Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cold and Flu Season: Treat Yourself Naturally

Psyllium-Boneset Flu Remedy

1 tablespoon - boneset
1 tablespoon - skullcap
1 tablespoon - white yarrow
1 teaspoon - psyllium seed
Honey or corn syrup
Distilled water

Put 1 tablespoon each of white yarrow, boneset, and skullcap in a pint of water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain. Add 1 tablespoon of this liquid and 1 teaspoon of psyllium seed, flavored, to one cup of boiling water. Sweeten with corn syrup. Drink every 30 minutes.

This remedy is useful for flu as well as for backaches and headaches.

Peppermint-Rosemary-Elder Flu Remedy
This remedy is good for colds with flu Symptoms.

black elder flowers - 1 cup
Irish moss - 1 cup
juniper berries - 1 cup
peppermint - 1 cup
plantain - 1 cup
rosemary - 1 cup
honey - as needed

Mix all the herbs. Steep 1 teaspoon of the herb mix in 1 cup boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain. Reheat and sweeten with honey. Drink twice daily.

Other Remedies:

Echinacea and goldenseal stimulate the immune system. Goldenseal also helps to soothe mucous membranes. Add 10-15 drops of a combination of echinacea and goldenseal to herbal teas at the first sign of a sniffle to boost the immune system. Take one dose of an echinacea and goldenseal combination remedy supplying 250 to 500 milligrams of echinacea and 150 to 300 milligrams of goldenseal three times daily for five days.

An infusion of boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) may relieve aches and fever and clear congestion: Simmer 1 cup boiling water with 2 tsp of the herb for 10 to 15 minutes; drink a cupful every hour, as hot as you can stand it.

To combat chills, try taking 30 drops of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) or elder (Sambucus nigra) flower tincture every four hours until your chills are gone.

To help yourself rest and relax, drink a cup of chamomile tea twice a day.

Use inhalations of chamomile, eucalyptus or thyme. These help loosen mucus and heal the throat, nasal passages and bronchial tubes.

Horsetail inhalations reduce swelling of mucous membranes.

At the first sign of the flu, begin taking the Chinese botanical formula Yin Qiao. (This remedy usually is not helpful after the third day of symptoms.) Take two or three tablets three times a day, up to twelve tablets in a twenty- four-hour period, during the acute phase of the flu. After the symptoms start to ease, reduce the dosage to one tablet three times daily for one week.

In a 1995 Israeli study, elderberry extract was found to reduce both the severity of symptoms and the duration of flu (two to three days in the treated group versus six days in the placebo group). Choose an extract standardized to contain 5 percent total flavonoids and take 500 milligrams twice daily.

Garlic helps to detoxify the body. Take 500 milligrams (or one clove) three times a day for up to five days.

Take ginger tea. Ginger tea is antiviral and helps break up the mucus and congestion. Ginger tea is excellent if the stomach is affected. To make the tea, boil 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes. Take a cup as needed. Ginger reduces pain and fever and has a mild sedative effect that will encourage rest. It is valuable for preventing and treating colds and sore throats.

Onion or nasturtium inhalations disinfect.

Ginkgo biloba leaf inhalations kill bacteria and heal the cells of the damaged mucous membranes almost immediately.

When feeling more feverish, induce sweating by taking infusions of Catmint (Nepeta cataria) and/or Elderflower (Sambucus nigra).

To help alleviate and disinfect dry air passages, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of hot water or vaporizer and leave in bedroom overnight. A small handkerchief sprinkled with a few drops of the oil and left under the pillow may help as well.

At the onset of a flu, drink lindenflower tea with 2 drops of lemon balm oil, thyme tea with honey, rose hip tea or acerola juice. When you start to sweat, quickly go to bed and continue sweating for one hour. Change clothes, rub body dry and try to steep. This therapy often stops the flu before it becomes full blown.

Gargle regularly with sage tea to disinfect mouth, and use sage inhalations to reduce inflammation.

Wash body with an infusion of thyme or juniper needles.

If you are suffering from muscular aching, use an infusion of Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) alone, or in combination with Catmint (Nepeta cataria) and/or Elderflower (Sambucus nigra).

Cayenne added to fresh orange juice or soup will help to relieve congestion and increase mucus flow.

Mullein can be used as an expectorant and to soothe a sore throat.

Cinnamon will stop vomiting and relieve feelings of nausea. Take as a tea. Cinnamon oil also has anti-bacterial properties.

Lemons are a rich source of Vitamin C. Taken hot in a hot lemon and honey drink is a traditional remedy for colds and sore throats.

Try some of these out!

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