It is again that time of the year where the torrential downpour doesn’t leave any person dry. And the aftermath of it? The painful inception of cold and flu.
Cold and flu is a very common happenstance that can be contracted by any person at any point of time, the rainy season being the peak of them all. Why? Mainly because of the consistent downpour and the hike in the microbial infestation during this time of the year.
In this article, we are going to be focusing on the most common natural remedies for cold and flu along with the causes, signs and symptoms and the various preventive measures for the same.
What is cold and the Flu?
Cold and flu, or sometimes referred to as Influenza is a cumulative condition that imposes a number of symptoms in an individual, the primary being runny nose, coughing and scratchy throat.
Both of these elements are caused because of the virus attacking the immune system and are more or less, characterized by the same kind of symptoms.
Causes of cold and flu
Before we proceed further discussing the common causes behind the cold and flu, it is necessary to understand that these two terms have separate significant signs and symptoms which is what makes them different from the other.
A person can contract them either together or even separately, depending on the kind of symptoms they are showcasing.
Some of the common cold and flu causes include:
- Viral attack
- Dust allergies
- Contracting from someone already suffering from the disease
Cold and flu is a common viral infection that is contracted by airborne means, and is very contagious. This can easily be contracted when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms of Cold and Flu
A person suffering from cold and flu will normally showcase the combined signs and symptoms of both cold and flu. In order to make it easier for you to understand how you can easily detect if you are suffering from any one of these infection or the combination is by giving a brief rundown of the symptoms that are correlated with it.
The common symptoms of a cold include:
- Runny nose
- Consistent sneezing
- Sore and scratchy throat
- Persistent and vigorous coughing
- Headaches accompanied with body aches
- Fatigue or tiredness
The common symptoms of flu include:
- Consistent dry coughing
- Fever (moderate to high)
- Sore and scratchy throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue (may prolong for 2 weeks)
If you are experiencing a mixture of these above mentioned signs and symptoms, there are chances that you are showcasing the common symptoms of cold and flu.
How to Get Rid of Cold and Flu?
Now that you are more or less familiarized with the common signs and symptoms of cold and flu, let us make a brief rundown on how one can actually get rid of cold and flu with some simple steps.
- Keep yourself hydrated, be it with water or even juices
- Complete and proper rest is a must because the signs and symptoms of cold and flu come accompanied with fatigue and tiredness which can take a toll on an individual
- Opt for the common home remedies to get you temporary relief from the issue
- Install a humidifier to keep the air fresh and warm so that it contributes to the overall health of yours
- Eat some chicken soup which will bring you some energy and even help with the sore throat and stuffy nose
- If everything else fails, opt for the over the counter medicines which can be either in the form of tablets or even coup syrups
Check Out These Effective Remedies for Cold and Flu.
Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
Cold and flu is a very common occurrence and people don’t necessarily reach out to a doctor right off the bat but first, try the home remedies for the same. These remedies are not just mentioned for the sake of it but actually do work to prevent cold and flu naturally.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar for Cold and Flu
The microbes that attack the immune system to cause the cold and flu often thrive in our body because of the probable optimum conditions that it gets to survive in.
Apple cider vinegar (R) is rich in antimicrobial properties (R) which perish the growth of the virus in the body by alkalizing the blood’s pH. This makes it an unsuitable environment for the virus to grow in, thereby getting rid of it for good.
What to do?
- Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water
- Drink this once daily in the morning
2. Aloe Vera for Cold and Flu
Many people often hype up the activities of various over the counter remedies for cold and flu but tend to not even pay heed to one’s nutritional needs which is a major necessity when it comes to ensuring one’s proper well being while they are suffering from cold and flu.
Aloe Vera, being rich in nutrition, both micronutrients and antioxidants (R), is an amazing remedy to cure a cold and flu fast. It strengthens one’s immune system which, in turn, helps fight these diseases with the defense mechanism it restores the body with.
What to do?
- Opt for healthy aloe vera (R) juice and drink it as a tonic on a daily basis to keep your immunity strong and the symptoms of cold and flu at bay.
3. Almonds for Cold and Flu
Would you be really surprised if I mentioned that almonds (R) are not just good for your brains but also as one of the cold and flu remedies? Probably not, right?
Well, it actually is true. According to a research conducted (R) back in 2010, it was revealed that the skin of the almonds contained some constituent which proved beneficial in the treatment of viral infections, much like that attached with the causes behind cold and flu.
What to do?
- Apart from the regular consumption of almond for the overall well being, try and consume these nuts to get rid of the signs and symptoms of cold and flu and to all fight the viral infection that’s caused inside your body.
4. Chicken Soup for Cold and Flu
Chicken soup is definitely an amazing cure for cold and flu. Studies show that the consumption of chicken soup or any soup rich in protein and nutrition with bare minimum spices can be a great remedy to get rid of the signs and symptoms that accompany cold and flu.
The soup helps clear up the nasal blockage and also relives the condition of excess mucus accumulation and also helps treat the congestion that one faces because of cold and flu. It also does have mild anti-inflammatory properties which come a lot in handy for treating the throat inflammation that often occurs due to consistent coughing.
