It’s flu season and it’s starting to reach epidemic proportions. To help you and your family handle it, we’re devoting this month’s content to germ warfare. First, I’m going to talk about some homeopathic remedies. Sometimes with viral infections, doctors cannot prescribe antibiotics, as they won’t help. You simply have to “ride out” being sick.
There are, however, natural and “old wives’ tale” remedies that may help alleviate symptoms. As always, consult with your GP before taking any of these treatments.
Flu – Oscillococcinum works wonders. It’s also important to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest so your flu doesn’t turn into walk pneumonia. When you have the flu, you may also experience fever and/or chills. Read more below to find out my advice for handling those ailments.
Chest cold – As also recommended below when you have the chills with a fever, turning your bathroom into a sauna is helpful to breathing up chest congestion and calming a cough. Also helpful for a cough is sage extract – just a drop or two in hot water or tea acts as an expectorant. And, instead of traditional cough drops, try ones with zinc. This helps boost immunity and the zinc cough drops are all-natural and are low in sugar.
Head cold – If your nose is stuffy and congested, a saline nasal spray used as directed will help break up the mucous and make you breathe a little more comfortably. Vitamin C (orange juice, elderberry juice, etc) will also help to boost your immune system.
Headache/migraine – Hydration is very important. Most headaches are caused from lack of hydration, so if you feel a headache coming on, drink lots of water and stay away from drinks that contain sugar. Caffeine is sometimes helpful for headaches, in small doses. For more severe headaches and migraines, acupuncture and acupressure can be extremely helpful, especially if you suffer from migraines on a regular basis. The proper amount of sleep (7-8 hours a night) is also important.
Fever – Stay hydrated. Water is best, but coconut water and herbal teas are great as well. Cold compresses and cool baths are great, provided you don’t have the chills. If chills are the case, layer yourself in comfortable clothing that you aren’t afraid to sweat in. Then, turn your bathroom into a sauna. Close the door and run the tub with the hottest water. Let the steam fill the room and sit in the bathroom for fifteen minutes once you break a sweat (make sure to have water on hand and drink it so you do not dehydrate). Sometimes encouraging your body to sweat helps break the fever. Essential oils also play an important role. Put peppermint oil on the soles of your feet and old compresses under your arms and on your pressure points (temples, feet, the inside of your elbows, head, etc). For younger children (and adults), use a lavender essential oil on the soles of the feet and palms. According to an old wives’ tale, by rubbing lavender oils on those points, it will help bring down a fever.
Upset stomach – As with a fever, it’s just as important to stay hydrated if you have or feel like you’re going to vomit. To help combat the nausea, natural ginger ale, ginger root or chamomile tea are best for upset stomachs. Sniffing a bit of peppermint oil has been known to relax the mind and calm the nerves, including the stomach.
Copywritten by Jo Frost