Home Remedies for Cold/Flu Season

Even though I am a teacher to adult learners, I often find myself being “mom”. When students come into the classroom fatigued, coughing or coming up for tissues multiple times, I begin my “mom questions”.

  • Are you sleeping enough?
  • Is this what you are eating for breakfast? (Usually a can of pop and chips)
  • Are you stressed about anything?
I go through a list of questions that I usually ask my own children and then we end up having a discussion on home remedies for preventing colds/flu and what to do once they have invaded your body. Here’s a list of some of my favorites.
1.Stress – Almost 100% of the time when friends or family (or myself) get sick, it is after a stressful event at school, home, or life in general. Be aware of stressful situations and find ways to be good to yourself. Whether we believe it or not, we can always schedule a ten minute Epsom salt bath into our day or find 30 minutes to relieve our minds with a corny Netflix show.  Scheduling downtime for ourselves really ends up saving us time in the end when we aren’t sick in bed for days. Here’s a great Epsom salt recipe I found on MindBodyGreen:
 What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup epsom salt
  • 1/2 c baking soda (yes, the kind you keep in your fridge!)
  • 4 T ground ginger (more or less depending on your tolerance)
  • Essential oils of choice (I did this twice and used lavender the first time and tea tree the second)

2.  Eat well – We live in a society that seems to honor and encourage busyness. However, the busier we are, the worse we eat. We tend to rely on fast meals that provide little nourishment when we need it most. Find foods that nourish during cold/flu season and have them handy. Bone broth and pineapple are two of our favorites. After I use a whole chicken, I immediately throw the carcass, along with some chicken feet, apple cider vinegar, and veggies into the crock pot for the next 12-24 hours.  Then we drink a cup just like we would tea or I add it to soups. Bone broth is full of goodness. According to Shape Magazine, “Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, actually calls bone broth a “superfood” thanks to the high concentration of minerals. He says that the bone marrow can help strengthen the immune system.” At our house we also like to eat a lot of pineapple when sick. PreventDisease.com claims that “Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties. It fights infections and kills bacteria. The juice from fresh pineapples can suppress coughs five times more effectively than cough syrup.” Plus, it is delicious. I can’t keep my kids away from it!

3.  Wet Sock Treatment– I learned this one from my naturopath. She introduced it to us when my kids were young calling it the “Magic Sock Treatment”.  For this one you need a pair of cotton socks, wool socks, and a warm bath. I highly suggest reading more about this.  It works!

4. Essential Oils– This cold/flu season I have kept my diffuser going a lot of the day in our main living area and then take it to my room at night. According to Eden’s Garden, “Using essential oils such as Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Sweet Orange, and Thyme all deter the growth of viruses.” I love the smell of lemon and orange together.

5. Sunshine – Even when sick, I often recommend getting outside for a short time and soaking up some sun. With many of us spending all of our time inside, we are missing out on the wonderful benefits of sunshine.

6. Sleep – I know we are all busy and without us the world will fall apart, but darn it, listen to your body.  When you are sick, that is your body screaming out to you that it needs time to recharge. Listen! Be a “mom” to yourself. Demand you get back into bed for the day. Mom always knows best.

If these home remedies aren’t effective, you might need to contact your family physician.

What are your favorite home remedies?

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