What to do?
- Eat chicken soup at least two to three times a day when you are suffering from cold and flu. It will not just aid you with the symptoms of cold and flu but also provide you with the required nourishment your body needs.
5. Cinnamon for Cold and Flu
Even though there is no specific scientific evidence to back up the claims about the effectiveness of cinnamon for the treatment of cold and flu, it is believed that the mixture of cinnamon and honey is an amazing remedy for combating the signs and symptoms of cold and flu. It is believed that the mild antioxidant property of cinnamon is what helps in treating the severe conditions of cold and cough.
What to do?
- Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon and two teaspoons of honey to a glass of lukewarm water
- Drink this concoction to provide a soothing effect to your sore throat and even stuffy nose
6. Echinacea for Cold and Flu
Echinacea extracts have been used as a remedy for boosting one’s immune system (R). It helps prepare the body to fight against foreign particles that often cause deterioration in our body. Research claims that the consumption of this extract helps increase the white blood cells count in our body which is beneficial for a bettered immunity.
On a whole, this aids in fighting against the viral infestation in the body and has mild effects in the treatment of cold and flu.
What to do?
- The dosage of Echinacea extract completely depends on what your doctor suggests you with.
7. Epsom Salt Bath for Cold and Flu
Relaxing baths with Epsom salt (R) can be very beneficial in treating the various signs and symptoms that come with cold and flu. It helps to treat the aching of the body and even contributes a bit to decongesting the chest if you have been suffering from that as well. It also helps reenergize your body and make you feel fresh rather than dull.
What to do?
- Run a bath and fill the tub with warm water
- Mix a few tablespoons of Epsom salt to it and make sure it’s completely dissolved
- Soak yourself in it for 15-20 minutes to relax your body
- Do this every day to relieve the signs and symptoms of cold and flu easily
8. Ginger for Cold and Flu
Ginger has a warming effect on the body which is beneficial for the treatment of cold and flu because of the fact that it warms up the inside of the body (R) which breaks down the accumulated phlegm and mucus, thereby providing relief from the signs and symptoms of cold and flu. Not just that, ginger also helps flush out the excess toxins out of the body which contributes to healing the cold and flu.
What to do?
- Add an inch of crushed ginger (R) to your tea
- Drink this tea three to four times throughout the day.
9. Garlic for Cold and Flu
Garlic is a much underappreciated remedy for the treatment of cold and flu. Several reports and studies have claimed that the regular consumption of garlic declined the rate of cold by 66% which is definitely monumentous.
Not just that, it is helpful to get rid of cold and flu because of the presence of Allicin in it. Make sure that you are consuming this in the crushed form for acquiring the maximum benefits out of it. Allicin (R), which has noticeable antimicrobial properties, is only active when crushed because the cell disruption is what triggers its activation. This fights against the viral growth that attacks the immune system to cause cold and flu.
What to do?
- For a general boost to the immunity, chew on one clove of garlic every morning
- For a cure for cold and flu fast, crush the garlic (R) in a mortar and pestle and eat that. You can even increase the garlic in your food and diet during times like these.
10. Green tea
Loaded with amazing immunity boosters, antioxidants (R) along with antimicrobial properties, green tea is definitely one of the best options in hand when it comes to preventing and completely getting rid of cold and flu naturally.
Green tea (R) helps fight the signs and symptoms of cold and flu, especially chest congestion and blockage of the nasal pathway. It breaks down the excess deposition of the phlegm and soothes the sore throat as well.
What to do?
- Boil some water in a kettle
- Steep a tea bag in a cup filled with water and let it stay that way for 5 minute
- Drink this tea three to four times a day
11. Honey for Cold and Flu
Honey not just fights against the viral infection causing the cold and flu; it also acts as a soother for the sore and inflamed throat which is one of the primary downsides to suffering from this seasonal disease.
Studies show that honey is rich in antimicrobial (R), antioxidant (R) and anti-inflammatory (R) properties altogether which is beneficial for the treatment of cold and flu effectively. To top it all off, it actually does taste good so that’s a definite plus.
What to do?
- Consume one tablespoon of honey (R) in the morning and also probably before bed at night for soothing the symptoms of cold and flu
12. Salt Water Gargle for Cold and flu
Gargling with warm salt water is one of the most effective natural remedies for cold and flu. It helps soothe the sore and scratchy throat and even works to remove the accumulated phlegm causing chest congestion (R) that often tends to block the air passages and makes it harder to breathe.
What to do?
- Mix half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of water (8 ounces)
- Make sure that the water is warm and not scalding hot
- Gargle with this till you run out of the glass of water
- Repeat this multiple times a day for pronounced effects
13. Juices for Cold and Flu
Apart from the common above mentioned home remedies, even the consumption of juices plans out beneficial for the treatment of several signs and symptoms of cold and flu. From enriching the body with the necessary nutrients to impacting the body with necessary anti-oxidative and antimicrobial properties, the consumption of juices does it all.
