Getting sick is never fun, nor is it ever ideal. It happens though, whether we like it or not. A foreign substance (a bacteria or germ) enters your body through droplets in the air or by touching a contaminated object. When your body notices the foreign invader, it sets off a chain of events. The immune system cues up and begins increasing the production of white blood cells. White blood cells’ ultimate goal is to rid your body of the unwanted foreign invader. Your internal temperature may also rise in an effort to kill off the unwanted visitor(s). You can also break out in a sweat as your body tries to flush it out while simultaneously attempting to maintain a normal temperature.
While this is all happening, the best thing to do is take care of yourself so that you can make a full recovery as soon as possible. Get some rest, and try the following all-natural remedies to kick your illness to the curb:
1. Eat Chicken Soup
Chicken noodle soup tops this list as one of the best foods for fighting a cold or flu. There’s a reason why your grandma or mom recommended it at the first sign of a cold, and research backs up their recommendation. Studies show chicken soup can be a sufficient remedy when it comes to treating illnesses associated with the upper respiratory tract . This research has indicated that it can have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help decrease related symptoms.
2. Down Some Ginger
When feeling nauseous, the last thing you want to do is eat, for fear of seeing your meal come out the same way it came in. Ginger can help alleviate your feelings of nausea, getting your appetite back when it matters most . Ground-up ginger or ginger finely sliced in boiling water may also contribute to a decreased sore throat or cough. Try it out!
3. Mix In Some Honey
Having warm tea with honey or adding it to yogurt while you are feeling under the weather might be just what you need! As well as potentially having antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, research has suggested that honey can help suppress a cough when it comes to upper respiratory tract infections . Try this one out before bed to keep your cough at bay and help you get a good night’s rest.
4. Don’t Forget About Vitamin C
Vitamin C is critical for day-to-day bodily functions and overall optimal health. Studies have shown that vitamin C can help fight off respiratory tract infections, including that of the common cold . Good sources of vitamin C include grapefruit, oranges and limes. Stock up and ensure you eat lots of these foods when you are feeling under the weather.
5. Use Garlic to Fight a Cold
According to research, garlic can help your immune system regulate itself by priming your body to fend off foreign invaders . It can also help by reducing cold or flu symptoms.
6. Exercise It Out (In Mild Cases)
Are you wondering if exercise can help fend off a cold or the flu? The answer to that is: it depends. Exercise can be an excellent way to initiate an increase in circulation and get any congestion flowing. Generally, if your symptoms are above the neck, such as nasal congestion or a sore throat, then it is okay to perform some light exercise . But if you have a fever, difficulty breathing or are nauseous, resting is likely the best route to take.
7. Bask in an Infrared Sauna
When sick, the body naturally sweats to purge itself of any illness it may be infected with. As such, infrared therapy through an infrared sauna can help you recover from a stubborn cold or flu. Research shows that infrared sauna benefits include improved immunity . These saunas can also help you relax and destress, which has positive effects on your overall health and mood.
Start Feeling Better Today!
Try out these all-natural remedies to fight off that cold/flu - or at least assist in reducing your symptoms. These remedies can also help prevent sickness in the first place! Please keep in mind that these suggestions are for minor colds or flu symptoms and should not be used as a substitute for treatment otherwise provided by a medical doctor. If you are feeling seriously ill or have had a persistent fever for some time, it is best to consult with your local physician.
 Ertle R.F., Gossman G.L., Rennard B.O., et al. (2000). “Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, October 2000, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11035691.
 Ernst E., & Pittler M.H. (2000). “Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, BR J Anaesth, March 2000, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10793599.
 Berkovitch M., Cohen H., Efrat H., et al. (2012). “Effect of Honey on Nocturnal Cough and Sleep Quality: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study.” pediatrics.aappublications.org, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2012, https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/3/465.
 Hornig D.H., Maggini S., & Wintergerst E.S. (2006). “Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Ann Nutr Metab, 2006, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373990.
 Arreola R., Carrera-Quinanar L., Flores-Gutierrez E.O., et al. (2015). “Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, J Immunol Res, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25961060.
 Mann D. (2020). “Exercising When Sick: A Good Move?” WebMD.com, 2020, https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/exercising-when-sick#1.
 Cohen M., & Hussain J. (2018). “Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review.” hindawi.com, 24 April 2018, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2018/1857413/.