10 Natural Ways to Combat
Cold and Flu
June 21, 2013
By Sano Mag Staff
Natural Flu Remedies
In order to get the better of the cold and flu season this winter, it's time to boost your immune system and stop viruses from putting you out of action.

These 10 natural cold and flu remedies not only help build up your immune system in order to prevent viruses and infections, they will also help you heal quicker when you do get struck down by a cold or flu.

These natural ways to combat cold and flu should be your first port of call for beating influenza over flu shots, which can actually make you sicker and have been shown to do little to actually stave off the flu. You can read more in this article: Do Flu Shots Work?

These natural methods, such as natural antibiotics oregano oil and garlic, will fight off bacteria and viruses but, unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they will not lead to resistance. They will keep fighting bacteria no matter how many times you consume them.

With that said, here are 10 natural ways to beat colds and flu this winter:

Garlic

Garlic is a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral that helps stave off and fight colds, flu and other bacterial infections when they do appear, shortening their duration. You can eat garlic raw but otherwise make sure you chop or crush the garlic 10 minutes before cooking it to release the enzymes and only add it towards the end of the cooking time.

Green Tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants so it not only helps to boost your immune system but also prevents and fights off colds and flu. A University of Florida study on green tea found that people taking green tea capsules experienced colds and flu 23% less of the time compared with those who were taking a placebo, had 36% fewer sick days, and 58% fewer received treatment.

Ginger

Ginger is known to strengthen the immune system and so has been used to treat colds and flu for thousands of years. Ginger tea is particularly good for colds but you can also add it to soups and food.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and so it is important to get a hefty dose of vitamin C when you're crippled by a cold or flu. Increase your dose of vitamin C as soon as the niggle in your throat appears and you may stop yourself from getting sick in the first place. While you can take supplements, natural forms of vitamin C should be added to your diet daily, such as acerola berry, guava, kiwifruit, strawberries, oranges, capsicum, grapefruit, cantaloupe, brussel sprouts, broccoli and lemons.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil has been found to kill every variety of bacteria and works against fungus, parasites and viruses. Oregano oil is effective in treating colds and flu and bacterial infections too. Look for brands of oregano oil with high concentrations of carvacrol, which is oregano oil's most active antimicrobial agent.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is incredibly beneficial in boosting the immune system, treating colds and flu, and even in preventing diseases such as cancer and HIV. Olive leaf extract has been used in traditional healing for thousands of years in Ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean cultures.

Chicken Soup

This old remedy is actually incredibly effective at treating colds and flu. Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which thins the mucous in your lungs and helps you expel the mucous quicker. Homemade chicken soup should be your first port of call, with plenty of spice, such as cayenne pepper, which will also help you expel the mucous.

Propolis

Bee resin propolis is another immune stimulant that has natural antibiotic, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is considered to be one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral and incredibly important for your health as it stimulates around 100 enzymes. A Cochrane Database Review found zinc can cut down the duration of a cold by 24 hours or more when taken within a day of the first symptoms as well as significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms. Zinc is found naturally in organic beef, lamb, turkey, chicken and salmon. If taking a supplement, be careful not to ingest large doses. About 50 to 65 mg a day is enough to fight a cold.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms have also been found to help support the immune system, fight cold and flu symptoms and detoxify your body. If you grow your own mushrooms this is even better as the best part of the mushroom for boosting immune function is actually the root structure (mycelium) so you should try to eat the whole mushroom. Mushrooms' beta glucans and proteoglycans support the immune system, protect against environmental stressors, and promote healthy gut flora and digestion.

Other Natural Cold and Flu Treatments

Some other ways to boost your immune system so you don't get sick with a cold or flu this winter include eating plenty of foods rich in omega-3s, optimising your vitamin D levels, including probiotics in your diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and reducing your stress levels.

You should also avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods and grains if you want to avoid getting a cold or flu, as these suppress the immune system.

Because of their mineral content, such as iron and zinc, lean meats, poultry, fish and shellfish can also help support immune function. Hot peppers can also help clear your system and unblock a stuffed up and runny nose and clear germs from your system. Add as much to your food as you can handle!
"Natural antibiotics oregano oil and garlic will fight off bacteria and viruses but, unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they will not lead to resistance."