Herbal Home Remedies

Colds And Flu Home Remedies

Having a cold or flu is nothing to sneeze at! The common cold can wipe you out, and the influenza virus-which is characterized by inflammation of the respiratory tract and fever, chills and muscular pains-can really knock you out.

If you're feeling down for the count with a red, runny nose, chest congestion and that achy-aIl-over feeling, instead of making much achoo about nothing, keep reading for some simple hints to fight back.

Natural home remedies

  • Hot Orange & Ginger
    1 orange
    1/2 teaspoon honey
    1/4 teaspoon ginger (helps to soothe the throat)
    1 cup boiling water
    Squeeze the juice from a fresh orange into a cup of boiled water, add ginger & honey for taste. Sip while warm.
  • Gargle: A mix of water and pure tea tree oil this helps sore throats.
  • Wash your hands frequently, this reduces the chances of re infecting yourself and others. 
  • Vitamin C in doses of 500 mg. Four times a day will shorten flu symptoms by a day or two. Vitamin C works best for colds instead of the flu. Cough drops made from the herb horehound can be effective. Keep your consumption of sugar down. Sugar will decrease your immune systems ability to fight disease.
  • Goldenseal is another herb that acts as a natural antibiotic, and can be taken to help your body in its battle against the cold. It helps to relieve nasal, as well as lung congestion, among other symptoms.
  • Take echinacea this herb is antiviral and antibacterial, speeds healing, boost the immune system.
Hot Remedy for a Cold
  • The first round of ammunition for fighting the cold war is chicken soup (also known as Jewish penicillin). Marvin A. Sackner, MD, retired medical director of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, proved that chicken soup can help cure a cold.

Using a bronchofiberscope and cineroentgenograms and measurements of mucus velocity, Dr. Sackner tested the effectiveness of hot chicken soup versus both hot and cold water. The results...

Cold water lowered nasal clearance. Hot water improved it, but it was nothing compared with the improvement after hot chicken soup. Then, to negate the effects of the steam from the hot water and hot chicken soup, the fluids were sipped through straws from covered containers. Hot water had very little effect this way. But the hot chicken soup still had some benefit.

Chicken Soup (The Medicine)

Irwin Ziment, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California School of Medicine, and chief of medicine and director of respiratory therapy at Olive View Medical Center, both in Los Angeles, is also an authority on pulmonary drugs. Considering the research, experience and expertise it took to earn his credentials, we believe that Dr. Ziment's chicken soup recipe for colds, coughs and chest congestion should be taken seriously and whenever you have a cold.

CAUTION: This chicken soup is a medicine and is not to be eaten as one would eat a portion of soup. Please follow the dosage instructions.

Dose: Take 2 tablespoons of Dr. Ziment's Chicken Soup at the beginning of a meal, one to three times a day. (If you feel you want a little more than 2 tablespoons, fine, but do not exceed more than 1/2 cup at a time.)

Other Dietary Remedies

  • In Russia, garlic is known as Russian penicillin. It has been reported that colds have actually disappeared within hours-a day at most-after taking garlic.

Keep a peeled clove of garlic in your mouth, between the cheek and teeth. Do not chew it. Occasionally, release a little garlic juice by digging your teeth into the clove. Replace the clove every three to four hours.

The allicin in garlic is an excellent mucus-thinner and bacteria-killer. It's no wonder many cold remedies include garlic.

  • If taking garlic by mouth is not for you, then peel and crush six cloves of garlic. Mix them into 1/2 cup of white lard or vegetable shortening. Spread the mush on the soles of your feet and cover them with a (preferably warmed) towel or flannel cloth. Put plastic wrap under your feet to protect bedding. Garlic is so powerful that even though it's applied to one's feet, it will be on one's breath, too.

Apply a fresh batch of the mixture every five hours until the cold is gone.

Liquid Measures

  • Prepare tea by steeping equal parts of cinnamon, sage and bay leaves in hot water. Strain, and before drinking the tea, add 1 table­spoon of lemon juice. If necessary, sweeten with honey.
  • Keep flushing out your system by drinking lots of nondairy liquids-unsweetened fruit juices, herbal tea and just plain water.

Contessa Knows Best

  • When our friend, a Contessa from the Italian hills, has a cold, she makes a mug of very strong, regular tea and adds 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of cognac, 1 teaspoon of butter and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. She drinks it as hot as she can and goes to bed between cotton sheets. If she wakes up during the night and is all sweaty, she changes her bedclothes and sheets and goes back to bed. By morning, she feels "molto bene!"
  • People have been known to fake a cold just to take this remedy-combine 4 teaspoons of rum with the juice of one lemon and 3 tea­spoons of honey. Then add it to a glass of hot water and drink it before going to bed.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of honey. This elixir is particularly effective for a cold with a sore throat.

Dose: Take 1 tablespoon six to eight times a day.

  • Boil down 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds (without the shells, of course) in 5 cups of water until there's about 2 cups of liquid left in the pot. Then stir in 1/4 cup of honey and 3/4 cup of gin. This potion is particularly good for chest colds.

Dose: Take 2 teaspoons three times a day at mealtime.

Egg-cellent Remedy

  • Mix the white of one raw egg with 4 teaspoons of prepared mustard and rub it on the chest. Take a (preferably white) towel and dip it in hot water, then wring it out and place it on top of the mixture already on the chest. As soon as the towel is cool, re-dip it in hot water, wring it out and put it back on the chest. Reapply the towel four or five times. After the last application of the towel, wash off the chest, dry thoroughly, bundle up and go to bed.
  • To stimulate appropriate acupuncture points that can help relieve a cold, place an ice cube on the bottom of both big toes. Keep them in place with an elastic bandage or piece of cloth. Place feet in a basin, in two plastic shoe boxes or on plastic to avoid a mess from the melting ice. Do this procedure morning, noon and night.

