School is back in session. Autumn temperatures have rolled in and winter is just around the corner. That can only mean one thing: Cold and flu season is fast approaching us. Nobody likes to be sick and it can be even more of a hassle when you have kids or can’t stay home from work. Congestion and inflammation of the nasal passages are two symptoms I can gladly do without. One of the worse feelings is waking up in the middle of the night with one nostril completely stuffed and trying to clear it. Then, just when you think you have a moment of relief from that nostril clearing, the other one closes up shop. OTC medications are o.k for relief but they can have some pretty harsh side effects like drowsiness. Here are 5 easy natural remedies to help you battle cold, flu & congestion to get you back on your feet in no time.
This pepper is loaded with a magic little component called capsaicin which gives cayenne pepper it’s fiery taste. Drinking one 1 tsp. of cayenne in a cup of hot water three times a day can help to relieve swelling and inflammation that is narrowing nasal passages, hence stuffy nose. Cayenne pepper essentially helps to dilate blood vessels in the nose and stimulate secretions, helping to drain the sinuses. According to Sinusitis Relief Secrets, one of the best ways to take cayenne pepper is in the form of a capsaicin nasal spray available over the counter at pharmacies. I’d rather do the natural way but hey, at least you have options! Quick Tip: You can also use chili powder in place of cayenne pepper. Chili powder also contains capsaicin giving it the same decongestant properties as cayenne pepper.
Chest congestion? Just grab some honey for your troubles. Honey is a great expectorant. An expectorant is anything that can help loosen phlegm or mucous from the lungs. This makes is much easier for your body to rid itself of it and makes you much more comfortable. Honey’s amazing antimicrobial and antioxidant effects can help to kill any bacteria that may be lingering in your throat as well. Just be sure to use raw organic honey. Processed honey goes through pasteurization (heat) processes which eliminate most of its nutrients making it significantly less effective than raw organic honey. Also make sure its labeled by the USDA as certified organic.
Pure lemon juice is loaded with vitamin C. Lemons are also a natural antioxidant that can help give your immune system the boost it needs to fight off infection due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Lemons help alkalize the blood and urine by creating an alkaline-forming environment in the body, which slightly alters the pH from an acidic state. When your body’s pH levels are in an acidic state from eating the wrong foods, two things will occur. First, bacteria and diseases thrive in an acidic environment, hence, making you more prone to getting sick. Second, your body will naturally seek minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium from other vital organs and bones. This will cause those essential mineral levels to run low creating a whole other host of problems in the long run. I drink lemon water daily to keep my body’s pH balanced or alkalized and dramatically reduce my chances of getting sick year round.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is my favorite and essential remedy for cold/flu treatment, prevention and keeping my body alkalized! ACV contains malic acid. Malic acid is what gives ACV it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. The best type of ACV is raw, organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered. It will also have “the mother” in it. “The mother” is the filmy, ugly, gunky stuff at the bottom of the bottle. It’s loaded with raw enzymes and digestive-friendly bacteria that promote healing. Drink one tablespoon of ACV at the 1st sign of a cold to stop it dead in its tracks. You can also drink ACV to lessen the duration and severity of a current cold/flu. You can read about more benefits of ACV here:http://healthyhairtotoe.com/2015/08/24/multiple-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar-for-hair-skin-and-health/
Ginger has multiple uses and benefits. While one of the most commonly known uses for ginger is for nausea and stomach upset, ginger is also a natural antiviral which helps to fight against the bacteria and virus that cause cold and flu in the first place. It’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties also help to boost the immune system and fight off cold symptoms and reduce inflammation and pressure of the sinus passages. Ginger also acts as a natural decongestant and antihistamine and cough suppressant. These abilities allow ginger to help release cough causing mucus from our lungs. Ginger’s muscle relaxant properties combine to reduce spasms that cause coughing.
Here’s a natural recipe for prevention and treatment of the common cold/flu using the above ingredients:
- Pour ¼ cup of lemon juice and ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar in pot and bring to a very gentle simmer.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of raw organic honey, ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and powdered ginger each to the mixture. Tip: You can increase the amount of cayenne pepper and powdered ginger to ½ teaspoon for a stronger taste.
Store your mixture in a mason jar. As long as you place the jar in a cool and a dry place you should be able to use this mixture for several months. Adults can take 1-2 tablespoons daily as needed. Shake well before using.
Do you have some natural remedies for battling cold, flu and congestion? I hope this post was helpful to you. I hope this cold and flu season treat you well!
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