Fighting the Flu Naturally

Each winter season brings some of the best natural and interactive events Canada has to offer, including ice skating, snowman building, hockey, tobogganing and tree cutting, to name a few. However, the dreaded flu and cold season comes hand-in-hand along with them. So, if you happen to get sick this season (like some of us at Notable already are), we’ve made a list of some classic and not-so-classic solutions to help ease your pain…

Classics

Dr. Notable recommends the following from personal experience…

Drink Hot Liquids
Aside from that lovely warm feeling any warm drink provides from the inside out, they also help prevent dehydration and ease congestion. The classics include honey in tea or lemon water when feeling the wintery blues.

Eat Chicken Soup
The classic feel-better dish has anti-inflammatory properties and (earmuffs for the easily squeamish!) helps ease the flow of mucus. If you can, throw in some cloves of garlic, too. Garlic has antiseptic properties found in its oil that helps open airways and decrease congestion.

Gargling with Salt Water
If you have a sore throat, this is one of the best solutions short of chugging a bottle of cough syrup. Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water to get rid of that tickle at the back of your throat.

Crank the Humidifier
Cold and influenza germs thrive in dry environments, so if you use a misty humidifier, it will help kill some of that irritating bacteria. 

Take your Vitamin C
Vitamin C boosts natural defenses that fight off infection. Popular choices for Vitamin C include kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, hot chili peppers and, more popularly, oranges and orange juice.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking tons of water is said to be one of the keys in giving your body a fighting chance against sickness through maintaining nutrients and filtering out impurities.

Unusual

We haven’t personally tested these methods, but have heard interesting things about them…

Cinnamon Bath
Fill your sink with warm water and mix in six drops of cinnamon extract. If you dunk your head in it, the healing properties of the cinnamon paired with the hot water help clear your head and ease congestion. We recommend not opening your eyes for this one.

Mustard, Mustard, Mustard
Incorporating mustard in the most untraditional ways possible seems to be a healthy solution for getting better. The most popular mustard remedies include a mustard footbath (mixing mustard powder in hot water draws blood to your feet, relieving congestion) and a mustard plaster (grind mustard seeds and add water to create a paste that you smear across your chest. Similar to the idea of the footbath, but this one also has a pungent smell closer to your nose to help unclog your sinuses.)

Wet Socks
Dunking a pair of socks in cold water before calling it a day stimulates the body to increase blood flow to the feet, easing congestion and increasing the elimination of toxins in your body. 

Listen to Jazz?
Research has shown that listening to jazz for extended periods of time strengthens our immunoglobulin A levels, an immune protein critical in the defense against infection.

Herbal Boosters

When home remedies need a little extra boost…

Oil of Oregano
Just the smallest amount of this ancient remedy does the trick. It is best known as antiviral oil that reduces pain and inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and serves as one of the best natural remedies for congestion.

Echinacea
One of the most popular natural medications, Echinacea helps fight disease by making the body’s immune system stronger in order to resist illness and fight other classic symptoms.

Wheatgrass
Considered one of the greatest natural sources of nutrients available, in juice form it contains 70% chlorophyll (which closely resembles human red blood cells, and has been shown to fight bacterial growth in the body) and therefore increases your resistance to sickness.

Greens Plus
A blend of 29 nutrients, sea vegetables and high-energy herbs, Greens Plus claims to have more organic vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants than consuming 5 full servings of fresh fruits and vegetables!

Cold FX
An herbal cocktail, to put it simply, Cold FX has a ginseng base paired with a number of other health boosting essentials, however what’s different about this is that the Alberta-based product uses North American ginseng, which is said to have greater healing qualities than the typical Asian ginseng. (And is also the #1 selling cold medication in Canada)

On the Go

For those of us who are too busy to be sick…

Airbourne
Helps to support the immune system through Vitamin C and 13 other vitamins, minerals and herbs, and can be taken in a powdered package that you add to your daily bottle of water, or chewable tablets.

Emergen-C
Contains 24 nutrients, including 7 B-Vitamins to enhance energy naturally and electrolytes to replenish the body as it’s fighting it’s way through the sickness storm.

Let us know if any of these work for you (or don’t) this chilly season!