The cooler months are upon us, and before we know it, we’ll be getting all rugged up to escape the biting cold.
Getting cosy is one of the things I love about Winter. But, with the the fresh morning air and cups of hot tea, also comes cold and flu season!
If you walk into a pharmacist looking for something to knock your bug on the head, you will find rows and rows of different brands, all taking care of every possible need you’ll have.
So why use natural, if you can get exactly what you need in a packet?
A few reasons. Buying pharmaceuticals can be expensive, and in some cases, nature will heal your body than a drug, which may only ease symptoms of a larger problem.
I’m not suggesting that pharmaceuticals don’t have their place in some treatments, but we don’t have to reach for them every time we get sick.
There are some quite wacky remedies out there like - putting raw onion and garlic onto the soles of your feet at bedtime. (It is meant to draw out the toxins and illness!)
Here are some great ideas to help you in the next cold and flu season.
Note: If some of the ingredients seem a bit unusual, you should be able to find them in a pharmacy, health food store or online.
Slippery Elm Tea
This tasty tea will soothe a sore throat.
- 2 teaspoons slippery elm bark
- 2 teaspoons powdered marshmallow root
- 170ml boiling water
- Add all ingredients into a cup and allow to steep until cool. Strain into a clean cup and store in the fridge and gently reheat when needed.
Rub into your chest and under your nose to help clear the airwaves and break up the phlegm.
- 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
- 15ml peppermint oil
- 15ml eucalyptus oil
- 15ml wintergreen essential oil
- 15g grated beeswax
- 4 drops tincture of benzoin
- In a double boiler over a low to medium heat, add all ingredients, stir until wax has melted and oils have mixed in.
- Pour into a clean jar with a wide mouth and tight lid. Store in a dark place, will last for 2-3 weeks.
Fever and Calming Tea
A brew to help reduce the symptoms of mild fever and calm a tired body.
- 1/2 cup Yarrow leaf
- 1/2 cup dried chamomile
- Mix both leaves together, add 2 teaspoons into a cup of boiling water, and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain out leaves, curl up and drink.
Garlic and Honey Tea
Another brilliant solution for a sore throat - and it's actually quite tasty!
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 1 lemon
- 1-2 teaspoons of honey
- Add all ingredients into a cup, pour over hot water and drink. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Sage Gargle
This can help get rid of some of that bad bacteria in your mouth to cure your sore throat.
- 1 cup of apple cider vinegar (organic)
- 4 tablespoons of dried sage or double if fresh
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of water
- A jar that will hold 2 cups
- Make a sage tea with 1 cup of boiling water, let it steep covered up for 15/20 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt to your jar. Strain sage once infused and add to jar.
- Gargle 3 times a day to help with pain relief. Can be kept in the fridge for up to one week.
Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
This delicate remedy is to be used to ease infected ears. DO NOT ingest.
- 2-3 drops Hydrogen peroxide 3% (make sure you ONLY use 3%)
- Cotton wool ball
- Rubbing alcohol
- Put no more than 2-3 drops of Hydrogen Peroxide 3% into your ear canal, while lying on your side. You will hear a bubbling noise, and your ear may foam a little. The bubbling may continue for 10-15 minutes, but once it stops you can tip your head over and let it run out.
- After a day, pour some warm water into ears to help release any of the accumulated dirt. Dip a cotton wool ball into rubbing alcohol, squeeze a few drops into ear. This will help maintain a dry ear canal.
Clearing Steam Treatment
This easy and inexpensive treatment works to treat a blocked nose and stuffy sinuses.
- 15g freshly chopped thyme, sage, peppermint or eucalyptus (you can use just one, or a mix of them all)
- Boiling water
- Add herbs into a bowl and top with boiling water. Put a towel over your head and lean over the bowl, inhale for a few minutes, or as long as you can. Repeat throughout the day.
Ginger Tea and Acupressure
This can help treat nausea and an unsettled stomach.
- 1-2cm piece of fresh ginger
- Boiling water
- Cut or grate the ginger and add to a cup of small tea pot, pour boiling water over and let it steep for 5 minutes.
- When ready, strain out ginger and sip quietly.
- While sitting calmly, place your thumb on your wrist about 3cm down from the crease below your palm, press firmly for one minute, then slowly move thumb closer to crease, pressing for a minute each time - repeat on other wrist.
Cayenne Pepper Headache Treatment
If you need to get rid of a bad head pain, try this interesting solution.
- 4 teaspoons cayenne powder
- 115ml warm water
- Cotton Q tips
- Mix the water and cayenne powder together. Dip the Q tip into the mix, making sure it’s covered in the powder.
- Rub the Q tip gently onto the inside of the nostrils, once you feel the heat you know it’s working. It might feel a little unpleasant to begin with, but once that goes, hopefully your headache will be feeling better, if not gone.
Psyllium Seed and Probiotic Diarrhoea Relief
Heal your gut and reduce those dreaded trips to the toilet!
- 1-3 tablespoons psyllium seed
- Probiotic of choice - Kombucha, water Kefir, yogurt Kefir, natural live yogurt, Kimchi (fermented foods).
- Add some water to the psyllium seed and drink quickly as it starts to thicken once water is added.
Note: The psyllium seed will absorb the excess liquid in the intestines, which will make your stools firmer.
Depending on your level of nausea take this along side your probiotic, this well help to heal your gut.