Best Old Fashioned Remedies to Beat a Cold and Flu

In our family, we have all sorts of concoctions, cocktails and activities handed down over the years, to battle a cold or flu.  I’m sure you do too. The amazing thing is that they work!  At least they have for us.  And, I want to share them with you.  Please don’t  consider this medical advice.  You know only your doctor can give you that.  These are simply easy, low cost old fashioned remedies that I rely on still today for me and my family.  Check them out and compare them to yours.  I’d be very curious how many of these you’ve used over the years.

Our Home Remedies to Fight Off a Cold and Flu

  • Avoid getting dehydrated.  Drink plenty of fluids.  Hydrate and keep it up!
  • For a sore throat, gargle with warm water and a combination of salt and baking soda.  Then, follow it with a teaspoon of honey!  Honey soothes a scratchy and sore throat.
  • Take a hot shower and let the steam help break up congestion.   Later in her life, my grandmother couldn’t get in the shower so she would heat water in her tea kettle and pour it into a bowl and then lower her head, with a towel over her head, to capture the steam as she breathed it in slowly.
  • To ease an upset stomach, mom would take a 7-Up or Sprite and add a little sugar to it, to remove the fizz, let it come to room temperature and then have us slowly sip.  It did the trick!  And, we found that coke works too…
  • Curl up under a warm blanket when a fever hits and sip on hot tea  or hot lemon water.  Grandma always added honey.  In general, honey is loaded with antimicrobial properties, and even better if you’ve got honey that was harvested from local bees.
  • For a fever and congestion, my dad  insists on a brew his grandmother used, which is to take hot water and add to it lemon, honey and a shot of whiskey!  Then, hop under the covers and sweat it out…usually you fall asleep too.  A twist on this, that I discovered, is to use hot water and add cinnamon, ginger and bourbon.  Cinnamon evidently is good at fighting coughs and colds.
  • As both a preventative measure and while you are suffering from a cold or flu, turmeric added to hot water with lemon, honey and a sprinkle of black pepper eases the symptoms and helps to fight off worsening of the cold.  This one, I must confess is a new one I learned about from a friend…handed down in their family.
  • Remember those old fashioned humidifiers?  I still use one.  Sleeping under warm blankets with a humidifier going to help ease stuffiness and congestion is awesome.
  • To quickly get rid of nasal congestion and stem a respiratory infection from occurring, we’ve always used nasal saline washes using a Neti Pot.  Warm water with salt  mixed together, in the Neti Pot, has helped me breathe easier and ward off sinus infections and bronchitis.
  • If your body is feeling tired or sick, then rest!  Sleep is a wonderful remedy.  Oh, and add an extra pillow or two to keep your head up a  bit, and breathe a little easier…because you’re also helping the sinus drain.
  • One of the most irritating side effects of a cold or flu is a painful nose from constant blowing and wiping.  Mom always had us use a little Vaseline and rub it on the chapped areas on our nose.  Talk about instant relief!

Of course, preventing either a cold or flu is the best way to start.  You know the drill…wash/sanitize your hands after you’ve been out in public, avoid spreading germs by covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, wipe down common areas in the house people touch to help avoid healthy folks picking up those germs.  And, get plenty of sleep, hydration and nutrition during cold and flu season to help keep your body strong.

So, what about you?   Do any of these sound familiar?  Do you have some great ones from your family’s remedies?  Share them…we’re in this together and the more we know the better off we are in fighting a cold and flu.

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