VIDEO: If you’re suffering from a cold or flu there are a few home remedies worth a try. Full disclosure: I’m not a doctor but these remedies have soothed my symptoms many, many times. Stock up on supplies now and store them in a sick kit so you have what you need at arms reach when you start to feel icky.
DISINFECT YOUR TOOTHBRUSH
This frugal tip may be more linked to placebo effect than to science but it costs so little to try, it’s worth it. When you’re sick there may be a bit more bacteria collecting on your brush than normal. To be safe, you can disinfect your brush between uses to ensure it doesn’t transfer nasty bacteria back into your system.
How? Pour some vinegar into a small bowl and set the bristle side of your toothbrush to soak. When you’re ready to use your brush, rinse it off well, dispose of the vinegar and brush as normal.
I had to rely on this tip heavily last winter when I was hit with a nasty bout of the flu. You’ll have to invest in eucalyptus essential oil, but there are tons of uses for essential oil so it’s a good idea to have some on hand.
How? Put 10 drops of eucalyptus oil onto a small sponge and place the sponge on your shower floor. Proceed to take a hot shower. The heat will release the eucalyptus vapors into your shower and together with the steam you’ll start to breathe easier. Eucalyptus is a known decongestant and is also an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. This simple remedy works wonders for clearing congestion and soothing aches and pains.
This soothing warm drink costs very little to assemble and it has the backing of almost all Indian moms EVERYWHERE. Haha. Seriously, any time a feel a sore throat coming on, or the ache of a fever setting in, I make this. Turmeric is well known to be a healing spice that has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties—it’s even called the “natural aspirin” in Ayurvedic medicine. Ginger adds a bit of spice to this mix and will help you perspire and sweat out toxins. And, the milk? Well, warm milk is soothing and is known to promote sleep and relaxation.
1 cup milk
1 tsp turmeric
3-4 whole peppercorns
1 green cardamom pod, cracked open
1-2 tsp honey
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
DIY NASAL SPRAY
Make your own saline nasal spray to irrigate your nose. This will break up nasal congestion and clear your nasal cavity of bacteria. Be sure to wash the bottle top between applications and let it air dry.
How? This is a mixture of boiled (and cooled) water, with salt and baking soda. Pour this into a clean water bottle with a push/pull top. Lean your head over a sink, and hold one nostril closed while you gently squirt the solution into the other nostril. Let drain. Repeat.
1 cup boiled water, cooled
¼ tsp sea salt (must be non-iodized)
¼ tsp baking soda (optional)
*Find a squeeze bottle with a tip that fits into your nostril snuggly. Some examples are bike water bottles, contact solution bottles, and dish soap bottles.