Colds and flu are viral infections of the upper respiratory tract, often involving the throat, eyes, nose, and head. Bed rest is always recommended to treat these illnesses. Thankfully, there are many inexpensive treatments readily available.
What to Do
Eat lightly, avoiding all dairy products and anything else that will cause more mucus to accumulate in the system, such as sugar — including orange juice. Foods should be simple and warm. Hot broth is perfect for colds, and you can add medicinal herbs such as astragalus and echinacea to it. And, of course, eat lots of onions and garlic, nature’s best remedies for colds and flu. The following may also be helpful:
- Cook with traditional curry blends, which are a mix of medicinal herbs, including turmeric and cayenne, that stimulate and activate the immune system. Sauté onion slices and whole cloves of garlic with lots of curry. It not only tastes divine but clears the sinuses, while effectively fighting the cold or flu virus.
- Drink several cups a day of tea made with yarrow, peppermint, and elder. This is an old Gypsy formula that is very effective for helping sweat out a cold or flu.
- Make hot ginger tea with freshly grated ginger, honey, and lemon. This is one of the tastiest things you can take for a cold. For an extra punch, sprinkle a bit of cayenne in the tea. Drinking several cups of this daily will help sweat out a cold.
- Elderberry syrup is another tasty cold and flu remedy, and it’s one of the most effective remedies you can make. Elderberries contain broad-spectrum antiviral properties and are able to fight off many different types of viruses. You can make elderberry syrup using either fresh or dried berries
- Make your own echinacea tincture before the cold season starts. To ward off a cold, take ½ teaspoon of the tincture every half hour at the first sign of symptoms. If you already have a cold, take 1 teaspoon of the tincture every 2 hours.
This is another of the remedies that are effective, easy to make, and tasty, but not for the weak of heart. Make a batch before the cold season starts.
- 1 quart apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup grated fresh horseradish
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons powdered turmeric cayenne powder
- 1 cup honey (more or less to taste)
- Combine the vinegar, horseradish, onion, garlic, turmeric, and a pinch or two of cayenne. Cover and let sit in a warm place for 3–4 weeks. Strain the mixture, add the honey, and rebottle. Refrigerate.
- Take 1–2 tablespoons at the first sign of a cold and continue throughout the day (approximately every 2–3 hours) until the symptoms subside.