Tips to Treat Colds and Flu the 'Natural' Way
Walk into most retail stores and there they are – The Holiday Seasons: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Happy Holidays (seems as if its official---just sayin') all next to each other in aisle 10, 11, and 12. However, there is another season upon us known for giving and receiving but viewed with less excitement and nostalgia then the rest. That’s right-Flu Season!
Well, not only does the Saturday's Soap family believe in a “better way” we promote and operate in a “better way” by making “better" life style decisions. And that’s why in addition to offering our share of the worlds best skin care products we want to move you and the people you care for toward a “better way” of Natural Effective Flu and Cold care. First, a fact-- you can't cure a cold. But you may be able to shorten one. Here's our find on some natural cold remedy prevention an healing worth sharing (a good thing to catch--no pun intended :)).
As we attend parties, office shindigs, and family gatherings, let’s refresh our memory of all the obvious and conspicuous places we can contact the flu virus. Traditionally, we are aware of the office phone but what about all those key pads and door knobs we come into contact with while at work.
- You know the one on the elevator, microwave, and vending machine. And don’t forget the ATM pad at your local bank or variety store.
- At all cost, use extra caution in the restrooms. The virus loves to hang out on the toilet levers, toilet paper roll, and the middle stalls. That’s right-the middle! Those are the stalls with the most frequent use. So next time, use the one on either end.
- And while we are on the subject of avoidance, avoid putting all food in the grocery cart seat. Aside from the flu, kids learning to potty train sit there and what does that mean—simply put “accidents”.
- Kid’s lockers, text books, sports equipment, and lunch boxes are breeding grounds for the virus.
- Next time you pack your child’s lunch box, pack a frozen juice or ice pack (and hand wipes). Since most kids lunches aren’t refrigerated, this is the perfect, warm environment for viruses and bacteria to grow.
- And for you moms that love those play dates at the library, that cart full of toys is having a play date with the flu virus too!
- While we all go to the doctor office primarily to get well, many have been known to leave the office and feel sick by then end of the day. Doctor’s neckties are known to swarm with a variety of diseases including the flu.
Now, let’s talk about the “better way” of healing. Just like our products, our team, including my family believes in homeopathic remedies to heal the body. A large portion of the herbs, oils, and extracts we use to produce our product have other health benefits.
- Engage the cold and flu season on the offense by taking a natural vitamin C to build up your immune system. Continue this throughout the entire season.
- Echinacea, the herbal supplement, like Vitamin C, has mixed reviews among the experts. Advocates say it's an immune booster with antiviral properties and other benefits, so it's good at preventing colds. However, we also found data stating Echinacea decreases the odds of developing a cold by 58% and reduces its duration by 1.4 days. You choose.
- Hand washing has long been touted as a way to prevent a cold during cold and flu season, and experts agree that is wise.
- Try Zinc. The mineral zinc, available in over-the-counter lozenges, nasal sprays, and gels, may work by preventing the formation of proteins needed by a cold virus to reproduce.
- Throughout the day, continuously sip on a hot drink of honey (a mild antiseptic) and fresh, grated ginger (anti-inflammatory).
- Keep a handful of zinc and slippery elm lozenges in your pocket. They help to build your immune system and provide temporary relief to your throat.
- Gargling is a must when you wake up in the morning or after a nap. The salt in the water can moisten the throat and disperse the thick mucus that collets at the back of the throat.
- Also, if you can stand the aroma, slice a thin piece of garlic and leave it on your tongue for 5 minutes.
- Get plenty of rest. If you’re able, sleep with an extra pillow. The elevation helps with draining the nasal passages.
- Whether it’s flu season or not, blow your nose; especially if you’re sick. But be careful, because blowing hard can cause the phlegm to back up into your ear passages, causing an earache. The safest way to blow is to press a finger over one nostril while blowing out of the other. Also, salt water mixed with baking soda helps to break nasal congestion. Lightly hold one nostril close, and using a syringe squirt the liquid in the other nostril. Let it drain. Repeat.
- End your night with a hot shower. Hang a sprig of eucalyptus in the shower. It opens the nasal passages and makes the bathroom smell divine. Or, use eucalyptus or peppermint oil in your humidifier. This is even great to do when you’re not sick.
Whatever natural remedy you use, the effects on the cold will be marginal experts say. Of natural cold remedies, they're not as effective as commercial cold remedies such as decongestant, antihistamines, and anti-inflammatory drugs. So, choose your route and your weapons wisely.
Patience could pay off, too. You can't cure the cold. [But] most of them are gone within 10 days.
Remember, serious conditions can masquerade as the common cold and a mild infection can evolve into something more serious. If you have severe symptoms or are feeling sicker with each passing day, see a doctor.
Stay well and thrive!
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