It usually starts with just tickle in your throat and a slight ache in your head, but before you know it you’re on your back with a full-blown, miserable cold. It’s cold and flu season, and once you fall prey to one bug or another it can knock you down for days. Both are tricky viruses—they’re constantly changing, can’t be treated with antibiotics, and aren’t usually fazed by the over-the-counter medicines we’ve all got stocked in our cabinets.
Even though there are no surefire medical treatments, there are plenty of all-natural home remedies, foods, and healthy recipes that can help you fight back against those nasty symptoms and get you on the road to recovery.
Symptom: Congestion, lethargy, and feeling lousy in general
Natural Fighters: Chicken soup and vegetable juice
It’s a remedy that’s been used since ancient Greece: Chicken soup has healing properties that can help you feel better fast. It helps to thin out mucus secretions, is packed with carbs and protein for boosting energy, and the veggies and sodium can help support your immune system and regulate body fluids and hydration. Try adding a glass for vegetable juice, too—it will help you load up on the nutrients and antioxidants during a time when the last thing you want to eat is a salad.
Paula Deen’s Cure-All Chicken Rice Soup has everything you need to start feeling better fast. Try whipping up a batch and popping it in the freezer so it’s ready when and if you need it this season.
Symptom: Sore throat
Natural Fighters:Green tea, lemon, honey, ginger, and Popsicles
Soothe a sore, scratchy throat with hot tea made with lemon, honey, and ginger. The lemon’s citrus aids in breaking up mucus while the honey coats the throat and soothes away soreness. Ginger is a proven analgesic and can help relieve pain and nausea while also working to fight off infection. You can give yourself even more of a boost by using green tea, which is packed with antioxidants. Popsicles are another great option. Just make sure you go for ones that are all-natural, 100 percent fruit juice. They’ll soothe your throat while keeping you hydrated.
This Cold-fighting Tea (Food Mayhem) has everything you need to soothe a sore throat, made with fresh and natural ingredients. Just one cup will help you feel better and give you the cold-fighting boost you need.
Symptom: Nausea and upset stomach
Natural Fighters: Bananas, papaya, ginger, peppermint, and plain carbs
Bananas are easy on the stomach and have Vitamin B6, which can help your body fight off infection. They’re a great go-to food if you’re stomach can’t handle harsher foods yet. Papaya is also a good option, because it helps break down foods that might be causing stomach pain. Ginger and peppermint are both proven to soothe stomach cramping and aches, and are delicious in hot teas. And once you’re feeling up to it, munching on some bland crackers or toast can absorb the acid in your stomach and help settle it down.
Try brewing your own all-natural herbal teas, (A Nest for All Seasons) including peppermint. It’s sure to warm you up and help soothe. Remember to sip and eat slowly, drink lots of water, and rest.