It’s that time of year – when it seems like everyone around you is suffering from the cold and flu…and you keep your fingers crossed that you’re not next.
Unfortunately for me, I was.
After suffering from a severe cold the past several days (head and chest congestion, body aches, and fever), I felt inspired to share some natural remedies that helped me get through it and start feeling better. I rarely get sick to this degree – a recent increase in stress likely caused my immune system to weaken. I am reluctant to take antibiotics due to the issues they cause within the digestive system and the balance of healthy bacteria (which is the core of a strong immune system to begin with!). Therefore, whenever possible, I rely on at-home remedies – and they actually work!
Gargle Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is loaded health benefits! If you are struggling with laryngitis or a sore throat, gargling some apple cider vinegar can help kill bacteria in your throat, loosen mucus, and boosts white blood cell counts. The acid will coat your throat, preventing germs from accumulating. Dilute one tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar (the one with “the mother”) with a couple splashes of warm water. Gargle, spit, and repeat. You can do this every few hours if you’d like. Your throat will thank you!
Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Get Rid of Ear Infections
Hydrogen peroxide will kill bacteria within your ear and loosen congestion. Lay one side of your head down onto a pillow. Use a dropper to put 1 or 2 drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear facing the ceiling. Wait 7-15 minutes, then switch sides and repeat.
Use Steam to Clear Sinus and Respiratory Congestion
I remember going to my pediatrician as a child, and she told me that breathing in steam was just as effective as taking an antibiotic. I always remembered that. You can purchase an at-home facial steamer or boil water in a pot. The steam will sanitize your head and chest and break up congestion. Place a towel over your head and facial steamer/ bowl of hot water and breath it in for about 15 minutes. I also added several drops of hydrogen peroxide to boost bacteria-killing power. The steam is also great for cleaning out your pores!
Use a Neti Pot to Clean Your Sinuses
A Neti Pot is a little pot that looks like a cross between a tiny teapot and a genie lamp. You fill it with a saline solution, place the spout in one nostril, and tilt your head to the side as you raise the Neti Pot, causing the solution to flow through your sinuses and out your other nostril. Then you reverse nostrils and repeat. Sounds kind of gross, but it works magic! I use a teaspoon of sea salt and fill the pot with lukewarm water (if the water is too warm, it will burn). If you’ve ever gone swimming in the ocean and had salt-water up your nose, it feels a little like that. The salt will clear away mucus and kill germs.
Drink Detox Tea
Speed up your recovery by drinking a tea with plant and herbs that support your liver to help flush out toxins. Try this detox tea with healing ingredients such as dandelion, burdock root, and ginger. Add some raw honey to help sooth a sore throat. Drinking tea will also help increase your fluid intake and warm your body.
In addition to these at-home remedies, nothing beats getting plenty of rest, eating whole foods, and drinking lots of water. Listen to your body! If your body is telling you to slow down, don’t push yourself to go to work or any other obligations if you can help it. Take care and feel better!