Though there really are no cures for the common cold, most of us are likely already stocked with several ingredients that can help reduce symptoms and speed up recovery.
Below are 9 powerful and affordable natural flu remedies you can use to build up your defenses and avoid illness during the impending winter months (Farmers Almanac is predicting another cold winter in 2015).
1. Apple cider vinegar
Cold viruses tend to put the body into an exceedingly acidic state, which makes it more difficult for the immune system to work. By consuming apple cider vinegar, an alkalizing product, you will help not only be treating the symptoms but also helping your body fight the disease. Mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with warm water, honey and a lemon. Drinking this mixture several times a day will have you back to health in no time.
Garlic is a well known immune booster. If you really like garlic and can take the strong taste, eat one whole clove of garlic once a day. If you cant do this, make sure to prepare your meals with plenty of garlic when possible!
Echinacea in the last 10-20 years has become a well known immunity booster which is known to even reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms after the flu or cold starts. Unfortunately, many products out there contain Echinacea but with too little of the herb to have any therapeutic effect. If you are allergic to ragweed or pollen, you should avoid Echinacea. The most effective way to consume Echinacea is as a tincture. Add 3 droppers full of tincture to one cup of warm water. You can also drink dried Echinacea as an herbal tea. (where to find)
Ginger tea can not only be used as an antiviral treatment, but also for upset stomachs. To make ginger tea, simmer (for 15 minutes) two tablespoons of fresh ginger (chopped or grated) with two cups of water. After simmering the mixture for 15 minutes, let it steep for ten minutes. This can be consumed as often as you would like, as ginger is soothing for the stomach – which makes it great for treating the stomach flu. A bath with ginger, stimulates the lymph system and can accelerate lymph drainage. Use a food processor to finely chop 1 quarter cup of fresh ginger. Place the chopped ginger in a cheesecloth (or an old nylon stocking will do) and soak in the bath water as it fills.
Elderberry has one of the highest ORAC scores (oxygen radical absorption capacity). In addition, antioxidants called flavonoids stimulate the immune system. Additional compounds found in elderberry, called anthocyanins, have an anti-inflammatory effect; which helps treat aches, pains and high fever.
6. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is another effective natural expectorant. It also contains additional nutrients that boost the immune system.
Boneset (eupatorium perfoliatum) is an immune strengthener that has been used effectively to treat influenza and fever for a long time. The common name of Boneset originated from its ability to break even the most terrible of fevers associated with the flu. These fevers were so severe that they were often described as bone fevers . Additionally, Native Americans used boneset to treat body aches, bone pain and for healing broken bones. The best way to take Boneset, when treating fevers, is as a warm infusion or tea. Drink 4 to 5 cups while in bed to induce sweating.