You know the routine: Temperatures drop, air gets dryer, you spend more time indoors, sharing more and more time in the same enclosed space with your family, colleagues, classmates and friends. Your world effectively becomes a breeding ground for illness. Hopefully, you’ll skate through the holiday season cold free, but in case you come down with a bout of the flu, here are nine natural remedies to help you heal:
- Wash your hands – often! Commit it to memory and practice it daily. Keeping your hands clean prevents any germs that get on them from finding their way into your mouth, nose, eyes or ears. And don’t forget to scrub under your nails!
- Don’t give in to the sniffles. Blowing your nose often is much better than allowing the mucus from the congestion to accumulate, making you feel worse. Just ensure you’re blowing your nose the right way – gently and one nostril at a time.
- Drink lots of fluids. Lots. Of. Fluids. Water is best and anything with caffeine or alcohol is a no-no. Staying hydrated when you have the flu (especially if you’re suffering with a fever or from vomiting or diarrhea) is very important.
- Take a cue from vampires and load up on garlic when you’re battling the flu or a cold. It’s a natural antibiotic, with anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Use garlic in its purest form for quick healing. Pregnant women, however, should avoid garlic when sick.
- The healing power of mustard! A mustard powder and hot water footbath will draw blood to your feet, relieving congestion. You can also mix ground mustard seed with water to make a paste. Rub it on your chest to break up congestion.
- Prepare this lemon, honey and ginger mixture to store away before your cold hits. All three ingredients have serious healing power and when combined, make for a fabulous therapeutic tea.
- Heat up with a humidifier. The warm, moist air will loosen mucus and congestion. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can put bowls or buckets of water near the air ducts in a well-ventilated room.
- If you need a stronger steam, pour boiling water into a large bowl and add five to 10 drops of thyme or eucalyptus oil. Put your face as close as possible to the water (don’t touch it and burn yourself!) and cover your head with a towel to trap the steam. Inhale deeply for five to 10 minutes. You’ll naturally clear your sinuses.
- Rest! The end of the year can be a busy time and it might be difficult to let yourself recharge, but getting some extra sleep and time on the sofa may be the best things to help you heal.
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