Mineral or Medicine?

  • Zinc gluconate-available at health food stores and some pharmacies-works wonders for some people. It either nips the cold in the bud, considerably shortens the duration of the cold or lessens the severity of it.

For it to be effective, be sure to follow the dosage carefully: Adults, take two lozenges (23 mg each) at the outset and then one every two hours thereafter, but not more than 12 a day, and for no longer than two days.

Also, do not take them on an empty stomach. Even if you don't feel like eating, consume half a fruit before you take a lozenge. Suck on the lozenge so that it comes in prolonged contact with your mouth and throat. Honey-flavored are the best-lemon are the pits.

Zinc gluconate also comes in 46 mg tablets. If you get them instead of the 23 mg, take one at the outset of your cold and one every four hours, not exceeding six a day, and not for longer than two days.

CAUTION: Some people get stomachaches from zinc. Also, high amounts of zinc may increase a man's risk of developing prostate cancer.

Consult your doctor before supplementing with zinc.

Don't Blow It

  • Another popular remedy for a head cold is to cut two thin-as-can-be strips of orange rind. Roll them up with the white spongy part (the pith) on the outside, and stick one in each nostril. Stay that way until your head cold is better, or you can't stand the rind in your nostrils anymore-whichever coines first. Be sure to leave a bit of orange rind sticking out of your nose so you can dislodge it easily.
  • The first of our five senses to develop is our sense of smell. Eventually, the average human nose can recognize 10,000 different odors-but not when we have a head cold.

To clear your head and stop a runny nose, begin by cutting the crust off a piece of bread. Plug in your iron and put it on "hot"-wool or cotton setting. Carefully iron the bread crust. When it starts to burn, lift the iron off the crust and carefully inhale the smoke through your nostrils for two minutes. Repeat this procedure three times throughout the day. We've been told that the runny nose stops and the head cold clears up in a very short time-one or two days.

  • The natural sulfur in broccoli and parsley is supposed to help us resist colds. Eat broccoli and/or parsley once a day.
  • An apple a day.. .works! A university study showed that the students who ate apples regularly had fewer colds.
  • Before bedtime, take a ginger bath and sweat away your cold overnight. Put 3 tablespoons of grated ginger in a stocking and knot the stocking closed.

NOTE: It's easier to grate frozen ginger than fresh ginger.

Throw the grated-ginger stocking into a hot bath, along with the contents of a 2-ounce container of powdered ginger. Stir the bath water with a wooden spoon. Then, get in and soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Once you're out of the tub, dry yourself thoroughly, preferably with a rough towel Put on warm sleep clothes and cover your head with a towel or woolen scarf, leaving just your face exposed. Get in bed under the covers and go to sleep. If you perspire enough to feel uncomfortably wet, change into dry sleepwear.

Gem of a Remedy

  • Talking about "sweating it out," a gem therapist told us that wearing a topaz activates body heat and, therefore, helps cure ailments that may benefit from increased perspiration.

Healing Power of Onion

The onion is also a popular natural remedy to relieve colds. Here are some ways in which the onion is used..

  • Cut an onion in half and place one half on each side of your bed so you can inhale the scent as you sleep.
  • Eat a whole onion before bedtime in order to break up the cold overnight.
  • Dip a slice of raw onion in a glass of hot water. After a few seconds, remove the onion and, when the water cools, start sipping it. Continue to do so throughout the day.
  • If you like your onions fried, take the hot fried onions, put them in a flannel or woolen cloth and bind them on your chest overnight.
  • Put slices of raw onion on the soles of your feet, and hold the slices in place with woolen socks. Leave them that way overnight to draw out infection and fever.

Fight The Flu

  • The second you feel fluish, take 1 tablespoon of liquid lecithin (available at health food stores). Continue to take 1 tablespoon every eight hours for the next two days. Some naturalists believe that these large doses of lecithin may prevent the flu from flourishing.

Old Family Recipe

  • This formula was handed down from generation to generation by a family who tells of the many lives it saved during the 1918 flu epidemic in Stuttgart, Germany. They claim that this elixir cleanses the harmful virus from the blood.

CAUTION: This remedy is only for people who do not have a problem with alcohol.

Peel and cut 1/2 pound of garlic into small pieces. Put the garlic and 1 quart of cognac (90 proof) in a dark brown bottle. Seal it airtight with paraffin wax or tape. During the day, keep the bottle in the sun or another light, warm place, like in the kitchen near the oven. At night, move the bottle to a dark, cool place.

After 14 days and nights, open the bottle and strain. Put the strained elixir back in the bottle. It is now ready to be used. The potency of this mixture is said to last one year, so label the bottle with the expiration date accordingly.

If you already have the flu, take 20 drops of the formula with a glass of water, one hour before each meal (three times a day), for five days.

To prevent the flu, take 10 to 15 drops with a glass of water, one hour before each meal, every day during the flu season.

  • The second you've been exposed to someone with the flu, try taking cinnamon oil.

Dose: Take 5 drops of cinnamon oil in a tablespoon of water, three times a day.

  • By drinking raw sauerkraut juice once a day, you should avoid getting the flu. (It's also a good way to avoid constipation.)
  • Move to the North Pole for the winter. None of the standard cold- and flu-causing microorganisms can survive there. The problem is, you might not be able to either.

If you do have to resort to OTC medications to manage your cold and flu symptoms, choose a multi-symptom formulation with few side-effects like Contac Cold + Flu. Contac has both day and night formulations to keep you going and then let you rest.

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