I will do just about anything to fight a cold or flu and to avoid the doctor’s office. Not only will I save money by staying healthy, but time and inconvenience as well. In general, I like to avoid traditional medicines and have compiled a list of natural cold remedies with a little help from our Facebook friends.
Natural ways to fight cold and flu season
1. Oregano oil: I love using essential oils for natural healing, and oregano oil – nature’s germ killer – is a great one. The oil of the wild oregano plant kills unwanted bacteria and viruses and is a powerful antihistamine. It is also effective against colitis and other digestive issues. Stuffed up? Add two drops of oregano oil to a diffuser or vaporizer and inhale for a few minutes. Drink a few drops of oil in juice or water to relieve a sore throat. And try diluting it with a carrier oil (1 drop OO to 3 drops carrier oil) like coconut or olive and apply to cold sores, muscle aches and joint pain.
2. Ginger: If you feel a cold coming on, ward it off with ginger. Ginger can alleviate cold symptoms and clear nasal passages. It also promotes digestive health and relaxes the intestinal tract. If you find yourself battling a stomach bug or the sniffles, steep slices of fresh ginger in hot water for a soothing and healthy morning drink.
3. Citrus: Besides being packed with vitamin C, lemons promote healthy bacteria rather than the type that can cause viruses and colds. While vitamin C doesn’t prevent colds like we once though, it does have bacteria and virus-fighting qualities that can help your symptoms go away faster and with less effect. The best source of vitamin c is from whole foods, like lemon, grapefruit and orange. Drink water with lemon slices, squeeze lemon juice on foods in place of sugar or salt or start your morning with a grapefruit and orange salad to put a boost in your day.
4. Sauna or hot shower: Whenever I feel congestion coming on, I hop in my sauna at the gym. The hot air in my lungs relieves sinus pressure and the high temperatures help weaken cold and flu viruses. If you don’t have access to a sauna, take a hot shower or boil water and hold your towel covered head over the steam. Increase the effects by rubbing 100% pure eucalyptus oil under your nose or on your chest – it has powerful anti-inflammatory and decongesting properties.
5. Kimchi: A Korean dish made of vegetables and a variety of seasonings, kimchi is a nutritious and delicious side that plays an important role in intestinal digestion. Kimchi’s ingredients of cabbage, garlic and ginger throw big punches at various symptoms, but kimchi’s real cold-fighting power lies in its fermentation process, which produces high levels of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics. Order take out from your local restaurant, or try an easy kimchi recipe.
Looking for other remedies from mother nature? Check out some natural skin care items in your kitchen.
How do you fight a cold without the doctor or pricey medication?
Which type of oregano oil do you use? Is it an essential oil?
My “weapons” are the longstanding tried-and-true traditional ones: plenty of sleep (okay, so I’m not so good about this one), thorough hand-washing after using the bathroom, and trying to keep distant from others who are hacking, sneezing, and coughing (especially not coughing into the crook of their arm). Hot water, whether in the shower, bath, or just washing your face, is known to leech natural oil from the skin.l
Megan Thode says
@Diane, yes, generally taking care of yourself is a great way to stay away from sickness! Sleep is one I need more of, too!