Home Remedies for Cold and Flu Season
Home Remedies for Cold and Flu Season as well as tips to prevent a cold and flu and foods you can consume to boost your immunity.
Cold and flu season is upon us and it is especially bad this year with the outbreak of the Coronavirus. What can you do to stay healthy and try to prevent catching a virus? Read on to see tips for boosting your immunity, preventing cold and flu and home remedies you can utilize in the event that you do get sick.
How to Prevent a Cold and Flu
Hand washing is the single best way to prevent cold and flu. Make sure your children wash their hands as soon as they walk in the door from school. They are germ transporters, so the best way to prevent bringing those germs into your home is by frequent hand washing. Teach them to sing Twinkle Little Star or another song while washing their hands so they do it long enough to scrub away the germs.
Wipe the cart at the grocery store
Every store provides you with antibacterial wipes. Use them! Especially during cold and flu season when people are using their hands to block a cough or to catch a dripping nose. All those germs end up on the grocery cart and when you touch it, you are spreading those germs to yourself and taking them to your car and ultimately to your home.
Take a moment to clean your cart of all those germs so that you can shop in peace knowing that you have a clean cart. Especially if you have a little one in the cart with you – I recommend using one of those cart protectors if possible so that your child doesn’t pick up any sick germs and put them straight into his or her mouth.
Don’t touch your face
Avoid touching your mouth, nose or face when you’ve been in a public place. It’s impossible to prevent coming into contact with germs, but if you keep your hands away from your face, you have a higher likelihood of preventing that cold from getting into your system.
Use Wipes Often
Stock up on the antibacterial wipes and use them often. Keep wipes in your car and clean the steering wheel frequently. Alternatively, keep some hand sanitizer with you in your purse or in your car to clean your hands before you touch the wheel. Also, keep wipes in each bathroom and clean the faucets and counters every other day during cold and flu season to help prevent the spread of germs.
If a member of your household gets sick, be sure to keep that individual “quarantined” in their own space so you don’t spread the illness. Change towels and sheets as soon as they feel better and wash in hot water to kill any lingering germs. It’s also a good idea to change toothbrushes as soon as they are feeling better. It also doesn’t hurt to run the toothbrush through the dishwasher to kill the germs.
Home Remedies for the Cold and Flu
If you get sick, here are some home remedies that can help alleviate your aches and pains and get you healthy again. It’s important to stay away from your family and try to quarantine yourself as much as possible to prevent infecting others.
Whiskey, Warm Water, Lemon, and Honey
If you have a really bad cough, combine whiskey, lemon, warm water, and honey in a small saucepan and gently heat to combine. According to a Mayo Clinic study, children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime. The honey seemed to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep.
In fact, in the study, honey appeared to be as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient, dextromethorphan, in typical over-the-counter doses. Since honey is low-cost and widely available, it might be worth a try. The whiskey is a depressant, which will help you sleep and the warm lemon juice and water helps open up the nasal passages as well as coats the throat for soothing relief.
Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
While you may not have a huge appetite while you are sick, soup makes everything better. Particularly a good homemade chicken noodle soup. Steam from the soup helps to loosen nasal congestion, and the salt is key for soothing a sore throat. Check out this creamy chicken noodle soup recipe here.
Tea With Honey
Staying hydrated is incredibly important when you are sick. Herbal tea is great because it can keep you hydrated and honey can help soothe the throat and the steam helps open the nasal passages. It also tastes good and since you have to have liquids when you are sick, I find that decaffeinated herbal tea is an excellent liquid to keep you hydrated.
Try an echinacea or elderberry tea because those are known to encourage the immune system and reduce many of the symptoms of colds, flu and some other illnesses, infections, and conditions.
Pick up Yogi Immunity Boosting Tea on sale for $2.99 at Safeway through March 10th.
Saline Nasal Rinse
If you have sinus pressure and pain one of the best DIY remedies is a sinus rinse with a saline solution. You don’t need to have a fancy neti-pot to do either. Simply purchase a nasal aspirator and use a combination of .5 teaspoon baking soda, .5 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of water.
Squeeze the solution into one nostril with the nasal aspirator while bending your head over the sink at a 45-degree angle. It will drip out of the other nostril and any green goopy mucus that is stuck way up in your sinuses will come out too.
Repeat in each nostril 2-3 times and do this 4-5 times a day. Nasal rinses are a tried and true method of relieving sinus pressure and preventing a sinus infection.
Eat Immunity-Boosting Foods
Your immune system will go into overdrive trying to kick the cold and flu. You can help it do its job more effectively by consuming immunity-boosting foods such as garlic, ginger, citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, and yogurt. The probiotics in the yogurt increase the healthy bacteria in the gut which can help kill the bad bacteria.
Taking Elderberry Syrup and Zinc also helps boost your immune system and helps shorten the duration of the illness.
Make ginger, honey and lemon tea, or eat immunity-boosting smoothies with berries, spinach, and yogurt. See some great immunity-boosting recipes below.
Items you should have on hand during cold and flu season:
- Kleenex with Lotion
- Yogi Bedtime Tea and Immunity Boosting Tea
- Traditional Medicinals Echinacea and Elderberry Tea
- Honey – local is best, organic is 2nd best
- Salt for gargling with warm salt water to soothe a sore throat
- Nasal Aspirator and baking soda for saline nasal rinse
- Ricola Throat Drops with Honey and Herbs
- Vicks Vapo Rub – tried and true remedy when applied to the chest and to the bottoms of feet
- Ibuprofen – helps to ease the aches and pains
- Orange Juice – need that extra vitamin C and this is an easy way to get it
- Antibacterial wipes
- Hand Sanitizer or Bleach
- Elderberry Syrup
- Zinc Lozenges or Tablets
- Electrolyte Beverages Such as Gatorade
Here are some printable coupons that can help you save on cold and flu and household cleaning products at Safeway:
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* Please note – Savings information is based on Colorado pricing and the Safeway Coupon Policy for the Denver Division which includes Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Your market may vary. *