Echinacea purpurea 'Maxima'

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Cold season is upon us again (not only is the temperature outside dropping, but inside, the kids and I are going through Kleenex like it’s going out of style!) Memories of last year’s winter are enough to make me want to hibernate. Honestly, I think from October until April, one member of our family of four was sick at some point, and sometimes, all of us at once…now *that* was no fun.

So, I have been doing some research into natural cold and flu remedies that you can do for yourself at home. Some of these are no-brainers, but there are also a few I will list here that may be new to you, as they were to me!

Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

1. REST – If you’re like me and have children, this is easier said than done, but honestly, it will pay off if you try to get to bed earlier than usual, and nap when your kids are napping. Also, avoid physical activity, and just take it easy.

2. LIQUIDS – Yes, I hate to tell you this, but your Mother did know best. Get as much fluid into your body as you can, water and natural juices are best, along with natural clear liquids like decaffinated teas.

3. AVOID REFINED SUGARS – They impair the immune system, and make it more difficult for your body to heal itself. So until you feel better, try to cut back on the treats.

4. GARLIC AND LEMON – Perhaps not together, although there are recipes that call for both of these natural ingredients! Both have healing properties, and can promote wellness. Lemon tea with honey is a particularly soothing drink just before bedtime.

5. ECHINACEA – This natural herb is thought to stimulate the body’s iummune system by stimulating the white blood cells. There are many ways to take Echinacea, but capsule form is likely the most popular.

6. INCREASE IMMUNE SYSTEM BUILDING FOODS -Vitamin C rich foods top the list and are in many citrus fruits, and other fruits and vegetables. Zinc is another immune-booster, and is found in foods such as oysters, beef, dark turkey meat and beans. Beta Carotene is another great immune-booster. It is readily found in carrots, kale, spinach, and other leafy greens, squash and turnip.

7. GARGLE WITH SALT WATER – For a sore throat, warm salt water really is soothing.

8. GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT – Gargling with this mixed with water is also a great way to reduce the annoyance and discomfort of a sore throat.

9. VITAMIN C – One of the more controversial remedies, there are those that swear by this, and those that say the research is still inconclusive. I say, if it works for you, keep it up, it can’t hurt to get as much vitamin C as possible when you’re feeling unwell.

10. WASH YOUR HANDS – Wash them a lot, mainly to prevent contaminating others. That’s probably why you got sick in the first place. If you’re worried about dry hands from over-washing, just carry a little tube of cream in your purse while you are out and about, or place one next to the bathroom vanity at home.