A lot of times, if you wait until you or someone in your family gets the flu or a cold this winter, it’s hard to scramble to get the right treatment. Some prefer to go the preventative route, and have some of these things on hand before the cold or flu strikes. If you’d like to implement some home remedies this year to avoid colds and flu, here are some suggestions.
You have probably heard of Vitamin C for cold prevention and treatment, but have you heard of Vitamin D? The latest research shows that Vitamin D (particularly D3) is important in staving off colds and flu. This may be because the lack of sunlight in the winter creates a Vitamin D deficiency, and supplements are needed to keep the immune system in top shape. You can take a D3 supplement, and/or eat foods rich in this vitamin, such as eggs, liver, salmon, and mushrooms.
Vitamin C – Still Relevant
Vitamin C is still an important cold and flu prevention vitamin. Foods that are high in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers (bell and chili), parsley, dark leafy greens, and strawberries. Many of these foods are out of season during cold and flu time, so if you do get these foods at your grocery store they will not only be more expensive – they will also be less likely to contain their full allotment of Vitamin C. This is largely due to long shipment times during which the Vitamin C decreases in the foods. Therefore, a daily supplement might be a good idea.
Have you noticed that you seem to get sick at the most inopportune times? This may be because when you are under stress and have a lot of things to get done, your immune system gets stressed and weakened. Getting enough rest is key to staying healthy. You may think you don’t have time to get enough sleep or rest, but unless you allow for the time, you may find you have to take a lot more down time being sick!
The popular cold and flu herb, echinacea, is not generally recommended as a daily preventative. You can take it if you think you’ve been exposed and keep taking it for a month or so; but experts warn that echinacea tends to lose its effectiveness if taken for more than a month at a time. The good news is, there are other herbs you can use to keep your immunity working well this winter – and they are probably in your home kitchen.
* Ginger – This anti-inflammatory herb is tasty, spicy, and said to be a great cold and flu preventer. You can drink a cup of fresh ginger tea every day, and/or include this herb in your cooking.
* Garlic – Garlic is another herb that is sometimes used along with ginger in Asian cooking. Sprinkle minced, chopped, or crushed garlic liberally in daily recipes, or mix it with olive oil for a healthy dip for bread. You can also take garlic in capsule form. It’s been shown to be a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial herb.
* Raw Honey – Truly raw honey can really help with cold and flu prevention – studies have shown that a tablespoon a day prevents cold in children. The same could probably be applied to adults, only perhaps a larger daily dose. If you don’t like it plain, put raw honey on toast or swirl it into hot herbal tea.