6 Natural and Easy Remedies to Ease Cold and Flu Symptoms

woman lying on bed while blowing her nose

It’s that time of year again when colds and flu keep you bundled up on your couch, sipping tea and devouring tissue boxes instead of walking in a winter wonderland. What can you do to decrease your chances of getting sick and recover more quickly if you do catch a bug?

People have searched for a common cold cure since time immemorial and still suffer occasional scratchy throats and stuffy noses. However, humans have learned a thing or two about what makes you ill and nurses you back to health. Here are six natural and easy remedies to ease cold and flu symptoms.

1. Hygiene

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the flu nearly disappear, likely due in part to increased attention to hygiene measures. Simple handwashing is perhaps your best defense against infectious diseases, but it’s natural to get distracted and forget when the risk isn’t first and foremost on your mind.

Even medical professionals sometimes need reminders to take proper hygiene precautions when triage demands their attention elsewhere. Do you work with the public? Consider setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to rub in the sanitizer when you can’t get to a sink.

2. Vitamin C

Over-the-counter cold and flu remedies often feature vitamin C among their ingredients. While this nutrient can shorten a cold’s duration by up to 24 hours, it only works if you take it at the first sign of the sniffles.

Why not load up by adding more foods rich in this nutrient to your daily diet? Most folks turn to citrus, but orange juice isn’t your only option. Each red bell pepper contains three times the vitamin C of an orange, so whip up some stuffed peppers or add a few slices to your lunchtime wrap.

3. Zinc

Zinc can also help you recover from a cold more quickly, with the same caveat as vitamin C – you need it in your system when you first get sick. Fortunately, getting more of this nutrient is as easy as adding more seafood to your diet. This stuff is also rich in omega-3s, which benefits heart and brain health, while the mineral content boosts immunity.

What if you follow a vegan lifestyle? Fortunately, most nuts and seeds are also excellent sources of zinc. Sprinkle a few pepitas, sunflower seeds, and walnuts on your salads instead of croutons to increase the nutrient value and get your RDA.

4. Trikatu

What is trikatu? No, it isn’t an exotic new Pokémon, although it does have Asian origins. This mixture is a well-known Ayurvedic remedy for multiple ailments, and it’s so powerful that scientists are even investigating its potential in treating COVID-19.

Trikatu consists of black pepper, Indian long pepper, and ginger. How do you take it? Try sprinkling a bit in your morning coffee or tea. It won’t alter the taste much, other than to lend a light chai flavor, and it could help you fight off germs.

5. Honey

Honey seems like a natural cold remedy. It has antimicrobial properties and coats your throat to soothe soreness and inflammation. Research suggests it works as an effective cough suppressant and tastes far more delicious than most OTC cold remedies.

Unlike most cold remedies, honey is also a good source of riboflavin and copper. Additionally, it contains polyphenols that help prevent chronic conditions like heart disease, making it doubly good to keep on your shelf and scoop into your tea when you feel under the weather.

6. Rest

It makes sense that you feel sleepier when you get sick. Your body needs rest to recover, and you produce most of your cytokines – vital immune proteins – while you slumber.

Furthermore, the pathogen taxes your reserves as your body mounts its defense. Resisting the urge to rest only prolongs your illness.

Please, call in sick if you possibly can – it helps control the spread of infection to others. It will also aid your recovery and get you back to your productive best far more quickly.

Ease Cold and Flu Symptoms With These Natural and Easy Remedies

Winter brings more than its fair share of colds and flu. Spending more time indoors in closer contact with others enables germs to spread. How can you prevent yourself from getting sick? The above remedies should help you ease cold and flu symptoms naturally. Some prevent illness, while others aid your recovery.

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