Conquer Your Holiday Cold with Natural Remedies

What’s one way you don’t want to be spending the holidays?  Being sick.  Every year, like clockwork, I catch a cold or flu before Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I used to just swallow some over-the-counter drugs, drink a little tea and try to sleep it off.  But I’ve slowly seen that supporting your body with natural remedies can actually speed up recovery time and bring you back more ready to rejoin the holiday whirl.

Here are my five tips for conquering your cold the natural way:

  • Use a Neti Pot once or twice a day.  It’ll help flush out some of the mucus that keeps you hacking and barely able to breathe.  I recommend the Baraka Neti pot, which I’ve been using for years.
  • Mix up a blend of flu-fighting essential oils.*  If you’re feeling feverish, stuffy or sore, blend 5 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of thyme and add either to a warm bath or disperse using a diffuser.  I strongly believe in using a cold-air diffuser so that the oil molecules aren’t manipulated.  My top pick: the Aroma-Breeze, which I will be writing about soon.
  • Heat up a towel and rub on Gaia Kids Warming Chest Rub.  I like to bypass the conventional chemical mixture know as Vicks VapoRub and use the herbal, organic alternative.  Though it’s pricey – around $20 – it has lasted me a few flu seasons and really works.
  • Drink warm liquids throughout the day, including a homemade Ginger, Lemon and Honey Tea.  To make, pour 8 cups of water into a sizeable pot. Peel a two-to-three-inch section of fresh ginger and cut into ¼ to ½-inch slices.  Add to pot and bring to a boil.  Once the water begins to boil, set a timer for 20 minutes and continue boiling.  After 20 minutes, scoop out the ginger slices and add 3-4 heaping tablespoons of honey and the juice from one lemon to the hot water.  Sip and enjoy.
  • Swallow a teaspoon of Gaia Herbs’ organic Black Elderberry Syrup daily.  Mary Poppins may have needed a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down, but you’ll actually look forward to taking this antioxidant-rich syrup, which studies have shown reduces the duration of colds by at least a few days.

And, of course, make sure you stay warm (wear a hat!), gargle with salt water and get ample rest.

*Only use quality organic oils since you are breathing them in.  I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.  The blend I provided is from Valerie Ann Worwood’s phenomenal guide “The Complete Books of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.”

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