Simple, Soothing Cold and Flu Remedies

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With all the fes­tiv­i­ties and out­door play dur­ing the win­ter­time, we can become run down and more sus­cep­ti­ble to catch­ing a cold or flu. Exter­nal germs can enter our body via our skin, mouth or nose. Stay­ing warm and wear­ing a scarf while enjoy­ing all that out­door win­ter fun are really help­ful ways to block these exter­nal germs from find­ing an entry point in our immune armor.

Accord­ing to Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Med­i­cine, wind is the spear­head of 100 dis­eases. Wind fre­quently changes and varies in inten­sity. When our bod­ies can­not respond to these changes, whether they are envi­ron­men­tally induced or from men­tal, emo­tional or phys­i­cal stresses, our bod­ies become over­whelmed and our immu­nity is then com­pro­mised. This is when a gap appears in that immune armor, and a cold or flu can enter our body.

Cold symp­toms con­sist of head con­ges­tion and headache, sneez­ing, watery eyes, cough­ing, rest­less­ness and an achy body, while flu symp­toms have body aches along with inter­mit­tent fever and chills, sore throat, cough­ing, not much appetite and an upset stom­ach. When you feel under the weather, try to get plenty of bed rest, avoid mucus pro­duc­ing foods such as dairy prod­ucts and sug­ary or oily foods, drink sooth­ing herbal teas along with warm veg­etable soups, and avoid sud­den tem­per­a­ture changes in your environment.

If you do catch a cold or flu, here are some sim­ple, sooth­ing remedies:

Chilly body or scratchy throat:

  • Slice 2–3 pieces of fresh gin­ger root (about the size of your thumb). Accord­ing to Chi­nese med­i­cine, fresh gin­ger can cause sweat­ing and push away the chill and scratchy throat feeling.
  • Add one bunch of chopped green onions (scal­lions) and two cups of water.
  • Bring water to a boil. Add ingre­di­ents then cover and steep for 10 min­utes. Drink the liq­uid. Bun­dle up in bed and let your body chase away the cold symptoms.

Sore throat or dry cough:

  • Core a pear and add a lit­tle honey with a pinch of cin­na­mon. Accord­ing to Ayurvedic med­i­cine, cin­na­mon helps the lungs decon­gest the chest.
  • Wrap in alu­minum foil and bake in the oven until soft. Eat the sooth­ing mixture.

Go-Away-Cold-or-Flu Joy Juice:

  • Juice of one lemon.
  • One tea­spoon of fresh crushed garlic.
  • One tea­spoon of fresh chopped ginger.
  • One pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Place ingre­di­ents in a large mug or cup. Pour boil­ing water over the ingre­di­ents and steep for 10 min­utes. Strain if desired. Add honey to taste and drink before going to sleep.

Keep immuno­log­i­cally armored with good food and rest, and keep well-bundled when play­ing out­doors. But if you do hap­pen to catch a cold or flu, try one of these time-tested reme­dies to help nurse your­self back to opti­mal health. And while you’re drink­ing your gin­ger root tea, or eat­ing your hon­eyed pear, or sip­ping your Go-Away-Cold Joy Juice, curl up with the Vital­ity Fusion Sec­ond Edi­tion and dis­cover some new ways of main­tain­ing and increas­ing your over­all wellness.


About the Author: Susan Shane, L.Ac., is cre­ator of Exair­cise, a cross-cultural fit­ness pro­gram based on the pri­macy of breath­ing in global health tra­di­tions. Her book, Vital­ity Fusion, a Com­par­a­tive, Inter­ac­tive Sur­vey of West­ern, Chi­nese and Ayurvedic Med­i­cine, illu­mi­nates ancient and mod­ern modal­i­ties to help read­ers cre­ate a cus­tomized path to opti­mal health. For more infor­ma­tion, visit www.VitalityFusion.com.

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