People always ask me what my favorite cure for the flu is and how to treat the flu naturally. It’s really good to know there are natural home remedies to keep us healthy and help us get well when sick. Here are some of my favorite things to keep in our home “medicine cabinet”…
- White willow bark (contains Salicylic acid, a similar compound to aspirin) to help ease headache and fever
- Echinacea, which was used for 400 years by Native Americans to treat infections and wounds and as a general “cure-all.” Historically it was used for scarlet fever, syphilis, malaria, blood poisoning, and diphtheria. German research has shown it to have antiviral and immune enhancing qualities.
- Garlic capsules – garlic contains allicin, similar compound to penicillin.
- Tea tree oil – use externally – replaced penicillin during WWII in Australia.
You’ve probably heard it said, “Starve a cold, feed a fever.” This generally mis-quoted saying really is, “Starve a cold lest you feed a fever.” This means when you have a cold or flu symptoms, one of the best things you can do is to fast on water, juices or vegetable broth in order to cleanse the body and “starve your cold or flu.”
An excellent start is to drink vegetable juices and herbal teas with plenty of warm fluids throughout the day. Avoid fruit juice containing sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Dilute juice with water, and be sure to drink plain water in between. Best fluids to consume are warm water or herbal tea either plain or with a little lemon juice and honey.
Beyond the “germ theory,” natural hygiene teaches that viruses and bacteria cannot survive in a body when cells and tissue are clean. With this philosophy we might begin to consider a cold or the flu as an opportunity to cleanse. The body is simply saying, “Let’s clean house!”
To cleans the system, we want to be sure the intestinal tract is moving well, and consider adding flaxseed meal to the diet. Naturally grown flaxseed is available in supermarkets these days especially in the specialty food section. Once ground into flaxseed meal, keep in the refrigerator. Add this to juices or shakes, 1-2 teaspoons per day, or sprinkle over a light meal such as salad or rice and vegetables.
Cleansing, flushing the system with plenty of fluids, eating lighter fare such as fresh fruit and veggies, and staying off dairy products (which can be congesting) are important. Dairy products are the natural food for an infant of a species, but once we are adults they can be very mucous forming, and contribute to conditions in which a cold or flu can start. When fighting sickness, we want to decrease congestion in any way we possible, so minimizing dairy products is essential.
Lightening up our diet, cleansing, getting plenty of fluids, making sure that the intestinal tract is being cleaned out are all basic lifestyle habits that will help prevent getting sick, and help us get well when cold or flu occurs. When these lifestyle habits are followed, you’ll be amazed at how often you can stay well when others are sick around you. These lifestyle practices create an essential foundation for wellness. We can then add herbal remedies, fresh air, sunshine and plenty of rest to accelerate the process of getting and staying well from colds and flu.