Tips to Treat Colds and Flu the ‘Natural’ Way

Tips to Treat Colds and Flu the ‘Natural’ Way

by Posted on: December 13, 2012Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

With no known cure in sight for the cold or the flu,over-the-counter treatments can at best bring symptom relief or shorten the duration of those symptoms. Or you can take the natural approach. The following are some home remedies that may help you feel better along the way.

No. 1: Blow Your Nose Frequently

It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your sinuses. But when you blow hard, pressure can cause an earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other. Always wash your hands after blowing your nose to prevent the spread of germs.

No. 2: Stay Rested

Resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle is taxing on all of the systems in our bodies. Help yourself by finding the time to lay down with a blanket when you feel a cold coming on.

No. 3: Gargle

Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring quick temporary relief. Try gargling a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water up to four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle — such as tea that contains tannin — to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey or a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar, a popular folk remedy. Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water and mix in one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.

No. 4: Drink Hot Liquids

Hot liquids are not only enjoyable; they relieve nasal congestion, help prevent dehydration,  and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat.

No. 5: Take a Hot Shower

Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and can help to relax you. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.

No. 6: Apply Hot or Cold Packs Around Your Congested Sinuses

You may choose which temperature helps you to feel more comfortable. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at any local drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 55 seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it’s not scalding). Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.

No. 7: Sleep With an Extra Pillow

This will help with the drainage of nasal passages. If the angle is uncomfortable for you, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

Remember, serious conditions can masquerade as the common cold and a mild infection can evolve into something more serious. If you have severe symptoms or are feeling sicker with each passing day, see a doctor.


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