6 Ways to Help Treat Cold and Flu Naturally

Sneezing. Coughing. Achy joints. Fevers. Chills. Headaches. Sore throat. Trouble sleeping. Fatigue.

These symptoms often add up to two very frequent and frustrating illnesses: cold and flu. It seems like it’s impossible to get through the winter months without catching the dreaded winter cold or flu.

This year you are likely to do everything you can to prevent the sneezing, coughing, headaches, sore throat and fatigue. You ate more vegetables. You got extra rest. You washed your hands a lot. You exercised. You cut back on alcohol. You got the flu shot. In other words - you did everything you were “told” to do and you still got sick.

Well, sadly there is no cure for the common cold or flu but there are some excellent natural treatments you may not be aware of that you can do to help lessen the symptoms and duration of your sickness. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite ways to help chase away the cold and flu.

1. Gargle

Gargling with warm salty water may not sound that appealing but it does bring some immediate relief to your sore tingling throat. The warm salt water gargle helps give much needed moisture to your throat and helps to kill bacteria. To provide extra healing powers, you can create a gargle mixture with honey and warm water or a combination of honey, apple cider vinegar and warm water. Try to gargle four times a day.

2. Support the flu shot

If you got the flu shot, you can breathe easier, because even though you’re wiped out with a cold or flu, that flu shot wasn’t a waste.  Just take AHCC!  A recent study has shown that when people who had the flu shot and took AHCC, they were better able to fight off the flu than those who just received the flu shot alone. And of course, don’t forget that AHCC is very powerful in helping to strengthen your immune system just like an army - allowing you to get back on your feet correctly. With AHCC your dendritic cells ("the border guards"), cytokines ("the army surveillance unit"), and natural killer cells ("the special forces") will increase - giving you the strongest immune system possible. Remember a strong and healthy immune system is your best defense against seasonal cold and flu!

3. Enjoy some hot drinks

A hot or warm mug of lemon ginger tea will go a long way in relieving your congestion and helping to clear out your sinuses. Not to mention you’ll get some much needed hydration (the cold and flu are notorious for causing us to be dehydrated) and help soothe your dry throat. If you’re not a tea drinker, try this comforting before-bed drink: simply stir one to two tablespoons of natural raw honey into a mug of warm water, stir until the honey is dissolved and enjoy the healing powers of this warm drink.

4. Get steamy

You know that feeling when you step out of the shower into your bathroom with steamed over mirrors? Well, that’s just the feeling you want when you’re dealing with congestion, sneezing, coughing and dryness. A hot steamy shower will open your nasal passages, deliver moisture to your dry nose and throat and will help you sleep better by having you relax.

5. Blow your nose

No one likes sniffling and the thing is, this annoying habit can actually prolong your cold. You want to clear your nose and nasal passage of mucus. This mucus is making it hard for you to breathe, swallow and sleep - not to mention that this mucus carries the germs and bacteria you want to get rid of. So blow your nose - don’t sniffle!

6. Sleep is your friend

Sleeping and resting is one of the best things you can do when you’re wiped out with a cold or flu. Don’t try to do everything you normally do and focus on relaxing. Stretch out on the couch with a good book, a warm mug of something tasty and soothing, cover yourself with a couple of quilts and send your family out for the day.  And take a hot, steamy shower before you go to bed! The more you rest, the better chances your immune system has of recovering and fighting off the cold or flu.