(DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE TREATING ANY CONDITION, NONE OF WHAT YOU READ BELOW SHOULD BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE)
With cold, flu, RSV infections, and SAR variants at an all-time high, you may wonder if getting sick is inevitable. You may also want to know what to take for symptoms you experience.
While most people I know treat their cold and flu symptoms with Tylenol Flu/Cold and NyQuil Cold and Flu, I consult my collection of raw herbs and essential oils.
Over the counter cold/flu medicines and I don’t really get along. I used to wonder why I felt heavily sedated after taking a round of cold/flu medications. Then the stores began asking for ID to purchase these medications because there is a component in these medicines that’s used to make crystal meth. I’ll never forget having the flu in 2006 and telling myself there must be a better way to address cold and flu symptoms without making you feel you’ve been hanging out at the local drug house.
When I discovered there are herbs and essential oils, you can use to not only treat the first sign of symptoms but also PREVENT you from getting sick in the first place, I was interested. The hangovers on OTC cold medicines left me with made the decision easy.
Here’s a list of the herbs and essential oils I keep stocked up. Remember, do your research on the storage of live herbs and essential oils to best maximize their potential. Also CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY HERBAL REGIMEN:
Ginger: This herb is an antiviral and referred to in the herbal community as a “warm herb”. Its warming properties can stimulate sweating and cools and controls fever.
Eucalyptus: This is the herb the OTC vapor rubs center its product around, but you will be better off using eucalyptus essential oil. When I feel a tickle in my throat, I normally plug up the vaporizer, place some essential oil drops in it and breathe in the vapor. Sometimes I will add a couple drops of peppermint oil as well.
Lavender: Lavender is one of the most universal herbs with uses covering a broad spectrum of reasons. For the common cold, this essential oil can help with itchy ears or earaches, as it is a strong antiseptic.
Peppermint: Peppermint cools and increases circulation; I use this in my vaporizer when I’m congested. When I pair it with eucalyptus, it’s tingly effects work great as a nasal decongestant.
Elderberry: Elderberry is another antiviral herb which is not only a good cold and flu remedy, but it’s also an excellent PREVENTATIVE. Remember, the best prescription is preventative wellness.
All the herbs and essential oils listed above are easy to access from reputable sources and available for purchase in person as well as online.
I can’t stress enough the importance of doing your research before you purchase herbs and essential oils due to the lack of regulation (I’m still mixed on how I feel about big GOV getting involved in herbal health).
Herbal remedies can be healthy alternatives to using OTC remedies for your cold symptoms. Of course, before starting any medical regimen, you should ALWAYS consult your doctor.
If you’re interested in learning more about natural remedies, here’s a good resource.
And if you’re focused more on health driven herbs, this book is a good read for $29.