5 Natural Remedies for the Cold and Flu

honey,garlic and lemonWe’re on the last leg of winter and even though it doesn’t feel like it, Spring will be here soon. Yet, in the meantime, many people are dealing with the consequences from this latest trend of cold, icy, rainy weather.

I know several of my friends and loved ones are suffering with flu like symptoms. So, I figure it’s a good time to share some natural remedies to help you boost your immunity. In particular, to help you combat the common cold and the flu.

I’ve shared some of these remedies over the past few years, but they bear repeating. The most common and effective antidote to cold and flu-like symptoms are citrus fruits because of the essential vitamins they provide. If you’re a regular follower of my blog you can probably guess which remedy tops my list.

  1. Lemons – help maintain your immune system and protects from infections. One reason for that is lemons are rich in Vitamin C. They are also rich in flavanoids that work in conjunction with Vitamin C for a serious punch against infection. One of the simplest ways to incorporate them into your diet is to add the juice of one lemon to warm water and drink it first thing in the morning.

  1. Ginger – warms the body and helps break down the accumulation of toxins in the organs, especially in the lungs and sinuses. It helps cleanse the lymphatic system. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a clear, colorless fluid containing white blood cells that helps rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.Thats why it’s often referred to as the body’s sewage system. By helping keep your airways and lymphatics open, ginger may help prevent the accumulation of toxins that may increase your risk of infection.

  1. Garlic – is highly nutritious and known to boost the function of the immune system. It contains manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, and fiber. One large 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63%. It also reduced the average length of cold symptoms by 70% from five days to 1.5 days.My preference is always the real thing over supplements, but supplements are just as good.

The minimum effective dose for therapeutic effects is one clove eaten with meals, two to three times a day.  If you can’t deal with the strong taste and odor of garlic, you might want to opt for the supplement.

NOTE: if you have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinning medications, please be sure to talk to your doctor before increasing your consumption of garlic.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar – has so many healing properties. As it relates to cold symptoms, its very effective in clearing a stuffy nose and soothing a sore throat. ACV contains potassium, which thins mucus. The acetic acid in it prevents bacteria growth, which could contribute to nasal congestion. To help with sinus drainage mix a teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water and drink it.

With the sore throat it helps head off the infection at the pass if you start to use it as soon as you notice the sore throat coming on. Most germs can’t survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates. For relief, mix ¼ cup of ACV with ¼ cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.

  1. Honey – naturally suppresses coughs. Its thick consistency coats your throat. The sweet taste is thought to trigger certain nerves that make your throat less sensitive to the cough impulse. The phytonutrients in raw honey have antibacterial and antiviral properties that may help boost your immune system and fight sickness. So, make sure you buy raw honey instead of artificial honey. It’s a little more expensive, but cost much less than a doctor’s visit.

Try combining one teaspoon of honey with two tablespoons of lemon juice in ½ cup of hot – not boiling – water.

One of the best advantages to me following a plant based diet is that I rarely get sick. I can’t tell you the last time I had a cold. If I get a hint of anything coming on I go to my lemon water and ginger.  I haven’t taken a flu shot in years. In fact, I don’t take medications at all. I subscribe to Hippocrates’ – the founder of western medicine – school of thought: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”

I get so many nutrients from the fruit and veggies I consume every day. My immune system is pretty strong. I’m so grateful for that. So, of course I want to share my secrets with you.

I hope you will try some of the natural remedies I have described. Better yet, I hope you will incorporate them into your daily diet. If you consume these things on a regular basis, you will likely avoid getting colds and flu symptoms all together.

I hope you will let me know if you try them and especially let me know if they work for you.

References: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic/ http://www.rd.com/slideshows/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/#slideshow=slide1 http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/5-healthy-uses-honey

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