Since starting uni back in September, I’d managed to make it all the way until mid October without catching the dreaded freshers flu. With everyone dropping like flies around me, I felt smug for an immune system that was keeping it at bay. That smug feeling didn’t even last until my first week off before I was struck down with one of the worst colds I’ve ever had. Freshers flu, in all of its nose sniffling glory.
Since coughing and sneezing my way through my entire week off, sob, I’ve become an expert in natural remedies to help ease flu and cold symptoms. It’s important not to suppress your immune system with paracetamol as it brings down the high temperature that your body uses to destroy bacteria and viruses. If you want a short and sharp cold or flu that doesn’t drag out, let your body just do its thing.
Think of natural remedies as supportive rather than suppressive. You want to assist your body with healing, not interfere with the functions it uses to combat cold or flu.
I’ve only just started using Echinacea this year as a way of preventing cold or flu when taken at the first signs. I’m convinced that it saved me from becoming unwell for the weeks around the time that I first moved into halls a couple of months ago. Echinacea can be used as a first line of defence and to speed up the recovery time once a virus has taken hold. The tincture bottle is so handy to keep on a desk at work or in the kitchen at home, simply add a few drops to your water bottle a couple of times a day.
Coconut oil is a fantastic all rounder. It can be used for oil pulling to remove germs and bacteria from the mouth, for keeping sore lips hydrated and for any dry patches of skin. The same goes for Manuka Honey, which is great stirred into herbal tea to soothe a sore throat or dabbed onto any breakouts that come with being run down.
For supplements, I take a hefty dose of vitamin D3 all throughout autumn/winter. Studies have proven that doing so reduces your chance of getting flu by around 40%. Get in! I take one 4000IU Solgar capsule per day. I then take a Sativa strain of CBD oil in the morning for a lift of energy and a hybrid at night to help me drift off to sleep. I’ve been buying from The Original Alternative for years and would highly recommend them if you’re exploring starting with CBD products.
Essential oils are another deep love of mine when it comes to self-care and healing. I like to defuse Eucalyptus oil whenever I’m feeling under the weather and roll on the energy blend from Neal’s Yard to lift my spirits.
I couldn’t write a post on natural healing without giving a mention to crystals right? I’m a complete newbie in this area so my knowledge is lacking until I catch up. That confession out of the way, Heliotrope is said to stimulate the immune system, increase energy and ward off viruses. Holistic Silk have used the crystal to create ear plugs*, allowing you to simply pop them in, lay back and focus on healing. I use them whenever I’m starting to feel overwhelmed from feeling unwell and really do find that I gain a sense of strength afterwards.
Packed with berries and hibiscus blossoms, my tea of choice for boosting the immune system is Bouquet Royale by Butterwoth and Son. It even includes elderberries, rich in antioxidants and slapped with superfood status. I swear you will not find a better tasting, natural fruit tea.
I’m sure most of you have scanned through this post to find out where the beautiful eye mask hanging on my bed frame is from. I bet you were already sold before I even tell you that it contains dried lavender. It’s the Madagascar print from Holistic Silk*, add it to your Christmas list!
I think that’s everything covered. Go forth and be protected from cold and flu season.
Items marked with * were gifted on the understanding of being considered for inclusion in content.