Natural cold and flu remedies are all about relieving congestion. It’s the built up mucous that’s making you feel awful. If we can loosen that stuff up, it’ll help you breathe better and you will be on the mend in no time. You also want to get lots of fluids and vitamin C.
- Gargle a few times a day with some salt water. In 1/4 of lukewarm water, mix 1 tsp salt. For some reason, my colds ALWAYS start with a sore throat, and they are so painful! My mother (whom I have to thank for many of these tips) used to make me gargle salt water as a child. As an adult I was like nah, I’ll just suck on some lozenges instead. But recently I’ve been trying the salt water again. You know what? It works much better. The salt kills the bacteria and loosens the phlegm in your throat. The trick is starting as soon as you feel that first tickle.
- Cut up a yellow onion and put it by your bed at night. My husband thought this was SO weird. It’s actually a very old Dutch remedy passed down through the generations in my family. Yes, it makes your room smell like onions. You know how dicing onions makes you cry? This is exactly why it helps loosen up your phlegm so you can breathe easier at night. Put it on your nightstand or right under your bed so you can be breathing in those delicious fumes all night. It’s antimicrobial too!
- Use a humidifier/vaporizer in your room. If you don’t have one, you just want to do something to up the humidity, especially in the winter when the heat is on 24/7, and the air is so dry. If your bathroom is adjoining your bedroom, run the hot shower for 10 minutes and open the door to the bedroom. You can also just soak a towel in some hot water and hang it up somewhere in the room. Lastly, you can place a large bowl of water near or on a heat source.
- Make some strong chamomile tea with a teaspoon of raw honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper and/or turmeric.
- Warm up a mug of chicken bone broth and mix in some fresh grated ginger and the juice of half a lemon.
- Make your own vapo rub! Soften 2 T coconut oil (so it’s easy to mix but not liquid) Stir in 30 drops of essential oils. I like to use a mix that is safe for babies as well. 10 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops tea tree, 5 drops lavender, 5 drops chamomile, 5 drops pine or basil. To make a stronger version for adults: use peppermint and thyme or Rosemary instead of lavender and chamomile (should still add up to 30 drops). Use on chest and underneath child’s little toes. Do not use on face.