It’s that time of year again…when the dreaded sounds of sneezes, sniffles and coughs fill our homes and work spaces. Before you turn to chemical laden antibacterial hand gel and over-the-counter medications to protect yourself this flu season, take a look at my favorite ways to fight the flu naturally:
Bone broth: Bone broth is one of the most nutritious and healing foods there is.The minerals found in bone broth are in a form our bodies can easily absorb and have been proven to help improve immune function and fight off illness. Check out my blog on bone broth to learn how easy it is to make. You can add it to a recipe or drink it straight- either way it should be a flu season staple!
Thieves Essential Oil Blend: Thieves is a mixture of clove, lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus and cinnamon bark essential oils. This essential oil blend has powerful antiviral, antibiotic, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties making it incredibly effective against the flu virus and other infectious diseases. You can diffuse it to help control viruses and bacteria in the air or simply rub a couple drops on the bottoms of your feet before bed. For a sore throat, put a drop into an ounce of warm water and gargle it. Thieves can also be used as a natural hand sanitizer or rubbed on your chest and neck to protect from coughs and congestion. Thieves oil, as with most essential oils, is potent so use it sparingly and always dilute it in a carrier oil when applying it directly to your skin.
Propolis: Propolis is the substance that bees make from tree and plant resins to seal their hives. It essentially acts as the hive’s immune system, defending it from parasites, viruses and bacteria. Just as it protects a bee’s hive, it also protects our bodies. Propolis possesses antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. Beekeeper’s Naturals sells a propolis spray that can help soothe a sore throat and support your immune system.
Diet: Your immune system requires certain nutrients to function properly. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will provide your immune system with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it needs to thrive. Staying hydrated is equally important. Whether you are taking preventative measures or fighting off an existing illness, make sure to consume plenty of fluids. Take it one step further and drink hot tea for the added antioxidant benefits!
Apple Cider Vinegar: Most bacteria cannot survive in the acidic environment of Apple Cider Vinegar. Adding 1-2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar to warm water and drinking it can soothe a sore throat, clear a stuffy nose and treat bacteria-related diseases. When you feel a cold coming on, try this throat-soothing drink recipe:
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 shakes Cinnamon
1 Lemon wedge, squeezed
1/2-1 Tbsp honey to sweeten* (optional)
Simply stir these ingredients into 8-10 oz of hot (almost boiling) water and enjoy!
Take home message: Don’t fight fire with fire. Protect yourself naturally during flu season by giving your immune system the tools it needs to fend for itself!