Do you have a cold and flu remedies fight list? If not, make a list now and have it handy every time the cold season is approaching. Yes, you can buy plenty of coughs and cold medicine, as many options are available. However, know that you already have effective remedies in your kitchen for mild symptoms. Let’s have a look at the best cold and flu remedies that also work fast.
What helps a cold and flu fast?
- Chicken soup. Your grandmother was absolutely right when encouraging you to eat chicken soup. Modern studies evaluated chicken soup and its ingredients. Researchers found it contains a number of beneficial medicinal effects. Chicken soup is antiinflammatory, has an impact on certain white blood cells that fight infections and overall can help mitigate symptoms of upper respiratory infections (like colds and flu).
- Eat foods that support your immune system. Focus on fresh and cooked vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices which have antioxidant and antiinflammatory qualities. Garlic has well documented antiviral and antibacterial qualities. Chop a garlic clove in small pieces and swallow them. Horseradish can help relieve congestion and break excess mucus. Onions, too, can help fight viral infections. Citrus fruits, berries and bell peppers are great sources of vitamin C. Did you know that blueberries are a good source of salicylic acid (the key active ingredient of aspirin is a derivative of salicylic acid)?. Your immune system also needs quality fats and proteins. Enjoy lean meat and fish boiled or baked rather than fried. Avoid fast food, because processed foods create excess inflammation in your body.
- Have 3-4 hot teas throughout the day. Hot teas help with congestion, excess mucus and cough. Green tea and black tea are great sources of catechins, which support the immune system and help relieve inflammation, but should be consumed during the day. In the evening, you can choose other herbs withantiviral effects : ginger, turmeric, peppermint and lemon. Note: Combine turmeric with black pepper or ginger to increase its absorption.
- Essential oils are very powerful. They are natural oils in a concentrated form derived from plants by the process of distillation. They should be diluted before applying them on the skin (chest, throat, on the forehead, etc). If you choose skin applications, apply on a small area to make sure you are not sensitive or allergic to that oil). Essential oils can also be added to hot water and inhaled or used in a diffuser in the bedroom. The top essential oils to consider for quick relief of symptoms include eucalyptus oil for cough, congestion and fever. Clove oil can be used in a diffuser to clean the air, or add 1-2 drops to the toothpaste when toothbrushing. Peppermint oil helps reduce coughs, sinus inflammation, and sore, scratchy throat. Lavender oil effectively relieves stress, fatigue and headaches.
- Use a saline solution either in a spray form or in a Neti Pot. It helps relieve congestion, cough and runny nose in no time.
Cold and flu recipes
Ayurvedic medicine is a 5000 years old form of medicine and perhaps the older form of folk medicine ever created. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend a few recipes to manage acute symptoms of colds and flu. Interestingly, more and more modern research studies suggest that these herbs do have antiviral qualities.
Recipe # 1 To prepare a tea for colds, combine 1 tablespoon ginger root (fresh, grated) plus 1 tablespoon of dried hibiscus flowers. You can buy loose flowers or just open a tea bag with a hibiscus. Add 1-2 sticks of cinnamon. Put these 3 ingredients in 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for several minutes, remove from heat and cover it. Add honey or lemon to taste.
Recipe #2 and 3 for cough relief. If the cough is productive, prepare a tea using 24 cloves in 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and cover it. Take 2 tablespoons of this tea with honey a few times a day. If the cough is dry, use 1 teaspoon of turmeric in a cup of hot milk.
Recipe # 4. Gargle with turmeric. Use one teaspoon of turmeric powder and dissolve it in hot water. Gargle with this solution.
The Neti Pot was also used for hundreds of years, and recommended in Ayurvedic medicine, and is currently quite popular in the Western world. Neti Pot with saline solution helps remove excess mucus, relieve nasal dryness and alleviate sinus inflammation and headaches. Furthermore, it improves the sense of taste and smell and may help with other symptoms of colds and flu. Neti Pots are widely available in pharmacies and health food stores.
In addition to these foods and remedies, make sure you get enough sleep and stay well hydrated. You may want to avoid strenuous exercise when the symptoms are severe and have some yoga stretches instead. If the symptoms last longer than expected or they get worse, do not rely on home remedies alone. Go see your doctor.