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Natural and Edible Cold and Flu Remedies

Yep, it’s here, cold and flu season. If you don’t like taking all those over-the-counter medications and want to start kicking your symptoms nature’s way, here are remedies that people swear by:

Chicken Soup.
Yep, the classic chicken soup. Balanced protein and carbs are always good for you as well as lots of fluids. However, to give your chicken soup an added immunity boost with symptom relievers, make sure it’s loaded with lots of garlic, onion, oregano, and shiitake mushrooms. You may have heard of some of these as being remedies for this kind of illness, but shiitake mushrooms? Yep, Chinese medicine has recognized the immune powers that the fungi hold, and cite that it is an exceptionally close cousin to mold, which produces antibiotics.

Cayenne Pepper.
This is a POWERHOUSE of a cold and flu kicker. The capsaicin in cayenne (the stuff that makes it hot) is recommended for congestion, stuffy nose, muscle aches and sore throat.

Horseradish, Chinese Mustard, & Wasabi.
These are known as natural mucus thinners. Eat some stir fry with these, but I wouldn’t suggest sushi.

This one is similar to the capsaicin in cayenne but milder. It is believed to kill flu viruses. There is always ginger ale, ginger beer, and ginger tea.

Speaking of Tea…

Goldenseal and Echinacea Tea.
I get this from GNC. These two together provide natural antibiotics and immune response stimulants. Thus, it’s a destroyer of colds, flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis, whooping cough and wards off ear infections. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, best to check with your doc on these first.

Mullein Tea.
Available at most health food stores, this tea boasts cough relief as it coats sore throats and thins secretions.

Tea Additives:
Lemon – A provider of vitamin C which boosts the immune system and is thought to lessen the length of a cold, as well as it settles the digestive tract and quiets coughs. This is also thought to be a fever reducer.

Adds the yum factor to any tea, as well as coats the throat for a soothing effect.

Clove has a natural anesthetic (numbing) effect. I’d rather taste this than those icky throat sprays or lozenges.

And if the Flu has you in it’s throws and you’re nauseated, there are quite a few things that can remedy this for you.

The BRAT, BRATT, and BRATTY diet.
This has been prescribed by physicians for YEARS for upset bellies. The elements to this type of diet are ideal because they are bland, lower in fiber, and very very easy for your middle to digest.

BRAT – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast
BRATT – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast, & Tea
BRATTY – All of the above and Yogurt.

I’ve heard this quite a few times, that something in the belly is better than nothing when your nauseous, and a little bit of these carbs just might do the trick.

My favorite soft drink anyway, Cola is historically known for easing sour stomaches. Just be sure to sip, not gulp.

Ginger Ale.
Yeah, this is a good belly settler too, just, again, be sure to sip not guzzle.

That brings us to Peppermint.
Strong peppermint is recommended for colds and flu because it will quiet coughs as well as it is an antispasmodic. An antispasmodic is a smooth muscle relaxer which means it will quiet your cough, as well as calm your belly. Anybody know of any curiously strong mints that travel well? You guessed it, pick up a pack of Altoids.

I would suggest that you have these remedies on hand. This way, you’ll avoid being the sickly person in Walgreen’s that everyone is steering clear of (and for good reason!). Just sneeze in a public place this time of year, and you will be handled with great care. Also, who really wants to get all dressed up to go out to the store when they are miserable as all get out? If you’re sick and you haven’t any remedy, then you have no choice. But, if you haven’t caught anything yet this year, what are you waiting for? Stock up early.

Finally, I mentioned wasabi, horseradish, and chinese mustard but told you to steer clear of sushi. There are some edible DON’TS for colds and flu, especially if you are prone to allergies to begin with.

It’s best to steer clear of fish until your better. Fish has a naturally high histamine content which can make allergies worse. And if you are taking an antihistamine or a histamine blocker for a stuffy runny nose, itchy watery eyes, or asthma, then you could be defeating your purpose by consuming fish.

Matter of fact, stay away from:
These are known allergens, and milk tends to sour in the stomach and produces thicker secretions. YIKES!

So, I hope you’re ready because I know all to well that this season is getting under way if it is not already in full effect. Having these things on hand will help you to fight the cold and flu battle with eats. However, if you are allergic to any of these things, don’t use them. And, you will probably want to check in with your physician or health care provider at the first sign of any illness. They are there to get you through, and they best know your particular medical situation. This article is merely suggestions for foods that can ease colds and flu, and is not intended in any way to replace proper medical advice or treatment. But what is most important is that you take care of you. Hopefully, you will find comfort and relief in your time of need. This is all anyone can ask for when suffering with any illness. Stay well, my friends, and have your own personal arsenal on hand, be at the ready, just in case.

Natural and Edible Cold and Flu Remedies

M Slansky

Lawrenceville, United States

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