Home Remedies for Flu Season

Thanks to cold weather outside and warm, dry weather inside, home remedies for the cold and flu are circulating this time of year right along with the viruses! You may not catch one — fingers crossed — but if a nasty bug finds you and won’t let go, here are a few natural therapies to help you get through the worst of it.

Kitchen Cures

Wellness Mama was once trapped on a vacation with 20 sick kids. And even though she didn’t have her homemade herbal medicine chest, she rounded up a few items from the local grocery store for home remedies to make everybody feel better.

home remedies

Garlic, that naturally potent germ-killer topped the list. Studies have found garlic is most effective right after it’s minced or crushed. You can do that between your teeth, but for the faint of palate Katie, AKA Wellness Mama, makes a tea with honey and maple syrup. And her soup recipe will make the pungent stuff even more palatable.

Garlic-eaters lowered their risk of getting a cold by 63 percent lower risk, and when they did catch a cold, it was 70 percent shorter in duration.

Rodale Wellness lists a variety of kitchen remedies that can help curb cold and flu symptoms and shorten the duration of viral infections. Botanicals like licorice root and elderberry extract have been found effective in fighting a variety of flu strains. And once again, if you contract a virus, a thyme steam bath can help loosen the mucus in your chest.

While natural, some of these – in particular, licorice root — can interfere with prescription drug medications, so check with your doctor before popping any supplements.

Blow Right

home remediesDid you know there’s a wrong way to blow your nose? Web MD reports that blowing is good – it gets the mucus out — but blowing too hard can push germy phlegm into ear tubes and cause problems. Instead, take it easy and focus on one nostril at a time!

Gargling Works!

Gargling warm salt water to ease a sore throat is one of those home remedies that has been around for generations. The reason: it works! According to the Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies, “a saline solution can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less.” A teaspoon of salt in a cup of boiled water (that has been cooled a bit) can also loosen mucus and flush out irritants and bacteria.

Medicinal Soup

home remediesYour mother was right — isn’t she always? – about chicken soup. According to a study in Chest, researchers found that chicken soup with vegetables eases cold symptoms by interacting with white blood cells called neutrophils. And that’s not all; a compound in chicken called carnosine influences the body’s immune response and might further ward off viruses.

Stop the Cough

A cough is sometimes the first warning sign that your body is trying to fight off a virus. If you need temporary relief, Health.com has 11 natural remedies that will help you breathe easier including a concoction of honey, turmeric, black pepper and ginger that’s show to suppress nighttime coughing. But if your nighttime coughing persists and prevents you from sleeping, it might be time to see a doctor, too. You might need more than a throat-coating home remedy!

The science faculty at Harvard University explains why winter is flu season and Health.com reminds us to wash our hands, avoid touching our eyes, noses and mouths and know that when we run out of hand sanitizer, vodka makes a great disinfectant!

Staying Healthy in Colliers Hill

Exercise is a great immune-boosting activity and in the master-planned community of Colliers Hill. The Overlook gym is a convenient way to get it! If you don’t live here yet, discover the 10 beautiful models on view from Shea Homes and Richmond American Homes, a short drive from historic downtown Erie. Check out the ranch and two-story designs available from both builders, priced from the upper $300s to the $600s.