1. Fight flu with elderberry. Compounds in elderberries disarm the flu virus and prevent it from replicating. Take one tablespoon of elderberry syrup three times a day.
2. Boost immune function. During a cold or bout of flu, take half a teaspoon of echinacea extract three times a day for up to 10 days to boost your immune system.
3. Chase away chills with ginger. Ginger tea loosens nasal congestion, eases a sore throat and relieves chills.
– 3 teaspoons of fresh grated ringer root
– 500ml water
– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon of honey
Simmer the ginger and water in a covered pot for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; add the lemon juice and finally the honey. Drink as desired.
4. Zinc the virus. To shorten the duration of a cold, suck on zinc gluconate lozenges. Cold viruses reproduce in the throat and zinc kills them on contact. Take 15mg to 25mg of zinc gluconate in lozenge form every two hours (up to 10 lozenges a day) for up to one week.
5. Relieve congestion with essential oils. Try a herbal steam inhalation using tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils. Tea tree has antiviral and antibacterial properties while eucalyptus helps drain mucous congestion.
– 2 litres of boiling water
– 2 drops of tea tree pure essential oil
– 2 drops of eucalyptus pure essential oil
Pour boiling water into a heatproof bowl and add the oils. Cover your head and bowl with a large towel. Inhale the steam for 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn yourself.
6. Relief from muscle aches and chills. Epsom salts, rich in magnesium, are a natural muscle relaxant. Eucalyptus oil eases muscle aches and its steam temporarily relives sinus congestion.
– 250g of Epsom salts
– 10 drops of eucalyptus pure essential oil
Mix the ingredients and add to a hot bath. Soak for 20 minutes to relieve the aches and chills of a cold or flu.
7. Cool down with yarrow. Yarrow reduces inflammation and increases circulation to the surface of the skin. This promotes sweating and helps to reduce a fever without suppressing the immune system.
– 500ml of boiling water
– 3 tablespoons of dried yarrow
Pour the water over the yarrow, cover and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and add the teas to a bath-full of tepid water. For a sponge bath, dilute the tea with an extra 500ml of tepid water before using.
8. Cough relief. To alleviate a cough associated with a cold or flu, prepare the following.
– 250ml boiling water
– 2 tablespoons dried thyme
– 125ml of honey
Pour the boiling water over the thyme, cover and steep for about 20 minutes. Strain and add honey. If necessary, warm the tea over gentle heat to completely dissolve the honey. Store in a dark glass bottle. Take one tablespoon as often as needed.
9. Hot teas and broths. When you are battling a cold or flu, drink plenty of herbal teas, vegetable broths and chicken soup. Hot liquids make good decongestants, and as they heat the throat they slow the reproduction cycle of the virus.
10. Eat garlic. Eat one clove of finely chopped raw garlic twice a day to prevent colds and flu. To avoid stomach upset, eat garlic with meals.
11. Ease sore throat pain. Gargle several times daily with warm salt water which has mild astringent and antiseptic properties. Dissolve ¾ teaspoon of sea salt in 250ml of warm water.