While it is not officially winter yet, cold and flu season is here. Whether you’re sick from your co-workers or your kids, it can bring you down for a few days. There is still no cure for the common cold and many people resist getting their flu shot. I’ve put together a list of things that can help ease you through cold and flu season.
Lemon Balm – Lemon Balm is an herb that smells wonderful, attracts bees to your garden, and has many useful purposes. One of those being a relief from colds. It can be infused with alcohol (vodka works great) and taken a teaspoon at a time to reduce the discomfort of a cold. Or you can make lemon balm into a hot tea. Lemon balm contains antiviral properties and helps calm the mind and body.
Peppermint – Peppermint is an amazing herb. It has so many uses and it smells great too. Peppermint can be used as a natural fever reducer and nasal decongestant. Peppermint oil can be applied to the forehead to relieve a headache. It can also be used in combination with a steam tent (see below) to reduce inflammation in the lungs.
Peppermint is also great at settling an upset stomach or bowel issues. Drinking peppermint in tea is the best way to ease stomach discomfort.
Rosemary – Rosemary is helpful for boosting the immune system. It also reduces inflammation and is an antiviral. This means it can open up congested sinuses and help reduce lung discomfort. It is also known as a warming herb and can greatly reduce muscle aches and pains.
Epsom Salt Baths – Epsom salt baths aren’t only good for sore muscles, although we can all agree that sore muscles come with most colds and flu. Epsom salts help detoxify our bodies by drawing out the toxins via our skin. Mix Epsom salt with some powerful essential oils and you will help your body fight off the sickness. It’s also well known that a hot bath will help you sleep better and sleeping is so important when you aren’t feeling well.
MB Botanicals offers four different bath salt options. Soak in a hot bath while the salts extract toxins from your body and the essential oils ease the pain from your head and chest.
Scented Steam – There is a bevy of herbal options when using steam to clear a foggy head. Peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, lemon, etc. will all help reduce inflammation in your sinuses and lungs and work to ease congestion.
You have a few options when it comes to steaming. You can boil water, add a few drops of preferred essential oil and then, with a towel over your head place your face at a safe distance over the water. The steam will penetrate your sinuses and provide the relief you need.
You can also add essential oils to the bottom of your bathtub while taking a hot shower. Or use one of MB Botanicals sugar scrubs Sugar Scrubs on your face, neck and chest to relieve pain and pressure from your sinuses. The Lavender Eucalyptus and Rosemary Mint are both amazing when you’re feeling under the weather.
Compresses – Compresses work great for relieving sinus pressure. If you are suffering from a sinus headache or your sinuses are painful, try a hot compress on your face.
To make a compress
Sleep – Never underestimate the power of rest and sleep while you are sick. Take it easy and sleep when you need to. If that means you don’t get out of bed for two days, so be it! Just make sure you are staying hydrated and taking care of any fever you may have.
Herbal Tea with Honey and Lemon – Herbal tea can provide an immense amount of comfort when you are sick. The herbs will help heal by antiviral or anti-inflammatory properties within the herb. By adding lemon to the tea, you give yourself a boost of vitamin C to reduce the length and severity of your sickness. Raw honey can help soothe a sore throat and it comes packed with antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
For the best results, ensure you are using a non-caffeinated herbal tea.
Apple Cider Vinegar – There are entire books written about the virtues of apple cider vinegarand for good reason. ACV detoxifies your body and supports a healthy immune system. The following drink can be used to clear up a cold that just won’t go away.
A note of caution when drinking apple cider vinegar – it is acidic and can burn your esophagus if it’s not diluted. Always dilute before drinking.
Apple Cider Cold Tonic
When using herbs and essential oils, always take caution and follow usage recommendations. Pregnant or nursing women must be very cautious when using herbal remedies.
I hope that all of you stay healthy this winter and have no use for these tips, but if you use one I would love to hear how it worked for you. Or, do you have something that isn’t on the list?