It has been an extra sickly flu season for a lot of the folks in my life, and I bet that a lot of you are battling the wintertime ick, as well. With more cold weather on the way in a lot of the northern hemisphere, it felt like a good time to round up a few of the cold and flu remedies that seem to actually make a difference. While there’s no way to totally cure a cold or the flu once it’s taken hold, these remedies can definitely help reduce your sickness’ severity and duration.
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1. Oil of Oregano
I wish I could remember who hipped me to oil of oregano, but this stuff has been great for me this flu season. Oil of oregano is rich in vitamins and minerals and is said to reduce pain and inflammation.
The second you start feeling run down, you’ll want to pop oil of oregano pills twice a day between meals. I normally get a couple of bad illnesses during the winter, and this time around I managed to kick the sick in just a few days, rather than battling symptoms for a week.
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2. Vitamin D
I’ve talked about vitamin D’s flu-fighting abilities before, and it bears mentioning again. You can get your vitamin D through dietary sources, supplements, or good old sunshine. The only trick with vitamin D is that you want to be careful not to take too much. Since this is a fat soluble vitamin, your body doesn’t eliminate it as efficiently as water soluble vitamins.
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According to a recent article in the New York Times, zinc is a powerful natural cold and flu remedy. The trick is finding a reliable lozenge. Many of the ones in the drug store have additives that either make the zinc less effective or lower the zinc content too much. Stick to a brand you trust and do some careful label reading to find a zinc supplement without too many extra ingredients and a higher percentage of zinc.
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4. Neti Pot
I can’t say enough good things about the neti pot! While it’s a little bit tricky to use at first, once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to be without yours. If you’re feeling congestion coming on, I’d suggest flushing with the neti pot a couple of times a day. Even if you still get sick, you’ll spend fewer days mouth breathing and nursing a dry, painful nose.
New to the neti pot? Here are some tips for getting started with a neti pot.
When all is said and done, rest is one of the best things you can do for your body when you’re under the weather. Your immune system needs time to do its thing, and resting gives your body a chance to heal. It’s sometimes hard to take a day off from work to nurse yourself back to health, but a day or two of rest now can help cut down the duration of your illness and save you many days of discomfort.
So, spill it, guys! What natural remedies have you found helpful during cold and flu season?
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