It’s been years since I’ve bought an over-the-counter flu preparation. There are two reasons I avoid these formulas.
The first is that they can cause potentially serious side effects. Occasionally, these are life threatening. (One of my relatives horrible reaction to one of these formulas and nearly lost her life.)
The second reason is that I own a war chest filled with herbs, homeopathic remedies and essential oils.
Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
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So I feel I’m ready to do battle with any bug that comes my way. My favorite natural cold and flu remedy is a special essential oil blend designed to kill germs.
Natural Remedies for a Cold and Flu
I love to tell my readers about natural flu-fighting remedies. Here’s why. I have an aunt who’s now in her mid-90’s. But, a few years ago, she almost died. She wasn’t expected to pull through. Fortunately, she surprised us.
She caught the flu. But that wasn’t what nearly killed her. She’d taken a liquid commercial flu preparation, and suffered a terrible reaction.
Please understand that I’m not a doctor. So I can’t give medical advice, or promise that any natural remedy will keep you healthy, or shorten the duration of a cold. All I can do is share information on remedies I’ve used myself, as well as other already published information.
A More Natural Medicine Cabinet
I own a book called Your Natural Medicine Cabinet. The author, Burke Lennihan, is a noted homeopath who once ran a health food store. Although she’s had formal training in the healthcare field, she learned some valuable lessons from her customers. One of things they taught her is that some type of supplements work better than others, and that inferior brands usually yield inferior results.
She also learned that homeopathy can alleviate cold and flu symptoms, as long as the correct remedy is given. Lennihan later trained with noted homeopath Dr. Luc De Schepper, according to her book. Then she established her own practice.
Homeopathic Cold and Flu Remedies
Homeopathic remedies seem to be the core of her treatment in the care of colds and flu, but she also recommends a variety of other natural healing methods. The advice in Your Natural Medicine Cabinet is not limited to colds. It spans a wide range of ailments, offering quick fixes and long-term solutions. If you haven’t read Lennihan’s book, I highly recommend it.
Cold and Flu Prevention Remedies
Everyone in your house is sick and now you feel a tickle in your throat, the first sign that you’ve caught the same bug. At this point, according to Lennihan, you can take a couple pellets of a homeopathic preparation called Oscillococcinum. This is very popular in France, where it’s manufactured. This might be all you need to stave off the sniffling and sneezing, according to Lennihan.
Once a cold or flu sets in, though, this might not help much, notes Lennihan, who, in her book, recommends a list of more specific remedies. Oftentimes, choosing the right remedy isn’t easy. That’s why it’s good to work with a professional homeopath.
Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season
Another preparation known as Influenzinum may also be used to prevent or ward off the flu, writes Lennihan, who believes, for some individuals, this may offer better results than Oscillococcinum.
Everyone responds differently to these remedies, according to my own homeopath. So you need to know when to hold off on the next dose. It’s safe to say that if you take multiple doses, and begin to experience the symptoms you are trying to prevent, then you’ve probably taken too much.
Below you can see both of Oscillococcinum and Influenzinum side by side.
Herbal Remedies for the Flu
A number of herbs can potentially help rev up your immune system to help you fight the flu. In her book, Lennihan says elderberries can help you overcome a nagging cough.
Elderberry is a shrub that grows in many parts of the temperate world, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s long been used in various cultures to treat upper respiratory infections. Traditional Chinese Medicine also employs elderberry for this reason, as well as for others.
Elderberry Syrup for Colds and Flu
Elderberry syrup is often used to flavor desserts, and is popular with European pastry chefs. it’s also one of the ingredients in Sambuca, an Italian liquor. Some people take natural elderberry syrup throughout the winter to keep the flu away.
For colds, or for cold prevention, Lennihan also likes Zand’s Insure Herbal, because it contains a number of herbs that may fight the infection. She advises saving immune boosting herbs such as this for when you are sick, as the body can build up a resistance to them.
Natural Immune Boosters for Colds
Much of Lennihan’s natural health book is dedicated lifestyle changes. That way, we’re better able to withstand cold and flu season. She strongly urges cutting out sugar and refined, processed foods, and, instead, eating organic whole grains, meats, fruits and vegetables.
She also has a list of supplements to take everyday, since it’s difficult to be able to get all of our nutritional needs from what’s on our dinner plate. She advises paying particular attention to the essential fatty acids in our diet. Avoiding genetically modified foods is a must, she says.
Her book also includes a wealth of tips on how to correct and prevent a host of other common conditions, such as gout, thinning hair, insomnia, headaches and nausea, to name a few.
Working With Your Doctor or Other Health Professionals
Lennihan offers advice on working with your doctor. She believes it’s important to consult a doctor if you choose to treat yourself and your family members at home. Parents of young children, for instance, will want to have a medical practitioner on board to help monitor upper respiratory infections, and to make sure a fever does not require immediate medical attention.
She stressed the importance of finding someone willing to allow you to try natural remedies first. However, if the doctor is hostile to the idea, you may need to think about switching health care providers.
All Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
The following remedy I did not find in Lennihan’s book. But it’s one I’ve used for years.
As I mentioned earlier, my personal favorite cold and flu remedy is a special essential oil blend. (This same recipe is sold by a number of different companies.) The brand I’m currently using is called Plant Therapy Germ Fighter. It contains clove, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus oils. Individually, some of these aromatics have been shown to kill pathogens in the lab.
This is the same blend of oils found in the proprietary Thieves formula, which seems to be based upon a Medieval legend of four men who robbed the sick and dying during a plague. They remained healthy, because of a secret herbal blend.
Plant Therapy Germ Fighter is the brand I use myself. Thieves is sold by multilevel marketing distributors, and I prefer to buy my oils more directly. Plant Therapy sells excellent oils that are independently tested for purity.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils or herbal or homeopathic remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.
If you’re seriously ill, do not rely upon home remedies and seek medical attention.