*Note from Sarah: Another wonderful post by Katie of Wellness Mama!
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” but if you forgot that ounce, sometimes the pound of cure is well worth it too!
If you or your child catches a cold or flu this year, there are some natural remedies (that you probably already have at home) that can help shorten the duration and lessen the symptoms.
Simple things like getting enough rest, staying hydrated and drinking herbal teas can often make the biggest difference, but some other simple remedies can help if you want to take a more aggressive approach.
Home Remedies You Probably Already Have At Home
Garlic naturally has a lot of antibiotic and antiviral properties and it can really help lessen the severity and time of an illness, in my experience. For maximum potency, finely mince a couple of cloves and drink it water. (Nasty, I know, but it works). This can be repeated every few hours until symptoms are gone. [Note: Pregnant women should not take more than 1 clove a day, and children often will not take this remedy.]
2. Herbal Face Steam
This remedy is great, especially for respiratory illnesses. In a large (2 gallon) pot, bring a few cups of water to a boil. When water boils, turn off heat and add a couple tablespoons each of rosemary, thyme and oregano. Stir well, cover for up to five minutes, and remove lid. Drape a towel over the head and lean over the pot, breathing in the steam. This will help loosen congestion and kill any bacteria that has accumulated in the lungs or respiratory track.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
At the first sign of illness or ear infection, a few drops of hydrogen peroxide can do wonders! To keep the illness from getting worse, lay on one side of your body and put a dropperful of Hydrogen Peroxide in one ear. Let it stay in there until it stops bubbling and then repeat on the other side. This is especially useful for kids!
Great at more than just increasing insulin sensitivity! To help with congestion and achy muscles, stir 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder into hot herbal tea and drink. It is slightly spicy but can really take the edge off of congestion.
5. Coconut Oil
What does it not do? A few extra tablespoons of coconut oil can help shorten the duration of an illness. The lauric acid in coconut oil is thought to dissolve the lipid coating around some viruses and make them more susceptible to attack by the immune system.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
I know, it smells and tastes horrible! A teaspoon in warm water gargled and then drank can help sore throat symptoms and some sources also suggest that it can help kill viruses and bacteria.
7. Vitamin C
Ok, so this one you might not have around, but Vitamin C is well known for its illness-fighting capabilities. We get powdered Vitamin C, since it can be added to applesauce, other foods or even smoothies to get kids to take it. I just mix into water and drink.
At the first sign of illness, we take 1/4 to 1/2 tsp every few hours until we reach bowel tolerance and then back down to half of the dose until symptoms disappear.
There are many other herbs and vitamins that can be helpful during illness, but these are our staples. Thankfully, between a healthy diet and these natural remedies, none of us get sick often, and illnesses don’t usually last long at all.
What are your at-home treatments for illnesses? Any tips or natural remedies that work well for you? Share below!
[Note: These treatments are not meant to replace medical care, especially in severe illnesses. Consult with your doctor before using natural remedies, especially if you have a medical condition or are pregnant. If symptoms of any illness don't improve after a few days, consult your doctor.]