cold and flu relief

Think Healthy Thoughts: 6 DIY Cold and Flu Relief Hacks

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Up to 20% of the population will catch the flu this year. Between that and the 2-4 colds you will likely have this year you may be one of the many people desperate to find some cold and flu relief.

Over the counter medications do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. You may be seeking homeopathic cold and flu relief out of fear of these side effects, or the inability to take certain medications such as for a child or someone who is pregnant.

If you are looking for some DIY solutions to relieve your pesky cold or flu symptoms read on for five ideas you should try right away.

Nasal Irrigate

To genuinely reduce the length and miserableness of a sinus cold you need to try nasal irrigation. More than merely spritzing up your nose with a nasal spray, nasal irrigation will flush the mucus out of your sinuses in a big way.

You can purchase over the counter sprays in a can, but a clay or plastic netty pot works wonders. Fill your netty pot with warm water and add the recommended amount of sea salt (or included solution packets). Tilt your head over a sink and pour the solution into your nostril.

It may sound gross, but the solution will go in your nostril, dislodge the mucus in your sinuses, and will come out the other nostril in globs.

Heating Pad

You can DIY yourself a heating pad for cold and flu relief with some rice that you may even already have around the house. Place a sock in a mason jar or glass and funnel in the rice. Tie off the sock end into a knot.

Heat the rice sock in the microwave for no more than 30 seconds at a time. To avoid scorching the rice you may want to include a bowl of water in the microwave.

This pad is great to use on aching muscles and can be placed over the ear in the case of an earache.

Cough Soother

To avoid over the counter cough syrups, you must try this DIY cough soother. Combine 2 tbsps. of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of honey, and 3 tbsps. of lemon juice in a pot. Heat the mixture and stir until it is combined.

Pour the mixture into a glass jar and refrigerate. Drink a spoonful to alleviate irritation and coughing.

Honey has been found to be just as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient and possesses natural antimicrobial and healing properties.

The effectiveness of honey makes it a great alternative cough suppressant for children who are not old enough for cough syrup. But it should never be given to children under one to avoid a rare but serious chance of infant botulism.

Herbal Teas

There are numerous herbal teas for cold and flu relief, but here are a couple of DIY suggestions for you to make. For respiratory colds and sore throats squeeze the juice of one lemon with a slice of ginger into a glass of hot water.

The lemon juice has vitamin C and helps with flushing impurities out of the body. The ginger will help settle an upset stomach.

Garlic has been researched in thousands of studies for its natural ability to help the body recover. Mince some fresh, raw garlic and mix it into some water to drink, if the taste is too sharp add honey.

Inhale Steam For Cold and Flu Relief

Inhaling steam will have similar benefits to a nasal spray. Steam will help ease sinus pain, help break up congestion, and will open the airways.

Boil a large pot with one to two cups of water. After removing the pot from the heat, add 2 teaspoons each of thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the herbs to steep for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and inhale the steam (being careful not to touch the hot pot) with a towel over your head to hold the steam in for up to 15 minutes.

If you are into essential oils another must try steam is eucalyptus oil and lavender oil. Both of these essential oils have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Pour 10 drops each into a pot of boiling water and again remove the lid and inhale the steam with a towel over your head (being careful not to touch the hot pot). Also you can try placing the oils in the corner of a nice hot shower while you breath in deeply.

Take Fluids

I know this seems like the same old advice that mom would give, but it’s a tried and true remedy for colds that even your doctor will recommend. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas.

When it comes to eating it can be difficult to swallow. Sip on some chicken soup for added fluids. Add pepper, garlic, curry powder, or other pungent spices to thin mucus in your mouth, throat, and lungs to relieve congestion.

The salt in the soup and its warmth can soothe a sore throat. And it is said that seasoned chicken soup can boost the white blood cells in your immune system. It is certainly a DIY cold and flu relief must try.


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