When it comes to colds and flu, there are two approaches: prevention and treatment. There are natural remedies for both of these approaches. Stock up on treatments and begin prevention now, and you should have a much more comfortable cold and flu season. Here are some ideas.
1. Homeopathic cold and flu prevention remedies are available at health food stores, some major retailers, and online. There are pills, nasal swabs, drops, and sprays available. Homeopathic remedies are safe for children. The little pills are either soft and powdery or hard and bead-like. Both types are meant to be dissolved slowly under the tongue.
There are even homeopathic versions of the annual flu vaccine, updated every year. The other forms (liquids, gels, sprays, swabs, etc.) are often applied directly to the nose or throat. Homeopathic remedies are best applied right after or before exposure to prevent the onset of symptoms.
2. Wild Cherry bark is usually sold as a syrup, but can also be taken as a tea. It is implicated in colds and flu where a cough and sore throat are present. The fruit itself is also a good cold and flu preventer – rich in vitamin C, you can add crushed berries to your favorite drink or smoothie or just eat them plain.
3. Elderberry is also generally sold as a syrup. In areas where elderberry is grown, local people swear by its effectiveness as a cold and flu preventer. Like some of the other herbs, elderberry works as a treatment or preventative.
4. Astragalus is strangely neglected among American herbalists, but its traditional use in Chinese herbal medicine goes back for centuries. The root is usually sliced and boiled to make a decoction, but you are more likely to find Astragalus in the form of a tincture or capsules.
1. Homeopathic options are available for easing the symptoms and shortening the duration of colds and flu, too. They are best applied immediately after the first symptoms appear.
2. Garlic is a powerful antimicrobial herb. Make a cold-busting garlic broth by simmering four minced cloves of fresh garlic in four cups of chicken broth for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in as much cayenne pepper (also good for treating colds) as you can handle and drink throughout the day.
3. Echinacea is a plant, commonly known as purple coneflower. It should not be taken for more than 2 weeks at a time, as it begins to lose its effectiveness. But it is a very good immune system enhancer and cold and flu treatment. It can help shorten the duration of a cold and decrease the symptoms. Take it as soon as you discern cold or flu symptoms. Taken as a tincture, Echinacea helps numb and treat a sore throat.
4. Raw honey is hard to beat as a throat and cough soother. Make sure you get raw, unfiltered honey, not the mass-produced liquid in squeezy bear-shaped containers. Raw honey has powerful antibiotic properties, and it's very pleasant for children (over a year old) to take. A spoonful of raw honey has been known to quieten even deep coughs in children.