Constant relocation and tight-knit communities can make military families particularly susceptible to cold and flu viruses. One child can come home from school with a sneeze and in a matter of 24 hours, an entire household is sharing the gift that keeps on giving — a nasty cold.
But before you make a midnight run to closest Walgreens, consider taking a look in your pantry. Prior to the rise of the modern medical industry and 24-hour drug stores, “folk” recipes were standard for moms. In fact, the all-natural craze is merely a revival of an age-old way of life.
Whether your aim is to provide your family with natural solutions or just to cut costs, becoming familiar with homemade cold and flu remedies can be very helpful.
Here are five of the best performing ingredients in your kitchen that can help treat miserable cold and flu symptoms.
This acidic liquid, preferably with the mother pulp, has germ fighting properties that help flush the body of toxins. It won’t necessarily replace a doctor-prescribed antibiotic, but it will help rid your body of bacteria and boost your immune system. In warm tea mixtures, vinegar’s aromatic qualities can help open blocked sinus.
It’s no secret that lemon juice is great source of Vitamin C, but it also a diuretic and astringent. It helps reduce inflammation and soothe irritated membranes, making it a powerful ingredient for recipes that treat sore throats and nasal congestion.
Another ancient ingredient that many claim to have antibiotic-like qualities, honey is included in many cold remedies and soothes irritated tissues in the throat and can help treat a cough. Additionally, honey has been clinically proven as an effective antibacterial treatment for topical wounds and abrasions. (Honey is not recommended for infants age 12 months or younger.)
East Asian cultures swear by the health benefits of ginger. Fresh-ground ginger root is a very potent ingredient in many home remedies, and it acts as anti-inflammatory, aids digestive issues, cures nausea and more.
Hot peppers are used in natural remedies for many of the reasons some people avoid them. Capsaicin, the chemical in peppers that trigger the burning feeling, causes your sinus glands to secrete watery fluids; consequently breaking up congestion or soothing dry sinuses. Add hot peppers to soups or splash Cayenne pepper in teas to boost your immune system or treat cold symptoms.
Photo courtesy floeschie