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  • Writer's picturedorsetcountrylife

Managing Colds and Flus the Natural Way

When you begin to feel unwell with a cold or perhaps even worse a flu virus, what do you do? Most people rush off to the nearest pharmacy and purchase something to give relief from the symptoms.

But before we were able to do this people used natural remedies. As time has passed we have forgotten these and I think that is a great shame. Firstly because natural remedies are often cheaper, and in many cases just as effective if not more effective. But also that they are just that...Natural!

There is one thing we rarely do these days and that is to think about prevention. There is the old adage,” prevention is better than cure”. So what can we do to prevent colds etc and boost our immune systems in the winter months. Before the viruses start to circulate?

Firstly look at your lifestyle, stress can lower the immune system. So make time to relax. Gentle exercise helps as it improves circulation. You don’t need to be running miles or even jogging or leaping around. Just a brisk stroll is all that’s required.

Take Echinacea to boost the immune system and of course vitamin C. You can take a supplement, but consider eating foods containing vitamin C too. So eat citrus fruit daily or drink orange or grapefruit juice.

One thing I immediately reach for if someone in the house gets a cold is peppermint oil. This essential oil is great as it can relieve headaches and fevers and clear your sinuses rapidly. Simply add 5 or 6 drops to a bowl of hot water, lean over and cover your head with a towel. You can also use tea tree oil for this steam method. Or dab a few drops undiluted peppermint oil behind your ears, just behind the hard bony bit of your head. But please remember not all essential oils can be put directly on the skin so be sure to check when using them. If you have a room diffuser you can also pop peppermint oil in this.

You should be mindful of your fluid intake too. So make sure you drink plenty. Eat foods that fight colds like garlic and onions, raw if you can, but if not put them in a soup perhaps.

Elderberry is antiviral and can help to fight infection. You can make a tincture in the autumn or buy syrup and take 1 or 2 teaspoons a day.

There are also foods to avoid when you are unwell with a cold, sugar being the main one as it suppresses the immune system making it harder to fight colds. Also milk and dairy as it produces more mucus in the throat.

So eat well and take care of yourself to stay well and if you are unlucky then try something natural to soothe the symptoms away!



Meet Sue & Katie

Two women. Two generations. Both mothers and lovers of the county where they live. Blogging about Dorset here at Dorset Country Life. Find out more...

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