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Cold and Flu Season: Not Your Average Tips and Tricks

As someone who suffers from horrible anaphylaxis and is allergic to practically all things medicinal, I’ve had to learn some, perhaps nonconventional, ways to combat the cold and flu season and avoid becoming terribly sick during the winter months. If you are someone who has tried virtually every mainstream medication that promises to cure the winter’s sickness blues, it might be time to try some different methods. So, if this interests you, keep reading because I’m going to share some of the tricks that I’ve learned.

 

ECHINACEA

This superpower flower (as I like to call it) is one of my favorite tricks to surviving flu season. Echinacea is a member of the daisy family and grows naturally throughout Canada and the United States. When ingested, this flower is said to have medicinal benefits that aid in combatting flu-like symptoms. I can tell you that this stuff works wonders. In order to reap the benefits, the leaves, stems, and roots of these flowers are converted to supplement pills, teas, and extracts/essential oils. I have tried each of these methods, and although Echinacea tea is my personal favorite, this is up to preference. Whatever method you choose, the results will be fairly similar. Echinacea has been proven to have an effect on the body’s immune system and raises the white blood cell count. This is effective in combatting viral illnesses because white blood cells fight infections in your body.

 

SHOT OF GINGER

I will admit, if you are new to the cold pressed juice craze, this is going to be quite the acquired taste. Ginger shots are generally very strong and are followed by a burning sensation due to the spice present in raw ginger. If you can handle it, the health benefits are extraordinary. Heck, even Selena Gomez swears by these babies. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, promotion of a healthy immune system, healthy digestion, treatment of asthmatic symptoms, is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, improves cognitive function, and more. It is claimed that tossing back one of these shots first thing each morning on an empty stomach can prevent one from becoming sick in the first place.

If purchasing a ginger shot each morning is not possible, follow this recipe:

Using a cold press juicer:

Peel one inch of ginger

Half of a lemon

Sprinkle of cayenne pepper

 

HERBAL FACE STEAM

This trick is so simple and yet tremendously effective in aiding congestion. Simply boil a pot of water and add herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, and peppermint. Each herb has its own benefit that soothes the throat. Peppermint temporarily provides a slight numbing sensation, which will soothe a sore throat, where the other herbs offer calming sensations that are beneficial as well. One tablespoon of each herb should be added to the pot of water. Once boiled, drape a towel over your head to keep steam in, and when comfortable with the temperature, lean over the pot (or bowl if you decide to transfer the mixture) and inhale. When inhaling steam, congestion will be loosened.

 

GARLIC

For centuries garlic has been regarded as a natural antibiotic. A study conducted by Tariq Abdullah states, “garlic has the broadest spectrum of any antimicrobial substance that we know of — it is antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan and antiviral.” It is important to note that in order to obtain the medicinal benefits that garlic has to offer, the garlic must be ingested in its original state, and not be dehydrated. For the best results, a clove of garlic should be chewed. If the garlic is diced or cut, benefits will still be provided, but to a lesser extent.

 

OREGANO OIL

Oregano oil can be purchased at most health food stores, and is praised for its ability to treat illnesses including colds and the flu. This is because of its antibiotic properties. To fight colds and the flu, oregano oil can be used in two different ways. One can simply swallow the oil in order to obtain its benefits, or add a few droplets to a humidifier, which will help as well. Due to this oil’s strong taste, I recommend either mixing it with some water or putting a few drops underneath your tongue.

 

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

This is a trick I have been using for years and absolutely swear by. This may sound off-putting but trust me, it does wonders. All you need to do is drink a tablespoon when you first notice your symptoms. You can drink it straight or mix it with water. This works by keeping the body’s pH levels balanced. When the body is alkalized, germs have a more difficult time surviving. Additionally, there are antiviral properties present in apple cider vinegar.

 

While these methods are by no means conventional, they are beneficial and definitely worth a try!

Rachel Elysha B

Wilfrid Laurier '17

Rachel is just your average Canadian, who's passionate about all things legal when it comes to American politics and how the US and Canada intersect. As well, a self proclaimed yoga enthusiast, fashion consumed and pop culture junkie. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can probably catch her at the mall, reading up about the latest in the world of globalism and government, and watching beauty tutorials on YouTube 
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