While getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet low in sugar and processed foods, and getting regular exercise can help keep your immune system boosted throughout the year; sometimes we need a little help – especially during cold and flu season.
These simple home remedies, taken at the first sign of oncoming illness, can help shorten the duration and intensity of illness and have you up and running in no time. Sometimes, you can actually overcome the infection, and not get sick after all.
GarlicThis natural antifungal and antibacterial can help kick almost any illness to the curb. Garlic loses its potency when cooked, so it’s best taken raw during times of sickness. Try a garlic shot: 1-2 cloves of very finely minced garlic in a very small glass of water and drink it quickly in one sip.
Coconut OilIts naturally high levels of lauric acid, which the body converts into a compound that has potent antimicrobial properties, can help boost the immune system and ward off illness. It can be taken with food, melted into hot tea or eaten straight out of the jar.
Fermented Cod Liver OilHigh levels of omega-3s make this ideal for reducing inflammation, while the naturally occurring levels of vitamins A and D help boost immune health. During times of sickness, you can double the recommended daily dose for extra immune support.
Apple Cider VinegarAdding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice, to a glass of water helps to alkalinize the body. Creating an alkaline environment helps kill bacteria and viruses. Start drinking it at the first sign of illness and repeat several times a day until the symptoms subside.
Liquid ChlorophyllChlorophyll is also alkalinizing, making it difficult for viruses to survive, and is also a great blood purifier that is high in nutrients. Simply add a teaspoon to your regular drinking water throughout the day.
Nasal WashWhen you have sinus congestion, excess mucous is unable to drain, which can lead to a bacteria buildup, swelling and stuffiness. Rinsing your nasal passages with filtered water helps to clear out excess phlegm, pollutants and bacteria, so your normal nasal mucosa can better fight infections and allergies.
Warm LiquidsHomemade bone broth, hot lemon water, and herbal teas all help boost the immune system and soothe you when feeling sick. Ginger is good for sinus trouble and congestion. Chamomile helps reduce inflammation and calms nerves, which can result in better sleep. Homemade cinnamon tea made with one tablespoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of honey helps reduce coughing and congestion. Licorice (root) is anti viral, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and supports the adrenal glands during times of stress (like when you get sick!). One to three cups of licorice tea a day while you are sick can prove to be quite beneficial. You can also swish and swallow the tea when you have canker sores (viral) to decrease the pain, and to shorten the lifespan of the virus.
Elderberry SyrupElderberries, also known as sambucus, have been used in traditional folk medicine to help prevent and treat the symptoms of both colds and flus. The berries are rich in the anti-inflammatory anthocyanin, as well as antioxidant flavonoids, which help combat illness. When choosing a brand, make sure to avoid any containing preservatives, natural flavorings or high-fructose corn syrup.