No one wants to be sick. So, the next time you are, reconsider running to the nearest drugstore to stock up on some over-the-counter cold, flu, and allergy medications. Why? Well, have you ever stopped to consider which natural remedies can help with non-severe ailments, instead? While not a cure for serious or life-threatening diseases, natural remedies can provide short-term relief while your body works to fight off certain types of illnesses. Check out a few of our favorite natural remedies below.
When used with hot water or diffusers, aromatherapy oils can effectively decongest your sinuses. Inhaling diluted peppermint oil, whether through a diffuser or by holding a soaked hand towel to your face, can clear the airways and might even inhibit infection. Diluted eucalyptus oil can be used as a decongestant chest rub. Lavender is great for lulling yourself to sleep when sick, and tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, meaning that it can be applied directly to small wounds or irritated areas without causing any further irritation.
You might have seen elderberry mentioned on the labels of newer, over-the-counter cold and flu medications. That's because the ingredient has become well-regarded as a natural remedy for cold and flu symptoms. Elderberry, which is a flowering plant with dark berries that is then prepared into a syrup-like mixture, is high in antioxidants and nutrients. Though larger-scale testing is still needed, several studies support the idea that elderberry reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms. Interested in trying it out? You can buy safe-to-ingest elderberry syrup at most health stores and national retailers.
Hot Tea with Honey and Lemon
Good news: the hot tea you crave when you’re suffering from a sore throat is as medically beneficial as it is soothing. Hot tea provides the extra hydration your body longs for while it’s working overtime to heal itself. It’s been said that lemon – which is also high in vitamin C – can help cut through problem-causing mucus, while honey has been shown to be as effective as over-the-counter cough suppressants. For these reasons, hot tea with honey and lemon is a great supplement to traditional medications.
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