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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Home Remedies for Colds and Flu

We cannot live in a bubble so even with every practical precaution we still are susceptible to the viruses for colds and influenza. A way to know if you have just a cold or are coming down with the flu is the presence of a fever as one of your symptoms of misery. Colds bring upper respiratory sniffling, coughing, sinus congestion and headache but rarely keep us from functioning. The flu can put you to bed for days and take weeks to regain your energy. Antibiotics are usually needed only should a secondary bacterial infection result from the initial viral infection.

Colds have to run their course but you can help things along with home herbal remedies. Our natural world supplies what we need for health and if we pay attention we are instinctively drawn to these trusted methods. The following home remedies have been used by many a generation before pharmacies were convenient. They are gentle methods of healing without the possible side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Your body's energy becomes totally focused on the elimination of invaders and infection. What is needed is rest and time. Over the counter cold remedies may quickly help you feel better, but what often happens is a person tends to return to his or her daily routine too soon which puts a strain on the body and full recovery takes much longer. And we wonder why we're tired all the time!

The best thing to deal with a cold or flu is to get plenty of rest and allow your body's energy to focus on combating the invading infection. The Sleep Aid Dream Mist Linen or Air Spray consists of a combination of essential oils therapeutically known for their value in relaxing nervous excitability and emotional conflict. To create a feeling of peace often helps dispel gloomy thoughts and once things are put in perspective our minds and bodies can relax.
Spray the linens of your sleeping area but do so sparingly in case you find the aromatics too strong. Spraying your pillow directly is optional, as there is always the risk of skin sensitivity.
Sweet dreams!

Baths are wonderful to not only relax but for home treatment of colds they are great. The steam and humidity opens up congested airways and gets things flowing. Blocked sinuses and a throbbing head certainly is no picnic. Mineral salt baths offer you the beneficial gifts of our soil and ocean waters. Sea salt baths are cleansing and detoxifying. So what is different about this blend? This soak is meant for when your goal is to sweat out impurities with the help of therapeutic mustard seed powder.

Perfect for when cold and flu symptoms leave you achy and stiff. This combination of salts, dry mustard, borax, clay and essential oils are a potent mix meant to open up the pores and provide essential minerals needed by our bodies for improved health.

The mustard stimulates the sweat glands to assist in the elimination of impurities, toxins and infection. Mustard baths can be used to help relieve chest congestion and blocked sinuses, all the while aiding those tired, stressed joints and muscles. By drawing blood to the surface capillaries, there is an increase in circulation and oxygenation of cells. This helps reduce inflammation in the tissues, thereby wonderful for those with arthritic pain.

Borax (sodium borate) is added as a pH stabilizer being it is high in alkalinity. It is a naturally occurring mineral compound of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. Only cosmetic grade borax is used, therefore it does not contain the surfactants and detergents in commercial Borax powders.

Essential oils Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Thyme and Rosemary have antiseptic, antimicrobial, and expectorant properties that help combat respiratory conditions. Reduce congestion, open up the sinuses, relieve muscle aches and headaches, all an aid to helping the body fight infection and break a fever.

Add 1-2 TBSP to a tub of warm hot water and relax for about 30 minutes. When you get out of the tub be sure to dry off and dress warmly. Expect to sweat so drink plenty of fluids and go to bed. It takes a while for your pores to close and you don't want to be chilled.

An alternative would be to add 1 TBSP to a basin of hot water and enjoy a foot bath. Good choice for children who may not enjoy a bath or the strong aroma of the essential oils.

For children under the age of eight, please check with your doctor before use.
Not for use by pregnant women.
Those with heart conditions or should check with physician before using this salt bath.

Our Sinus and Chest Vapor Rub can help fight infection and relieve sinus and lung congestion.

If you look at commercial vapor balms,you'll notice they probably contain ingredients such as thymol, menthol, and eucalyptol. These are components of the essential oils: thyme, mint, and eucalyptus.

A common remedy often used is wintergreen (menthyl salicylate). Wintergreen is left out of our balm as menthyl slaicylate is similar to aspirin and we felt it best not to be used on children.

Check with physician before using on children under the age of eight or if pregnant or breast feeding. Good alternatives for young children would be to substitute the essential oils for Pine, Spruce, Fir, Cypress, Orange or Lavender.

A very effective, alternate method of application is to apply to the soles of the feet rather than to the chest. This is advised for children who may find the aroma too strong.
Whether you choose to massage this vapor rub onto the chest or the feet should you want to increase its warming action lay a warm piece of flannel onto the chest or over the feet.
An option to help open clogged sinuses is to apply just a bit under the nose.

A viral infection has to run its course but if you help things along you may find it easier to breathe and lessen those headaches.

Trying to get our children to cooperate when it comes to taking cold medicine can easily become a power struggle. Perhaps the reason is because its taste is usually not all that appealing. Herbal Syrups may make life a bit easier.

The elderberry itself is very tart but once boiled down into a syrup with the addition of honey, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, the result is a very tasty blend your child just may request when feeling out of sorts.

For centuries, the berry from the shrubby elderberry tree (Sambucus nigra) has been a popular remedy for colds and influenza. Used as a hot tea it promotes sweating and helps break a fever. Taken straight as a syrup it is very soothing for coughs, sore throats and bronchial infections. Sambucus contains compounds that are active against flu viruses and aids in stimulating the immune system. Elderberry syrup can also be taken on a daily basis as a preventative measure during cold season.

As with any herbal remedy this information or syrup formula has not been regulated by the FDA. Herbal lore has been trusted and handed down through the years but it is within your discretion how you use this information in treating a condition.

Dosage is as follows:
Do not use on babies under 2 years due to the honey content.
Children 2-5 years can take 1 tsp. daily as a preventative or every hour while ill.
Children 6-12 years can take 2 tsp. daily as a preventative or every hour while ill.
Adults can take 1 tbsp daily as a preventative or every hour while ill.
Dosages are taken straight as a syrup or mixed with hot water for a tea.

Best kept under refrigeration. Potency lasts about a year.

Objects with which we come into contact every day are a constant source of potential bacterial or viral infection. Shopping carts, computer keypads, remote controls, phones, door handles, light switches, cash register keys and gas pumps. All examples of surfaces that carry germs which can spread from one person to another.

Germ Fighting Air and Surface Spray contains three essential oils known for their broad spectrum action.
Tea tree oil is called the Australian wonder. It is known for its antimicrobial qualities as it is effective against bacterial, fungal and viral sources of infection.
Thyme is another aromatherapy classic against infectious conditions, particularly those of the throat and chest. Pleasing is its woodsy yet warm aroma.
Eucalyptus has the distinct camphor scent most people recognize and associate with preventing or treating colds and flu. Very useful as an expectorant and clearing the head.

This powerful air spray can be a blessing for people who are sensitive to the synthetics and perfumes in commercial air sprays.

Use to spray surface areas or spray around the room to destroy airborne germs while freshening the air.

Shake before use and store out of direct sunlight.

So we do what we can to remain in good health. But it certainly doesn't hurt to be prepared!
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