Five natural cold and flu remedies

January and February have been proven to be the peak months of flu and cold activity. While immune system boosting Vitamin C is great for preventing illness, it really does not help much when you actually do get sick –– but these five things will:

  1. Sore Throat Soother – Mix the juice from 1 lemon, 2-3 tablespoons of raw, organic honey, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper into a glass of warm water. Lemon is a strong antiseptic that will kill sore-throat causing bacteria, cayenne pepper has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that will calm the inflammation, and raw honey will soothe, calm and coat the throat for the ultimate sore-throat soothing tonic.
  2. Raw Garlic – If you are not a garlic lover (so possibly a vampire) you might cringe at the idea of eating raw garlic but I absolutely swear by it. Raw garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, antibiotic and decongestant properties. Crushing fresh garlic and letting it rest for about 10-15 minutes causes a chemical reaction that releases allicin––an incredible antibacterial. The easiest ways to consume raw garlic is to add it to salad dressing, mix it into an already cooked dinner (like pasta or quinoa) or spread it on bread with olive oil. Finish with a piece of gum (or three).
  3. Ginger Root – Ginger is one of the most powerful anti-nausea remedies out there. While a can of ginger ale can be great for easing a tummy ache, it can also be loaded with sugars and chemicals, so try this instead: take a one-inch piece of organic ginger root, cut in half and pop it in a pot of boiling water. Turn off the stove and let it steep for about 20 minutes before sipping this simple stomach soothing tea! You can also add lemon and honey for an extra boost.
  4. Face Steamer – This is a remedy that I swear by for easing congestion, coughs, and getting rid of that “I can’t breeeeathe” feeling that colds and flus cause. Either on a stove or microwave, boil 2 cups of water in a bowl. Remove from heat and add 2 teaspoons each of thyme, rosemary and oregano. Cover and let steep for five minutes, then remove lid and put face directly over the bowl with towel covering your head to hold in the heat. For 10 to 15 minutes breathe in the steam. This will help loosen congestion and kill viruses and bacteria in the lungs and sinuses.
  5. Rest and Hydration – This is the easiest of all the remedies yet we always seem to ignore them. Despite your overwhelming urge for perfect attendance, do yourself and your fellow students a favor and stay home when you are sick. Get rest to let your body recover and hydrate your body with plenty of fluids to fight dehydration from fever.