Some of the common variants of juices that are deemed beneficial as cold and flu remedies include:
Lemon juice – lemon juice is loaded with antioxidants and amazing healing properties which have amazing effects in curing a cold and flu. It boosts one’s immunity (R) and helps heal the signs and symptoms that often accompany this viral disease.
Orange juice – the effect of orange juice for the overall concept of a cure for cold and flu is a bit of a controversy. This is primarily because of the fact that the excess consumption of Vitamin C often tends to make the situation worse. It is always best to opt for Orange juice as a part of the regular diet to help boost your immunity.
Pineapple juice – the benefits of pineapple juice to cure a cold and flu fast is definitely a lot. It consists of an enzyme, bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory (R) effects on the body. Drinking pineapple juice once or twice a day is a great remedy for sore throat. Not just that, it also helps in expelling out the accumulated phlegm to ease the condition of congestion.
Green juice – green juice, which primarily consists of an array of green leaf varieties like kale and spinach and even cucumbers and other beneficial nutrients, have amazing effects on the treatment of cold and flu. They are loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients which help nourish the lost energy in a person struggling
14. Vitamins for Cold and Flu
Vitamins make up for an integral part of our body and constitute a major part in a number of our body functions. That being said, there have been sightings of abrupt distortions in the level of vitamins in the body when one suffers from cold and flu. Why? Because the body is literally fighting against the primary vector behind the issue, the virus.
Studies suggest that the consumption of Vitamins (R) is a must in order to effectively fight the degrading signs and symptoms that come with cold and flu. Increase the intake of Vitamin D and even Vitamin C (even though people might have controversial mindsets regarding its effectiveness). These help combat the fatigue and even rejuvenates the cells of the body which were attacked by the virus, hence resulting in the cold and flu.
15. Essential Oils for Cold and Flu
Essential oils are nothing but the concentrated extract of the various leaves, herbs or even flowers. These might not essentially impact the healing process in the treatment of cold and cough but they help soothe out the symptoms to get rid of cold and flu.
Some of the essential oils are loaded with anti-microbial and antioxidant properties which work together to ensure the very best cure for the cold and flu and that too, without any impending side effects that could affect one’s health adversely.
Some of the common essential oils used for the treatment of cold and flu include:
Oregano Oil – if you are suffering from severe respiratory blockages, there are chances that inhaling oregano oil can easily get that sorted for you. It is also very effective in treating the fever that often accompanies the signs and symptoms of cold and flu. Studies show that oregano oil is an amazing remedy for the expulsion of flu viruses.
Lavender Oil – essential oils work best for clearing out the air passage and the lavender oil is definitely one of the best options in the lot. It clears out the air passage and makes it easier for you to breathe when you feel your throat and chest congested and heavy.
Blackseed Oil – black seed oil (URL: http://www.healthspectra.com/black-seed-oil-benefits/) is one of the best immunity boosters which enrich our body with amazing components that helps shield our immune system from the foreign particles. It prepares the body to fight against the viral attacks and helps get rid of cold and flu with ease. In terms of dosage, it is always best to ensure that you are consulting your doctor first and then proceeding ahead with it.
Tea tree Oil – tea tree oil (R) is loaded with antioxidant and anti-microbial properties which have an amazing effect to prevent cold and flu naturally. If you have been consistently suffering from constant sneezing and fatigue, inhaling the smell of tea tree oil can definitely heal the symptoms that you are struggling with.
How to Prevent Cold and Flu?
Cold and flu are considered amongst one of the fastest communicable diseases and that is saying something. There are a number of factors that often times tend to affect the spreading of this disease and we, for the most part, are not even aware of it.
Some of the common and easy ways to prevent cold and flu include:
- Wash your hands every time you shake someone else’s
- Sleep is one of the best healers of cold and flu. Proper rest can have an immense impact in curing the signs and symptoms related to the persistent coughing and sneezing
- Flu shots are a must if you want to stay wary of contracting something that will leave you tired and completely drained
- Working out and regular exercises can help build your immune system which contributes to ensuring that you don’t contract cold and flu easily, even if you are exposed to it on multiple occasions
- Eat healthily and include more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies in your diet because they have the capability to prevent cold and flu naturally
Food for thought with some FAQs
A. While colds are more of around the year kind of disease, flu contracts primarily during the winter seasons of the year, primarily between the time frame of November till March. The symptoms of flu can extend on for a week or so and can often adversely affect one’s immune system, leaving a dent in their immune system.
2. What is the contagious period for cold and flu?
A. It is believed that the gestation period for the typical influenza virus ranges from one to four days between which they make the affected individual contagious. It is thus best to be very alert and try and suppress the signs and symptoms with home remedies or over the counter medications so it doesn’t affect other people.
3. How long do cold and flu last?
A. A typical cold and flu combination can last take from a week to two weeks to heal completely, depending on the kind of drugs or natural remedies the patient is availing. While the causes of cold are not that harmful on the body, the infestation of the flu virus often tends to affect the body’s immune system which is what prolongs the period of recovery.