It’s here. Cold and flu bugs are all around us in full force, and with the recent panic inducing news of new viruses everywhere we look, we thought it would be important to talk about some prevention and remedies. At Maple Organics, we believe in natural, plant based and non toxic remedies as well as prevention whenever possible. Next time you’re in line at the store and that kid sneezes all over the counter, don’t panic. There are ways to keep yourself healthy and protected. If you are one of the unlucky ones who ends up with a cold or flu, we’ve got you covered there too.
First and foremost, and I cannot stress this enough, wash those hands. I’m talking a lot, especially when you come in from being out in the world and before you eat. Use lots of soap and water and do it long enough to be able to sing Happy Birthday, or Baby Shark, or Old Town Road- whatever floats your boat. Warm up those vocal chords and hit the sink. If you’re unable to wash your hands, hand sanitizer is a good second option but nothing beats good old soap and water if it’s available. The soap doesn’t need to be antibacterial to be effective.
Staying healthy starts with a good immune system. I’ve talked a lot about ways to support this in previous posts, but things such as eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress will help your immune system function at its best. A cup of our Rose Moon Milk at bed time, full of stress reducing adaptogens can help to support your immune function.
If you do end up sick, cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow to avoid spreading the infection to others. Stay home if you can.
Our Cold & Flu therapy can naturally alleviate the congestion associated with cold and flu. An all natural combination of essential oils and butters replace traditional chemical laden remedies such as Vicks. Rub on chest and neck to help ease symptoms and make sleep easier. We also offer a eucalyptus essential oil roller pre diluted and ready to use. Applying this to the sides of your nose and a little underneath your nostrils can help clear sinuses and make breathing easier. Use on temples and behind ears and on the back of your neck for any headaches that come along with all the other symptoms of a cold or flu.
Drink plenty of fluids, being hydrated will help flush your system. Tea with honey (antibacterial and antimicrobial) and lemon can soothe irritated throats and coughing. Do not give honey to infants younger than one year old, their immune systems aren’t quite ready for honey until after their first birthdays. Ginger is also useful for alleviating sore throats, coughs and any nausea. Boil a few slices in a pot and drink.
Chicken soup. Research has shown that chicken soup can slow neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that prevents infection in our bodies. When they move slowly, they stay concentrated in areas of the body that need the most healing. This one isn’t just an old wive’s tale!
Probiotics, commonly found in yogurt, sauerkraut, miso and tempeh, are good bacteria that protect the immune system. You can purchase probiotics in supplement form from your local health food store. Zinc, garlic, echinacea and vitamin C have been shown to prevent and shorten the length of colds and flus by boosting your immune system and reducing inflammation. Always check with your doctor before starting any supplements.
Gargling with salt water can help ease a sore throat and kill nasty bacteria. Do this several times a day while sick. Dissolve a bit of salt into a cup of warm water and gargle away! Using a cool mist humidifier can be helpful in reducing nasal inflammation and making sleep easier. Remember to change the water daily to prevent any yucky stuff from growing in the water and then being sprayed back into your home.
Last but not least, don’t forget our Lavender Skin Therapy for chapped and dry noses and cheeks that come along with all the nose blowing. Works like magic to moisturize and heal irritated and dry, unhappy skin. The soothing lavender scent is a bonus when sleep is elusive due to feeling miserable!
Before reaching for over the counter meds that are hard on our livers, give these natural options a try. With proper rest and the power of plants, you’ll be feeling better in no time!
*If symptoms are severe, persist or become increasingly worse, always consult a medical professional.