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9 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies (plus one)

A couple of you have emailed me about natural cold and flu treatments since we published the post earlier this week about cold medications possibly being harmful for children. Convenient timing: WebMD [1] has a handy list that caught my eye. There are some smart tips which I’ll touch on briefly here. I’d also like for you all to please add in any relevant tips you happen to recommend. And while I’m at it, before we all head out for the weekend I want to thank you for being such a terrific group. Your diverse and thoughtful comments, criticisms, and links add value to every single post at our ever-growing health community. And your emails really do make my day. While I can’t always respond, I do read every single one. So, thank you.

Now, about this list. Simple, smart, natural. I like it.

1. Blow your nose properly. (Gently, frequently, and press one nostril at a time.)

2. Don’t cut sleep. (No need to wear your body down during cold and flu season.)

3. Gargle salt water, vinegar, or lemon water. (Or drink Sara’s devil’s brew…)

4. Drink hot liquids (tea, broth, even plain, hot water).

5. Take a hot, steamy shower or visit the sauna. (A personal favorite.)

6. Menthol and camphor. (The article recommends dabbing a bit under your nasal passages. These salves are also great on the chest and back of the neck if you’re really feeling poorly.)

7. Hot water bottles or ice packs to ease aches, fever and other discomfort. (We mentioned this earlier.)

8. Sleep with an extra pillow for proper drainage. (Not sure about this one. I place comfort over drainage, but maybe it works for you.)

9. Don’t fly. (If possible, don’t travel when you’re sick, especially long distances crossing several time zones. And in general, obviously, just take it easy.)

10. My extra point: make sure you’re living a preventive lifestyle to begin with so your immunity isn’t compromised. Get enough sleep [2], eat natural “primal” foods [3], consider supplementation, and most important at this time of year, control that stress.

Let’s hear your tips.

Further reading:

What About Flu Shots? [4]

Is intermittent fasting healthy? [5]

How to avoid jet lag (really) [6]

Video: How to eat healthy at the gas station [7]

10 Rules for Aging Well [8]

Slice Photo on Flickr (CC) [9]

Subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple feeds [10]