Spending most of the day in the office, having the aircon blow down on you, stress at work and no time for proper lunch breaks weaken our immune system. All it takes is being in the crowded MRT, the person next to us is sneezing and coughing…
After another long day in the office you recognize a familiar feeling: your eyes hurt or burn, you feel an itch in your throat, you are tired, but have a desk full of work, and you think: “Please, let that not be the flu!”. What we often mean with “flu” is actually the common cold, not the real flu or influenza. Here are some natural remedies that have been used in holistic medicine for centuries. You probably have some in your kitchen already…
Natural remedies that can help you fight the common cold:
- If you feel a common cold coming, try your best to get as much rest as possible, you might be able to avert it!
- Keep your throat warm with a scarf to avoid the aircon or fan blowing on you.
- Drink lots (!) of water or herbal tea. Your body temperature rises because it’s defense system is more effective at an elevated temperature – this is why we get a fever!
- Drink fresh ginger tea – either boil slices of ginger for min. 1 hour to get a concentrate which you can keep in the fridge for 1-2 days. Take a little of the concentrate and dilute it with hot water. Making a concentrate is a great way for not having to keep preparing fresh ginger tea all day long. To make a fresh tea without making a concentrate first, you can cut and smash the ginger, then add boiling water. Crushing the ginger will help to release the essential oils in the ginger which helps your body fight inflammation. Sip once cooled down to drinking temperature.
- Fresh sage tea (available in cold storage / fair price finest) is great for sore throat and cough: Steep 2-3 sage leaves in hot water, sip once at drinking temperature. You may add a high-quality honey for its taste and healing properties.
- Peppermint tea is one of my favourites when the common cold is knocking on my door. It’s a great natural remedy that helps with flu symptoms and cough.
Chamomile is one of the most popular healing herbs used in traditional European medicine. It can help with a sore throat. I prefer the whole flowers, ideally organic chamomile, in order to benefit the most from its healing properties.
- Raw garlic is another great remedy to fight the flu naturally. Try buying organic garlic as you will get all the healing properties. European garlic is also not as spicy as Indian garlic. A delicious way to eat raw garlic is in guacamole (a dip made from mashed avocado).
Disclaimer: The tips are general information only and do not constitute medical advice. Remember, if you are not getting better within 1-2 days, or it is a child that is sick, do see a medical doctor! The above natural remedies are for adults and teenagers only. If you suffer from the common cold regularly do speak to your naturopath or physician – there might be another underlying problem!
Jennifer Eisenecker is an ex-banker, German-certified naturopath, and business owner. Knowing how limited time and mind space often are, her recommendations are practical, easy to follow, and as simple as possible.
Jennifer’s multi-disciplinary approach involves going back to basics, looking at health from a trauma-aware perspective, and achieving health by calming down the nervous system to optimize your body’s innate ability to rebalance itself. She loves herbs and natural remedies.
2 June 2019