Soften Saturday: 8 Natural Tips for Cold and Flu Season

8 Tips for Cold and Flu Season | In Johnna's Kitchen

You may notice Soften Saturday is appearing on Sunday.  That’s because I’ve been under the weather.  Well, actually it’s not because of the weather.  I’ve been feeling less than optimal because I had a respiratory reaction to our kitchen remodeling project.  Turns out drywall dust is my nemesis!

While battling this icky mess that started out feeling like a cold, I kept a handwritten list of tips I wanted to share with you for cold and flu season.  Today I finally feel well enough to share them!  Here are my 8 tips for battling cold and flu season naturally.

1.  At the first hint of a cold or flu, make this homemade Vicks from Everyday Roots. Rub it on your tootsies at bedtime, cover with comfy socks and sleep it off.  This may sound crazy, but it is effective!  (These are my favorite socks for days when I need to really snuggle in. They are like the softest sweater ever, but for your feet. )

2.  I make this homemade cough syrup from The Simple Homemaker and keep it in a mason jar.  A couple tablespoons works every bit as well for me as any over-the-counter cough medicine.

3.  A new addition to my “I don’t feel so great” regimen is this honey, vinegar and lemon juice concoction, which I learned about from Shirley of Gluten Free Easily.  My sweet friend Renee dropped a jar of buckwheat honey off on my doorstep (I’ve been in quarantine 😉 ) and I used it to make this. I also used apple cider vinegar.   It’s actually pretty tasty and it made my throat feel much better.  (I could not locate the original source of this online.  If you know where this recipe originated, drop me a line as I would like to give credit.)

cold remedy

4.  I know this isn’t sexy to talk about, but I’m not the only one who has had this happen.  You know after you have been blowing your nose for days and it’s red and chapped?  Coconut oil to the rescue!  Rub a little on your nose to help with the chapping and also get a little gentle exfoliation for the skin.
5.  If your sinuses are still running (as opposed to completely blocked), you may find some relief from using a Neti pot.  I use the NasoPure, it’s a little easier for me.  I do this twice a day and am careful not to do it more than that as it can over-dry sinuses.  After using the Neti, I put a few drops of Nasya oil in my nose.  This helps keeps things from getting too dry and also helps to decongest sinuses.  (Travel tip: I use Nasya oil in my nose when flying to keep from getting dried out.)

6.  Ginger tea!  Ginger helps to clear congestion and decrease inflammation.  You can grate fresh ginger root, a Tablespoon or less, into a mug of warm water or you can buy ginger tea.  I like the Yogi brand of ginger tea.  For a double punch, add some raw local honey or buckwheat honey to the tea.  Honey will soothe your throat and also has antibacterial properties.

7.  Eat soothing foods.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know I went to Blue Koi yesterday for their Vegan Delights, a light veggie broth with carrots, potatoes and cabbage.  It’s vegan chicken soup in my book.  Foods like this and others that are light and healthy with no dairy or sugar are great at providing nourishment while reducing inflammation in our lungs, helping us defeat the dreaded congestion.

8.  REST!  This one is so hard for me.  I’ve spent the last five days canceling plans that I was really looking forward to and doing as little as possible to get by.  Often I have to ask, “Is this absolutely essential?”  If it isn’t, it gets canceled or postponed until I feel better. (Hence Soften Saturday appearing on Sunday this week.)

Do you have tips to add?  What do you do when the sniffles and sneezes drop by?  I’d love to hear what you would add to this list.

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