Cold and Flu Season: How to Beat the Virus
The viruses that cause the common cold and seasonal flu are invasive organisms designed to replicate themselves. Most of the symptoms we experience when fighting cold and flu viruses are actually the body’s attempts to fight back against these invaders.
These natural health remedies from holistic nutrition schools will help your body fight back more effectively, relieve symptoms, and shorten the duration of viral infections.
The Best Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
Using natural remedies and holistic medicine to treat colds and flu is usually a combination of approaches designed to boost the immune system, prevent virus replication, and relieve symptoms. Some of the best natural supportive remedies include:
Staying Fully Hydrated
Drinking water and other healthy liquids while you are sick provides the basic element your body needs to fight the battle against the virus. Staying hydrated allows mucus and phlegm to be expelled more easily and counteracts the effects of diarrhea and fever.
Resting and Sleeping Well
Rather than loading up on chemical cold medicines and toughing it out, taking the day off to take care of yourself gives your full energy to the body’s defenses. No matter which other methods you use to relieve symptoms and boost your immune system, resting and sleeping are essential to healing.
Drinking Hot Tea and Broth
Chicken soup is a traditional remedy because it contains many antioxidant and healing ingredients, but also because it is hot and steamy. All warm liquids are helpful when you have a cold or flu, but herbal teas provide micro-nutrients and soothing steam, while hot bone broth provides salt, protein, and essential minerals such as potassium. All of these elements support immune system function.
Soup made at home with miso added at the end (not boiled) will provide probiotics, along with the benefits of onions, garlic, carrots, seaweeds, and greens, and it is suitable for vegetarians.
Increasing Zinc Levels
Zinc has been shown to slow down virus replication and to support the production of white blood cells.1 This double benefit makes zinc one of the best elements in a battle against the cold virus.
Rinsing with Salt Water
Salt, especially sea salt, has natural healing and antibacterial properties. Gargling with half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water will soothe a sore throat and clear irritating mucus buildup. Do not swallow the saltwater, and gargle for 10 to 30 seconds, three or four times a day. Teach children to gargle with clear water before you allow them to use saltwater.
Using a Neti Pot
You can also use a sterile saltwater (saline) solution to flush your nasal cavities with a neti pot. Following the instructions carefully, you can remove mucus buildup and reduce nasal congestion. This natural therapy has been used for centuries to treat sinus infections, colds, and flu symptoms.
Supplying Vitamins, Herbs, and Essential Nutrients
Using holistic nutrition therapies will supply all of the essential nutrients your body needs to boost immune system function and create the more immune cells that attack and destroy viruses. Some of the most important elements include:
- Vitamin A and B6
- Vitamins C, D, and E
- Echinacea and Elderberry
- Astragalus and Andrographis
Learning More About Natural Cold and Flu Therapies
If you would like to learn more about the art and science of natural healing, the University of Natural Health offers online nutrition courses and a holistic nutrition degree for students of holistic medicine. Contact us today to enroll or simply find out more about using nutrition and body science to enhance the body’s amazing abilities to return to total wellness.