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10 Natural Ways to Fight Colds and Flu

Every year so many people get hit with a cold or a flu; while most of the time they are not serious enough for time off work or medical attention, they are nevertheless irritating and inconvenient.

Often, we are left feeling pretty miserable and in need of a quick remedy. While there are no immediate fixes for colds and the flu, the following natural ways can help soothe various symptoms, so we are not as miserable and heal a cold or the flu.

1. Gargle

A dry throat can be soothed by gargling a drink, and in particular, by gargling salt water. Alternatively, gargle a drink with honey and lemon, as this will soothe any sore throat and dry mouth.  

2. Have an extra pillow

Adding an extra pillow at night will help keep the nasal passages clear at night, and hopefully mean you can get some sleep. If it’s too much to have a whole extra pillow and creates an awkward angle any position that involves your head on a slope will help the nasal passages drain and stay clear. All this means you will be able to breathe and actually get some sleep.  

3. Heat and/or cold packs

This depends on what suits you best – some people find applying heat packs to the sinuses beneficial. Others prefer something cooling to be placed on their head. There’s no need to buy anything expensive, a simple wet facecloth will suffice. Soak in either hot or cold water, possibly with some essential oils, and place over the forehead for immediate relief.  

4. Steam

Steam from a hot bath or bowl of boiling water will do wonders for clearing your nasal packages and enabling you to breathe again. A boiling hot shower or bath will help you feel refreshed and moisturise your nasal passages. Alternatively, others favour the bowl of boiling water approach, and inhaling the steam. This is particularly effective when essential oils were added, and the combined effect can relieve some of the worst symptoms. 

5. Eat more fruit

Somehow you need to get more Vitamin C in you, whether that is eating fruit, drinking fruit juice or taking supplements. Citrus helps to loosen mucus in the nose and sinuses, moisturise the nasal passages and increase the body’s level of Vitamin C. This is essential to help increase the body’s reserves so you can effectively fight off the infection.

6. Garlic

Garlic supports the immune system and can help fight the infection present in colds and the flu. Garlic contains several key ingredients that have antiviral properties, and when combined with other remedies, e.g. honey, can prevent a cold turning into full-blown flu.
7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has so many uses, and fighting colds and flu is one of the main ones. Cinnamon contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it an excellent weapon against colds and flu. When mixed with honey and hot water, the tea fights any infection, and is calming and soothing to help with sleep.  

8. Chamomile

Anyone who has a cold should have some Chamomile, whether it is the essential oil, tea or a candle. Chamomile can reduce inflammation and fever, and has calming properties to help with sleep.
9. Ginger

The capsule form of ginger is best for colds and flu; ginger has been shown to reduce the nausea and vomiting, headaches and fever that are associated with colds and flu.  

10. Peppermint

Peppermint has been widely publicized as having numerous health benefits, and colds and flu are no different. Peppermint may be excellent for digestion, but it is also very useful for bringing a fever down.

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