Yup, it’s here again; Cold & Flu Season, so pick up some tissues at the store and prepare. I’m going to give you some tips on how herbs can help.
Cold & Flu Season comes around every year, at about this time and some get hit harder than others. I’ve never had the flu in my 40 years, but I know from what I’ve been told by those who have that it can be hellish and totally exhausting. So here are my tips on how to lessen the symptoms.
First and foremost, you have to make sure to get enough fluids. Drink plenty of water! That also helps congestion and stuffy noses. Some say it pays to stay away from sugar and to avoid meat and eggs until you feel better. Milk actually increases the production of mucus. So you might want to stay away from that too.
Use clean tissues or handkerchiefs, and petroleum jelly or a homemade ointment made form herbs to prevent soreness.
A stuffy nose can be very annoying, especially when you’re trying to get some much needed good quality sleep. Mix a few drops of Eucalyptus oil with clean water in a small spray bottle, spray it on your sweater or your scarf. Sniff it in. It opens the nose. For small children; put a few drops of undiluted Eucalyptus oil on the pillow, by the next day a lot of the mucus and snot has come out.
You could also warm some water and add a couple of drops of Eucalyptus oil. Place the bowl on the side of the child’s bed, it will ease breathing and loosen a stuffed nose. If it develops into a Sinus Infection, boil 1 1⁄2 litre (~0.4 gallons) of water with 1 tsp of salt, let it cool and sniff it into your nose. It’ll help with the pressure, stuffiness and kill a bunch of bacteria.
A dry cough can be harder to get rid of than a wet cough but herbs can provide some relief. Place some fresh Oregano leaves in a pitcher and fill it with water, let it sit in the refrigerator and drink the water every now and then. Another thing that might help, is to boil 4 Carrots until they’re soft and mash them with 1 dl (~3.4 fl oz) of Honey. Take 1 tsp 5- 6 times a day (also works for smoker’s cough).
If you have a wet cough, you need to get the mucus out. Aniseed Tea will help you with that. Drink 1 cup 2-6 times a day, with honey if you like. Don’t crush the seeds until you’re going to use them. Thyme also works as an expectorant, which one you choose is really a matter of taste. If you have mucus further down in your chest or if you have bronchitis, two cups of Hyssop tea a day may be beneficial. Anise and orange peel tea is a good expectorant (found this in a guest post from Herbmother on MrsB’s blog).
Ginger and Lemon Tea with some honey is always nice when you have a sore throat. Just Honey with hot water will also help. Another way to get rid of a sore throat is to gargle with salt water for 5 minutes straight several times a day. As far as herbs go, you could also gargle with a Sage infusion several times a day (2 tsp of sage in 1⁄4 l (~8.5 fl oz) of water which is heated up towards the boiling point). Nursing women should avoid Sage, as it hampers lactation.
If the fever isn’t high, I wouldn’t recommend you lower it. It actually helps you get well faster. But if it keeps you from eating and drinking enough, you should do something about it. Sweet Woodruff tea lowers fever and also eases any pain. The same goes for Goat Willow or Willow bark tea. They contain salicylic acid, which acts in the same way as Aspirin.
Earaches most often go away on their own, so don’t get antibiotics if you don’t need it. If you have an earache, you can take a piece of fresh Ginger and put it against the ear. Squeeze it a bit, and the juice will ease the pain. A few drops of warm (not hot) Sesame Seed oil will do the same.
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