It’s that time of year again, no more digging into several selection boxes at a time with a TV remote in hand. Instead, you get to experience the delight of dark early mornings and change out of your comfortable and fluffy pyjamas into work clothes (it’s ok, don’t cry). To make matters even worse, there’s now an Australian flu epidemic and every time someone coughs in the vicinity you feel like your number's about to be up.
Before you run for a flu jab (which can take 2-3 weeks to kick in) or reach over the nearest pharmacy counter in desperation, why not try some natural and homemade remedies to help you fight off those nasty germs?
Lemon Infused Water
Whether it’s hot or cold, make sure to add this to your daily routine. Lemon water is a great source of vitamin C and B, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium that will definitely help to kick-start your day. Drinking lemon-infused water is also great for digestion and balancing pH levels in your body, which helps maintain a healthy system.
Looking to boost your immune system? Probiotics help your body in many different ways. They remove harmful toxins from the body, help your body metabolise fat and sugar, and nurture a healthy gut. To get the most out of these you will need to invest in one of the more expensive probiotics from the fridge section in your nearest health store- they pack more effective live bacteria.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great remedy to help relieve and prevent cold symptoms. It can help boost your gut, fight infection by balancing the pH levels in your body and leave you feeling energised. Not only does it help soothe sore throats, but it also helps with a stuffy nose thanks to its antibiotic properties. It only takes one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to take advantage of these amazing health benefits. Slug a nice organic, Irish one (Llewelyn's or Living Culture) first thing in the morning.
There’s a list of essential oils that can relieve many symptoms of the flu, as well as help relieve the stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep that comes with it. These range from Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Eucalyptus, to Lemon. There are many effective ways to use these oils too- aromatherapy, steam inhalation, bath blends, or even adding a few drops to a glass of water.
Feed Your Body With The Right Nutrients
It’s important to eat regularly and well when you feel the flu coming on, your body needs the right nutrients to build up your strength in order to fight off any symptoms. Up your intake of turmeric, leafy greens, garlic and of course fruit and veg. If you start to lose your appetite, then you can’t go wrong with a nice, hot bowl of soup, which is also very soothing on your throat. Chicken broth aka 'Jewish penicillin' is said to be particularly effective for respiratory problems.
Wash Your Hands!
Washing your hands is ultra important. Think about it… you’re surrounded by colleagues, family and strangers, each carrying millions of germs, touching the things they've touched and then you touch your own face... it's a recipe for disaster! Washing your hands regularly, or even using a small amount of hand sanitizer can help keep these horrible, yet deadly little guys at bay.
Echinacea is also a great way to beat the flu. The North American medicinal plant boosts the immune system, reduces the common cold symptoms, fights infection, and alleviates inflammation and pain, so if you’re suffering from a headache or a sore throat , seek it out in liquid rather than pill form, which you can add as a tincture to water repeatedly throughout the day.
Manuka honey contains impressive antibacterial properties, which are very effective for treating some flu symptoms. It contains more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants than any other type of honey. Mix it with a nice hot cup of hot water and lemon and it will help soothe a sore throat and even help with relieving the effects of a dry, irritating cough.