of Live Better products + a $25 CVS gift card! All you have to do is share your favorite natural cold and flu remedy below. Giveaway is open to US residents and runs until 12/21 at 12:00 AM PST. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy to help spread the word about #BetterHealthMadeEasy and how to #FindYourHealthy. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make THM possible!
What are your go-to natural cold and flu remedies? Did I miss anything?
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