With no cure in sight for the cold or the flu, current treatments can at best bring symptom relief or shorten the duration of those symptoms. Here are some natural remedies that may speed your recovery, and help you feel better along the natural path to better health.

#1 Know When Not To Treat Symptoms

Believe it or not, those annoying symptoms you’re experiencing are part of the natural healing process — evidence that the immune system is battling illness. For instance, a fever is your body’s way of trying to kill viruses in a hotter-than-normal environment. Also, a fever’s hot environment makes germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more quickly and effectively. Thus, if you endure a moderate fever for a day or two, you may actually get well faster. Coughing is another productive symptom; it clears your breathing passages of thick mucus that can carry germs to your lungs and the rest of your body. Even that stuffy nose is best treated mildly or not at all. A decongestant, like Sudafed, restricts flow to the blood vessels in your nose and throat. But often you want the increase blood flow because it warms the infected area and helps secretions carry germs out of your body.

#2 Blow Your Nose Often (And the Right Way)

It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.

#3 Treat That Stuffy Nose with Warm Salt Water

Salt-water rinsing helps break nasal congestion, while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose. Here’s a popular recipe:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Use a bulb syringe, netti pot or Nasaline to squirt water into the nose. Using a Nasaline is often easiest and involves pushing the saline solution up one nostril, filling the sinuses and allowing the solution to drain out the other nostril. It works wonderfully well and is quick and easy.  Repeat 2-3 times in each nostril. Blow your nose.

#4 Stay Warm and Rested

Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket.

#5 Gargle

Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle such as tea that contains tannin (Black or green work well) — to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, popular in folk medicine. Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.

#6 Drink Hot Liquids

Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. If you’re so congested you can’t sleep at night, try a ‘healthy hot toddy’, an age-old remedy.

#7 Take a Steamy Shower

Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.

#8 Use a Salve Under Your Nose

A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can open breathing passages and help restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.

#9 Apply Hot or Cold Packs Around Your Congested Sinuses

Either temperature works. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at a drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 55 seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it’s right for you.) Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.

#10 Sleep With an Extra Pillow Under Your Head

This will help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

#11 Don’t Fly Unless Necessary

There’s no point adding stress to your already stressed-out upper respiratory system, and that’s what the change in air pressure will do. Flying with cold or flu congestion can temporarily damage your eardrums as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must fly, use a decongestant (Natural D-Hist works well) and carry a nasal spray with you to use just before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can also help relieve pressure.

#12 Eat Infection-Fighting Foods

Here are some good foods to eat when you’re battling a cold or flu:

  • Bananas: Soothe upset stomachs.
  • Bell Peppers: Loaded with vitamin C.
  • Blueberries: Curbs diarrhea, high in natural aspirin. (May lower fevers and help with the aches and pains.)
  • Carrots: Loaded with beta-carotene.
  • Chili Peppers: Can open sinuses, and help break up mucus in the lungs.
  • Cranberries: Help prevent bacteria from sticking to cells lining the bladder and urinary tract.
  • Mustard & Horseradish: Helps break up mucus in air passages.
  • Onion: Has phytochemicals purported to help the body clear bronchitis and other infections.
  • Rice: Curbs diarrhea.
  • Tea: Black and green tea (not herbals) contain catechin, a phytochemical purported to have natural antibiotic and anti-diarrhea effects.

#13 Dip into Nature’s Medicine Cabinet

Once you have a cold or flu, there are several things you can do to decrease your down time without short-circuiting your immune system. If you would like additional support, give these tried-and-true protocols a try.

Note – clear mucus is often indicative of a viral infection whereas green/yellow mucus often indicates a bacterial condition. In all cases, reduce all forms of sugar as much as possible!

Adults

Bacterial Infection

Supplement

Upon Rising

Breakfast

Mid-am

Lunch

Mid-pm

Dinner

Before Bed

Andrographis Plus – take 2 tablets every 2 hours for 12 hours with unchilled water. Then 1 tablet 3x/day between meals for 5 days.
Ultra Potent C Pwd

1 tsp

1 tsp

1 tsp

Viral Infection

Supplement

Upon Rising

Breakfast

Mid-am

Lunch

Mid-pm

Dinner

Before Bed

Viracid – 2 capsules every hour until symptoms subside, then 2 capsules 3x/day for 5 days
Ortho Biotic

1

1

Children

Supplement

Imu-A – Age 1-3: 5 drops 3x/day; Ages 4-10: 10 drops 3x/day; Ages 11+: 15 drops 3x/day.

Flora Boost – Children up to 6 yrs. old – ½ tsp 2x/day; children over 6 yrs. old 1 tsp 2x/day. Take on empty stomach (upon rising and before bed).

 If you have severe symptoms, feel sicker with each passing day, or become extremely weak, please contact your doctor immediately.

 Please share this information with your friends and family – a great way to prevent colds and flus is to keep those around you healthy.