Holistic Remedies for Cold & Flu

It is a common notion that you should drink orange juice (especially) when you are sick, as a way to get your “daily supply of vitamin C”.  However, is orange juice really the best way to go about this?  Although oranges are a decent source of vitamin c, there are numerous other fruits and vegetables that have much more or this key nutrient.  On average, a medium sized orange contains about about 69.7mg of essential vitamin C: let’s keep this in mind as I share some alternatives.

On the other hand, pineapple contains around 78.9 mg of vitamin C, in addition to bromelain, being an anti-inflammatory and helping to loosen mucus.  Kiwi is another great fruit for vitamin c, about 2 kiwis can yield you 137.2 mg of vitamin C, that’s almost twice as much as an orange.  Mangoes are great for your immune system because they are bursting with vitamin A as well as 122.3 mg of vitamin C to keep you healthy.  Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits and are very helpful if you are feeling ill.  A cup of strawberries contains 84.7 mg of vitamin C, and servings of folate to create and repair genetic material.  Melons are also great when you need to boost your immune system.  Have you ever eaten papaya to fight your cold? If not, you should try it!  Papayas have been found to help clean your sinuses , brighten your skin, strengthen your bones and are packed with 88.3 mg of good ole vitamin C.  These are a few examples of other fruits or raw juices you could use to help heal yourself, holistically. 

Citrus juice such as lemon or (white) grapefruit. To be clear, I’m referring to raw juice, not fruit flavored liquid from concentrate.  This is probably not your favorite juice, but grapefruit juice is another way to get a great serving of vitamin C, vitamin A,  calcium, fiber and iron.  When you’re feeling under the weather, grapefruit helps cure fatigue, fevers and helps you stay hydrated.  There are two types of grapefruit: red and white, I recommend white, but whatever is available.  Either way, a cup of grapefruit juice has 94 milligrams of vitamin C, to help boost your immune system. Lemon juice is a great source of vitamin C, as well as potassium and blood alkalizing properties.  A cup of lemon juice contains about 95 mgs of vitamin C, but I would not recommend you try it straight or undiluted.  Mix it with warm water and honey. This will help you sleep better, break up mucus and recover faster.

If you aren’t much of a fruit person, ginger root is another versatile alternative.  Although ginger is my go to for nausea, it is also great for relieving fever and headaches.  Making fresh ginger tea is a great remedy for sore throats due to the gingerol and shaogal in ginger. Ginger is also great at fighting colds by destroying the rhinoviruses that cause them.

I also love to using essential oils for basically everything but these are especially helpful for colds: eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, chamomille and tea tree oil.  For example, eucalyptus is nature’s best decongestant!  Eucalyptus acts as a powerful expectorant to help you expel mucus from your chest and nose.  In addition, it is also has powerful antiviral and antimicrobial properties to help treat your symptoms. Peppermint oil is really a cure all type of oil.  It is a natural decongestant and fever-reducer.  We all love vapor rubs because they containing menthol which smells good as well as relieving congestion, well so does peppermint oil.  There are various ways you can use essential oils as a treatment but here are a few of my favorite ways to use oils: steam inhalation, direct inhalation, mixed into my bathwater, steamed during a shower, making topical rubs with carrier oils, or in my aromatherapy diffuser.

If you still have an appetite, go for a dish with heavy garlic.  Garlic is an antibiotic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial,  bulb that has been used in herbal medicine for centuries.  It has been said that garlic can tackle almost any illness.

Cinnamon is another great spice to add to your holistic remedy regimine.  As an antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and powerful antioxidant, cinnamon helps relieve cough and congestion and lower fevers.  Cinnamon is a spice that has been used and studied for centuries now and has been found effective at various things.  I love to make cinnamon tea by boiling cinnamon sticks and honey/agave in a put on the stove. This tea smells and tastes great but please note that it will likely make you hot or sweat.

Lastly, I have to stress the importance of warm liquids.  For a lot of people, it is natural to want soup when you aren’t feeling good, but what about the liquids you’re drinking? Nothing should be colder than room temperature. Great time to instead, load up on hot herbal teas and hot lemon water; especially at the first sign of illness. The heat helps boost immune system and a variety of herbs can help with infection.

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