Category Archives: Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

Feeling under the weather? When the temperatures drop, we tend to spend more time indoors, get less sunshine and fresh air, and consume more indulgent, comfort foods. This combination leads to a higher exposure to airborne organisms and decreased immunity, which means you’re more likely to catch a cold or flu.

But don’t be too quick to jump to over-the-counter solutions unless it’s absolutely necessary. Nature is chock full of remedies that can help you boost your immunity and alleviate symptoms of sickness.

Here are 4 natural foods and remedies that will help you get through cold and flu season:

Garlic
Raw garlic is an everyday superfood that should be included in daily meals to keep your immune system strong. It’s an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal powerhouse! In fact, one study found that consuming a garlic supplement every day reduced the number of colds by 63%, and even those who did get a cold had it last just an average of 1.5 days. Garlic is also full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for overall health. Chop it up and sprinkle it on something every day, whether you’re sick or not!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon, Honey, Ginger, and Water
This remedy is great for coughs or sore throats, and should be consumed like a tea. Boil some hot water, add a capful of apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of fresh lemon, ½ a teaspoon of raw honey, and some sliced fresh ginger. The combination of acidity, B-vitamins, Vitamin C, and the general cocktail of immunity-boosting compounds will soothe irritation and help your body begin to recover. The warmth and mild sweetness will also soothe your soul and help you rest while keeping you hydrated.

Oil of Oregano
This is most effective if taken right after exposure or at the first sign of a cold. It can also help to relieve sinus congestion when combined with steaming hot water and inhaled deeply. Oil of Oregano is available at many health food stores and is a powerful anti-microbial that can stop viruses and bacteria from proliferating.

Coconut Oil and Peppermint/Eucalyptus Essential Oil
This makes a great chest rub if your lungs are feeling sore and your sinuses aren’t clear. Combine a dollop of coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint and/or eucalyptus oil and rub it on your chest or back before going to sleep. The soothing massage will relieve some of the physical discomfort while the essential oils can help clear your breathing passages as you inhale the oils while sleeping.

Additional ways to reduce the severity and duration of colds:

  • Use a humidifier in your bedroom
  • Blow your nose regularly to eliminate germs quickly
  • Stay hydrated
  • Just rest, don’t try to multitask
  • Reduce sugar – it lowers immunity
  • Eat nutrient-dense foods like eggs, kale, or beans

What’s your go-to natural cold remedy? Share in the comments below!

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6 Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety

6 Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety

You wake up at 3 am with your heart racing. You have a pit in your stomach. You feel restless, light-headed, and hot. Your mind starts to race, and before you know it, you’re worrying about the list of things that need to be done tomorrow. Though mind and body reactions may vary, these symptoms are often an indication of anxiety.

According to the Mayo Clinic, occasional anxiety is normal, but those with anxiety disorders experience powerful, excessive, and constant worry and fear about normal circumstances. Anxiety disorders can involve episodes of intense fear, resulting in a panic attack, and these feelings can often interfere with everyday life.

While anxiety can require medication and professional intervention, there are natural ways that may help calm you when those jittery feelings come on. Check out our natural anti-anxiety remedies below.

Chamomile

This popular herb is a go-to for calming. In fact, one study found that those with generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile supplements had a significant decrease in symptoms of anxiety. Brew yourself a cup of tea at night or opt for a chamomile supplement.

Exercise

Have you ever experienced a “runner’s high,” the sense of mental clarity and calmness you feel after vigorous exercise? Aside from its physical health benefits, exercise can act as an immediate and long-term antidote to depression and anxiety. Physical exercise also produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. For an extra boost of relaxation, head to the sauna after your workout – the warming sensation can impact the neural circuits that control your mood, including those that affect serotonin.

Meditate

When you’re anxious, it can feel like your brain is constantly racing. A great way to calm anxiety and quiet your mind is through meditation. Meditation focuses on replacing chaotic, anxious thoughts with a sense of calm and mindfulness. If you’re new to meditation, try a guided meditation app, such as Headspace, Calm, or Aura.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve overall well-being; it’s a great option for anxiety relief and relaxation. Those who use essential oils find they help with sleep and mood as well as reducing heart rate and blood pressure. While each essential oil has its own use and effect, bergamot, lavender, clary sage, grapefruit, and ylang-ylang are great options to calm anxiety.

Eat…the right way

It can be tempting to reach for comfort foods when you’re anxious, but there are actually ways to nourish your body that will reduce uneasy feelings. Low blood sugar, dehydration, and the chemicals in processed foods can alter mood in some people, so it’s important to take note of how you feel after eating them. It can be helpful to hydrate, cut back on processed foods, and eat a healthy diet of complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Try incorporating sources of omega-3s, like salmon, canned tuna, or walnuts, into your diet. Evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can lessen symptoms of anxiety and increase mood by decreasing levels of adrenaline and cortisol.

Get outside

If you feel a pang of anxiety in the middle of the workday, take a 15-minute break for some sunshine!  Aside from removing yourself from what may be a stress-inducing environment, increased vitamin D levels can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. And while you’re at it, bump up those endorphins by taking a brisk walk around the block.

While natural remedies may ease symptoms of anxiety, if feelings and symptoms of anxiety are getting in the way of your work, relationships, or everyday life, it’s important to seek a professional opinion.

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