Things to Help you Get Through that Awful Flu…
by Tara (aka Tara Dactyl)
All articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.
Despite my best efforts to remain healthy this winter I’ve come down with the flu. Yes, I drink hot lemon water every morning, contrary to popular belief, this won’t always prevent you from getting sick. I am a vegan. I exercise regularly. I use all natural home and beauty products. I eat onions and garlic and tons of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Sometimes getting sick is inevitable! So now what? Besides getting plenty of rest and increasing your fluid intake here are some natural remedies that can help relieve some of the symptoms of that pesky cold or flu. I cannot make claims they will reduce the duration of your illness however I will say with confidence you can experience some relief.
- Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils – Get some, get them now, keep them forever. You can inhale these directly from the bottles. You can also make a rub with some coconut oil or other carrier oil, only use 4 drops oil total per tablespoon of carrier oil. This combo is great as an inhalation as well. Put a few drops of essential oils in hot water, cover your head with a towel and inhale the vapors. My favorite, which is very simple, is to put a few drops of the back of the shower while you’re showering. Note: Peppermint oil can cause some skin irritation in some, please use caution if applying to the skin and do so in a small area before going hog wild. If you do have some irritation immediately put pure carrier oil on the skin then wash with soap and cold water.
- Hot hot Baths- if your flu is full blown you’re probably pretty achy… I suggest a hot Epsom salt bath with lavender, cedarwood and orange essential oils, but really any combination you love that is nice and relaxing will do the trick. (I do not suggest peppermint, this will give you a cooling sensation in uh… places)
- The Neti Pot – get one, get it now, use it forever. There are so many benefits to this type of nasal cleansing and the use of this device dates back centuries. It really is immediate relief of sinus pressure. Its gets rid of the gunk in our sinuses in just minutes and can be done a few times a day. You can purchase one of these bad boys at any pharmacy. Tips: Make sure you’re using purified water, distilled if possible. The water should be hot, but not scalding! This is going in your nose people… also, if you’ve heard of that brain eating amoeba, definitely don’t use river water or something like that.
- Hot Herbal Tea- Tea is good for the mind and the body! Echinacea is recommended as it has immune boosting effects. I also like peppermint tea, chamomile, and lemon balm. Stay away from teas with caffeine however it can sometimes exacerbate your symptoms.
- Soup (vegan soup of course) It’s comforting, its hot, its packed with nutrients and if you do it right it tastes good too! Onions, carrots, garlic, dill, pepper, basil and parsley make up the broth. Feel free to play around with your ratios of course, I like to start with a 2 whole chopped onions and two cloves of garlic, cooked in a little bit of oil and added to boiling water with two cups of chopped carrots and literally whatever else I have in my fridge because I’m sick and no way am I going to brave the grocery store… last batch I made had some cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and green peppers. Also, dumplings are really easy to make, just flower water and oil, or if you’re not a vegan you can add some egg too… or if you’re gluten intolerant, add some rice. I’d love to add some corn, but hey like I said… not leaving my house. Improvise. Onions are garlic are like natures antibiotics, their health benefits make up for the fact that they smell pretty awful. Also, it if you smell really bad, it might keep other sick people away from you. Just kidding… not really.
- Don’t beat yourself up… if you’re really health conscious like I am I think this is the most important one! You probably didn’t do anything “wrong” other than going out in public during flu season. It most likely wasn’t that questionable looking piece of whatever that might look like it might have touched some bacon… Also, it probably wasn’t the fact that you didn’t make it to your grandmother’s Christmas dinner and now some higher power is punishing you. Yes, you might have to forgo a few yoga classes this week to get some extra rest… and turn down your friends for a lovely vegan dinner at your favorite restaurant but Ahimsa people… non-harming to ourselves is very important! Take the day off, relax, take a bath.
It is possible to make it out of flu season alive… Although, I am a firm advocate of natural remedies sometimes we must simply give in and go to the doctor to make sure you don’t have something serious like pneumonia or the plague. Also, I’ll be the first to admit… I took an Advil yesterday, so sue me, I am only human and the moral repercussions of taking that Advil at the moment totally outweighed the destructive nature of my pounding headache.
Tara (aka Tara Dactyl) is not a writer, she’s just your average chemist / yoga teacher / healer living in Pittsburgh PA. Lover of smoothies, mutts, antiques and all things turquoise Tara hails from the small town of Hamburg, PA, has her B.S. in Environmental Science, 200hr classical vinyasa yoga certification and is a certified Reiki practitioner as well as a certified aromatherapist. Tara manages her slew of chronic illnesses with a vegan diet, aromatherapy, herbalism, reiki and yoga of course. You can find her teaching at Bendyoga.com, on Instagram @yogaistarafic, on facebook at Thetaradactylsnest and on etsy www.etsy.com/shop/thetaradactylsnest.
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Articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.
Disclaimer: For educational use only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Students articles reflect the views of the student and not necessarily Heart of Herbs Herbal School. Educational programs are available at www.heartofherbs.com and you can find all of Demetria Clark’s books at Amazon.
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