How to tackle the winter bugs, naturally

Last month we looked at ways in which you can boost your immune system to ward off the winter nasties. This month, we’ll look at simple, natural and effective remedies to assist with the effects of cold and flu symptoms.

So what is a cold? A cold is a common upper respiratory tract viral infection, one that affects the nose and throat. There are more than 200 viruses that can cause a cold and there’s no vaccine available. When you catch a cold the virus attaches itself to the mucous membranes of the nose and throat and essentially hijacks the cells that live there, forcing them to replicate more virus cells. Most people will catch a cold about three times a year, children

more so.

Colds are highly contagious and can be picked up from contact with an infected person. Symptoms typically start within one or two days of becoming infected and last for about a week. Symptoms may include a runny/blocked nose, sneezing, congestion, sore throat, fatigue and coloured mucus or nasal discharge.

Flu is quite a bit more nasty than the common cold. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu exhibit symptoms such as fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

So let me say right here that if you have any concerns that you believe a medical doctor can better serve your health needs, then seek one out. Flu can be deadly so it’s not a virus that you can muck around with. Having said that, there are a number of natural remedies that can provide relief for colds and flu.

Easy Air essential oil blend is my go-to for any respiratory tract infection. Easy Air maintains feelings of clear airways and easy breathing while minimizing the effects of seasonal threats. Diffuse at night, apply topically diluted with a carrier oil or use the Easy Air stick on your chest at night. This is a must have over the cold and flu season. I will diffuse Easy Air and On Guard (the protective blend) together when seasonal threats are high.

The Flu Bomb is a popular remedy in the dōTERRA community. Utilising four of the most effective essential oils for bug busting, the Flu Bomb, or Immune Bomb, can be taken internally via a gel cap or applied topically blended in a 10mL rollerball bottle. You can add 10 drops of Tea Tree to the rollerball blend – I personally do not ingest Tea Tree. Decrease the dilution for children (refer to chart below). Roll on the bottom of feet morning and night.

A steam bath using essential oils is a simple and effective remedy for a cold. The best essential oils to use for this are the strong ones like Tea Tree, Peppermint, or Eucalyptus. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of Tea Tree oil can be carried via the steam, which will help fight off any bug that you’re battling.

You will need:
-5-10 drops of eucalyptus, tea tree oil, or a combination
-A heatproof bowl
-Boiling water
-A towel

Put the essential oils in the bottom of the bowl and then pour in several cups of boiling water. Start by putting your face over the bowl at a comfortable distance. Eventually have your face directly about the bowl as close as comfortably possible. Drape the towel over your head to trap all that healing steam, and take deep breaths. Resurface as needed if you become too warm. Repeat 2-3 times daily, adjusting the amount of essential oil to your preferences.

There are plenty of other natural home remedies that can help alleviate cold and flu symptoms, and these are only a few. Lots of rest and water intake is also vital. I hope you have found these remedies useful – here’s to a healthy winter!

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