At certain times of year colds and flu are everywhere and everyone goes down with them. So what natural treatments should we be using to avoid getting a cold or flu? And if we do get one, what do we do about it?
Avoid getting colds and flu in the first place!
Start with the basics. You should get ideally a balance of good sleep, good food, exercise and sunshine. The most beneficial essential oils overall are eucalyptus and tea tree. A good night’s sleep will ensure you are refreshed, so that your immune system is strong. To help sleep at night, try lavender. Having a bath with lavender and marjoram in the evening will help induce a good night’s sleep.
What about when you feel like you’re coming down with a cold or flu?
Usually I take about half a teaspoon of vitamin C powder in some fresh lemon and orange juice. About 1,000 milligrams will give your immune system a bit of a kick start. Then have about 500 milligrams every couple of hours to keep boosting the immune system. Another thing is, these days people’s lives are so busy and stressful. Allow yourself some rest. Have a bit of time out, time in nature. Enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and so on.
When the precautions fail and you end up with a cold or a flu – what will ease the symptoms and help you get better faster?
First, keep up the vitamin C. Not just tablets, try fresh juices – lots of fresh fruit and fruit juice. Rest. If you’ve got sinus problems, steam inhalations are very good. You can use tea tree and a little bit of eucalyptus. Peppermint oil is very good for clearing the sinuses too. Then there’s coughs and sore throats. Apart from the oils I’ve already mentioned, you can also use thyme. Plus, a little bit of sandalwood on the outside of the throat is very good for bronchitis and coughs. Lemons are good too. Have a slice of lemon with the rind on it, because that’s rich in bioflavonoids. And of course manuka honey is extremely good for infections. It will help to soothe the throat, too, which is why so many people drink honey and lemon.
Dorothy Hall’s cold remedy
Best of all is Dorothy Hall’s cold remedy. (Dorothy Hall was a founding member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society and author of several books including ‘The Book of Herbs‘) It’s good to have at night just before you go to bed. You get all warm and you sweat it out. Essentially, the remedy raises your body temperature so it kills off the virus. Here’s the recipe for Dorothy Hall’s cold and flu remedy: Put the following in a cup:
- a clove of grated garlic
- a little bit of grated ginger
- a little bit of grated lemon rind.
Pour a couple of inches of boiling water on top and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Then add
- the juice of a lemon
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- honey to taste.
Drink the liquid, eat the solids with a teaspoon and then jump into bed! Plenty of rest and you’ll be better in no time!