Eco-friendly lifestyle blog

How to beat the cold / flu / illness the natural way (vegan & eco-friendly)

It seems like it has become a yearly tradition that we all at home fight with some sort of cold or flu on a yearly basis. Sometimes, we are even that lucky, we can get it over the summertime, too. 
Over the years I have slowly put together some old-fashioned tips and tricks which seem to help to recover faster and with less pain in an all-natural way.

At the beginning of an illness - Try to take it slow from the first signs of your body signalling that there might be illness on the way. I often feel like if I raise 
my heartbeat at this point, that it will fast track me to my 
cold/flu (I am not interested in this type of VIP treatment so I try to avoid it).

- now it also the time to stock up on your essentials if do not have them at home (salt, oranges, lemon, onions, sugar, broth, garlic, ginger) most of these items tends to be a stable in most homes. 

- start to eat items which are high in vitamin C as frequently as you can. I even skip most of my meals and just eat clementines and oranges as they provide me with vitamin C, fluids and sugar which helps me keep going so I have the energy to make sure I am ready if the illness comes and my family/work is taken care of. T
 TIP: Please, always drink water after you are finished eating your citrus fruit as it is quite acidic and can seriously harm your enamel. Drinking water after helps but brushing your teeth is even better (and using tooth floss, too).

Throat pain - in a mug, dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in hot water and let it cool down. 
Gargle with this solution at least 4 times a day. This is a miracle solution and has helped me numerous times. I used to suffer from strong throat pain (even to the point it would bleed and this has been amazing). 
TIP: keep your saltwater mug in the bathroom next to your sink. Every time you will be there to wash your hand (which is a must to stop spreading your illness) you will be reminded to gargle as well. 

Stay hydrated! - Your body is already under pressure and you need to help it to fight all the nasty bugs and viruses away. Helping your body to stay hydrated so all organs can work properly and so the body can detoxify itself naturally is a must. To me, the easiest and most effective items are (water, tea (not too hot), soups and oranges).

Sleep/quality rest - sometimes one can fall into the trap of improper resting. That is if one is resting but never allowing for a quality rest. Scrolling on your phone, procrastinating on the computer or watching series after series on the TV. This will not let your body fully rest but also it will make your sleep much harder, too, as you are exposing yourself to so much blue light and stimulation. Try to get good quality rest as much as you can (Bonus: it equals beauty rest and anti-ageing, too)

Cough - Cough is always terrible. It is painful, seems to last forever and the body is aching after that. The silver lining, however, is that your core muscles are working overtime and you get a powerful muscle work out. I recommend staying hydrated and when the cough is the worst to sip on some good warm (not hot - as that would put your throat under too much pressure) tea. My to-go illness tea is grated or sliced ginger with a spoon of syrup or sugar. Most people use lemon as well but I feel it is too harsh on my enamel and would not recommend to sip it through the day. 
PRO TIP: if you do not mind, you can add grated garlic, too, but it will not be as tasty. 
Onion and sugar syrup is a natural syrup which can be a saver in this uncomfortable and painful time. Cut up/dice your onion (1-2 onions) and combine with sugar (2 tablespoons per medium/large onion) and place in a bowl or jar. Within a few hours, a syrup-like liquid will start to form. Have 1-2 teaspoons of this syrup when your cough is at it's worst. Repeat until you feel better. 

Eat well - this is a time when your body is already under strain and feeding it well is so important (yes, I know I sound like your mother;) ). I try to keep homemade stocks in the freezer for cooking and for these times. Often I am lazy and just warm it up and grate fresh garlic into it (if you want your garlic to be most potent then grate it and let it sit for a while and add it to a warm soup not hot so you do not destroy the good properties). Also, I make myself a sourdough toast (pan it on the stove as it is or with some fat) and then cratch a garlic clove all over it. In my humble opinion, it is delicious with a pinch of salt and curbs the feel for some comfort food, too. Simply, try to add fresh garlic wherever you can. Just do not be surprised if your better half refuses to kiss you or will make funny faces as you will smell of garlic. 

Listen to healing music - this tip can seem a bit controversial but even if it did not have any scientific backing I still quite strongly believe in the power of placebo. Youtube is space filled with long healing music videos (just search healing music) which will help you relax and switch off. if you will believe it will help, I am sure you will receive some benefit from it and if not, then at least it helped you to stay away from all blue light technology and to relax. :) 

The power of nature -  Echinacea is a powerful herb (flower) which can help you support your immunity (and has many other positive benefits, too). I would recommend only taking it when you feel poorly to supercharge your immunity. The body otherwise grows accustomed to it and you will not reap the same benefit if you take it long term. 
IMPORTANT: As with all supplements I advise you to read the leaflet first if you do not have any contraindications with this product. 
NOTE: this green helper does a great job (in my opinion) but it can cause mild constipation, keep that in mind if you suffer from it. 

For a full nose - try to drop essential oils (those similar to eucalyptus) under your pillow as that will help clean the airways. Also, you can boil a pot filled with water and then rest your head above the steam (you can . take the pot into your bedroom). It will help clear your nose as well as add moisture to the room which will help your breathing. You can diffuse the oil into the air with a diffuser or drop it on your radiators (in the winter times).
Best essential oils for an illness: (Thyme, Tea tree oil, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon).


- I am not a trained doctor and all these tips and tricks are gained over the years of me battling my own colds and flues. If you have any allergies or take any medication, please be extra careful while following any steps and always talk to your doctor first. 

- These tips are for adults only and for battling a cold or a light flu. I would always seek professional help when it comes to babies and children.

- Seek medical help if your body temperature is too high (based on information on the internet it is stated that 39.4 Celsius or above is dangerous and you need to seek a doctor, please do not quote me on this and make your own research, also keep in mind this is for an adult, not a child as we need to be even more careful with children). 

- Also, you know your body the best. If you are not sure then seek medical help immediately. 

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you feel better soon :)

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