Cold season is well underway, and whether you’ve already got the sniffles or you’re constantly trying to shelter yourself from germs on your morning commute, we’re here to help. Luckily, you don’t have to do much to prevent or even shorten a nasty cold or flu. Remember: you get out what you put in when it comes to your body, so nourishing yourself with immune-boosters and taking the time for proper self-care will make a world of difference this time of year. Here, we share a few of our favorite ways to boost immunity as well as fight cold and flu symptoms that aren’t letting up. Check them out below.
Garlic For Colds
The immune benefits of garlic come from the sulfur compounds released when a clove is cut or mashed. When eaten, these compounds have profound effects on our health. Garlic is known to improve immunity, so one of its most common medicinal uses is to fight the common cold. Ingesting a garlic supplement has shown to both shorten the length of a cold and improve cold symptoms. In one 12-week study, it also reduced the overall number of colds subjects got by 63 percent when compared with a placebo. Just in time!
Read on to find out how garlic can help with cold and flu symptoms while also boosting your heart health, here!
Honey For Colds
The Mayo Clinic reports that in one study, kids aged two and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to two teaspoons of honey at bedtime. The honey appeared to reduce nighttime coughing for these sick children, which in turn improved their sleep. Even more impressive, honey seemed to be just as effective as dextromethorphan — a cough-suppressant ingredient. According to the BBC, honey is now the first recommended treatment for people with coughs!
Check out how honey can help you fight a cough, here!
Slipper Elm Cough Drops For Colds
Slipper Elm Cough Drops
Slippery elm is actually a nickname for the red elm tree, which grows from northern Florida to eastern Texas and parts of southeast North Dakota. Turns out, slippery elm is a potent plant medicine used traditionally for coughs, and when it’s dried and mixed with water and a little honey, it makes a great DIY cough drop! You can also buy them from brands like Thayers ($4.75, Amazon).
Find out how to make your own, here!
Oregano Oil For Colds
Before you head to the doctor's office, you may want to try oregano oil to treat your cold and flu symptoms. Oregano oil is a natural antibiotic and contains carvacrol (a plant compound that kills different types of bacteria). This could help ward off infections and sickness!
Learn more about the healing effects of oregano oil, here!
Essential Oils Cold Remedy
Other Essential Oils
But oregano oil isn’t the only essential oil that can help with cold and flu symptoms. Several essential oils like ginger, thyme, and eucalyptus can help you fight infection while also easing symptoms.
Read on to find out what other essential oils can do for your immunity and cold symptoms, here!
Tea For Cold Symtoms Recipe Ayurveda
Ayurvedic Tea for Colds
This Ayurvedic tea is made with just three immune-boosting ingredients: licorice, cinnamon, and holy basil (also called "Tulsi") leaf. In Ayurveda, the Indian sister science of yoga, licorice root is a healing plant with expectorant properties, helping to loosen and move mucus. Cinnamon is used Ayurvedically as a warming spice, helping to heat the body and fight cold symptoms like congestion and a sore throat. Finally, holy basil is known as an adaptogenic herb, which means it brings overall balance to the body's systems, boosting immunity and promoting a healthy stress response at a time when the body needs quality rest.
Check out how to make your own, here!
Tea For Colds
In general, sipping on tea is a great way to enhance immunity and keep your body warm and nourished from the inside out. There are so many teas out there like ginger and rosehip that can help you with a sore throat or stubborn cough, and even help you leave a stubborn cold in the past.
Check out some of our favorites, here!
Elderberry Syrup For Colds
If you haven’t already gotten your hands on some elderberry syrup and you’ve been struggling with your health this season, you’ll need to get some ASAP. Elderberry contains high amounts of vitamins C, A, and B6, as well as the antioxidant beta carotene which also boosts immunity. It's also full of other nutrients like fiber, iron, and potassium, which help reduce the duration of a cold or the flu.
Read more about the healing powers of elderberry syrup, here!
Bonfire Cider For Colds
A traditional bonfire cider recipe calls for ginger, turmeric, horseradish, onion, garlic, jalapeños, lemon, echinacea, cinnamon, rosemary, and manuka honey. That's a lot of ingredients, right? Well, luckily you can omit ingredients if you want, and still reap some serious immune-boosting benefits.
Read more about how to make your own bonfire cider, here!
Vitamins For Cold Prevention
And of course, the best way to keep your body healthy is ensuring that you’re getting enough of all the most important nutrients. Sometimes our diets don’t include as much leafy greens and fruit as we hope, but taking a daily multi-vitamin can help you meet your nutritional needs which will keep your immune defenses nice and strong.
For some of the best multivitamins for women over 50, check out our comprehensive guide, here!