5 Natural remedies for beating the flu
If you're a person who always resorts to cold and flu medicine, then you'll want to read this. I was just like that, but now that I know that there are remedies out there to lessen your symptoms without drugging you or your children Breaking Bad style, I am a believer.
I used to think that natural remedies didn't work, and even if they did, wouldn't last long. One thing I love about Germans and Europeans, in general, is that the absolute last resort of Tamiflu or antibiotics is just that, the last resort. We moved to Germany two years ago, and my desperate attempts to try and convince these doctors that we needed drugs to live through the night, just made me look even more American than I already do. Bribing didn't work, so I just had to accept it. Not once in these past two years have we been given any sort of antibiotic or Tamiflu, no matter how bad the fever got. It forced me to join the other hippie moms in dealing with this crap.
I'm no scientist or doctor, but I know for a fact that when my husband (who was born and raised in Germany) gets sick, he maybe has the flu for two days tops. Me, two weeks. The difference between us? I have had a lot more antibiotics and Tamiflu in my lifetime than he has. I can't tell you how many times I've taken them. I'm not gonna lie, it was great! But I can't help but think that maybe, even if only a few times, I need to let things ride out while keeping the symptoms at a bearable level. Again, I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure it's good for your immune system to learn to fight sickness in order to get over it faster or fight it all together the next time.
Almost two weeks ago, for the first time, I got the flu while being pregnant. Not fun. My husband got it, and of course, he was better after two days. Obviously, being pregnant, the only thing I could take was Tylenol, for comfort from the aches and shakes, and as a fever reducer. I have never in my life experienced what the actual flu really feels like because I've always resorted to Mucinex to dry up the sludge, or Nyquil to knock myself out. Man, let me tell you, it's awful! So if you're a hippie mom, or just pregnant and not allowed to take the good stuff, this article is for you.
1. Boost your immune system
Facebook and Pinterest are a moms best friend when it comes to these things. I haven't looked to see whether these tips are up there, so I'm not claiming them as my own secret recipes. I just know them from word of mouth or the lovely ladies who know their stuff at the German pharmacies.
Ginger and honey booster
1 tsp Ginger (antiviral, anti-inflammatory)
1 tsp honey (antibiotic qualities)
Juice of 1 lemon (reduces phlegm and has vitamin c)
1 tsp turmeric root (anti-inflammatory for your swollen glands, throat, sinuses, etc.)
Not only will this help clear up that mucus in the back of your throat, but also boost your immune system. I used to add Tumeric until I read an article that debunked any powdered version as helpful. If you happen to have turmeric root in its true form lying around (probably those hippie mommy's do) then go ahead and add that. Just make sure you research how much you're allowed to have during pregnancy.
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2. Thyme steam bath
2 tbsp dried thyme, or 3 bags of thyme tea
Thyme is known as an antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial herb. So no matter what sickness you have, it fights it! It is used to treat various conditions having to do with the respiratory tract.
Put in a pot of boiling water and let steep for a few minutes. Drape a towel over your head and breath in the thyme steam for about 10 minutes. That annoying cough you've had for the past week will dissipate. It also encourages you to cough up all that mucus that needs to come out. Drinking thyme tea, in addition, will dry it up even more. This is seriously the best method I've used for clearing up all that nasty mucus. It works just as good as Mucinex, but it doesn't last quite as long. I do it about three times a day.
3. Eucalyptus Bath
Not only does this feel amazing, relax and detoxify, it will clear out your sinuses.
4. Warm Foot Soak
Even if you have a fever, making your feet warm will keep your body from trying to warm them up and your fever getting even higher. Soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes.
5. Stay Hydrated and eat salty foods!
Eat Ramen or chicken noodle soup!
The sodium from the broth will help you retain electrolytes and keep you hydrated. It also feels great on your throat. I know it's hard to keep things down during the flu, but ramen for me is somehow manageable.