Hack Your Health: Natural Ways to Combat Cold and Flu

Ah, winter. The cooler temperatures, the fireside snuggles, the frost on your car in the morning…and the sniffles that spiral into a sore throat and a sick day. It feels inevitable, right? You can feel the tickle in your throat now, and is that ache in your joints from the run you went on this morning, or because the flu has already taken hold?

But wait! Don’t succumb just yet. You can rewrite the story this year. We have the tips and tricks you need to stave off the wintertime woes—or get back on your feet faster, if you’ve already fallen victim.

Enhance your immunity.

Wash your hands. Seriously, this one should be a no-brainer. The easiest way to stop the spread of germs and viruses is to wash your hands thoroughly—that means at least 20 seconds of scrubbing.

Take a probiotic. Ever thought about where your immune system is located exactly? Turns out, most of it is your gut! Get your healthy bacteria levels up by taking a multi-strain probiotic.

Reduce stress + take a break (before you have to). Self-care is the word of the day, and it’s a great way to relax your mind and body. Step up your bath or shower experience by reaching for Petal Fresh SuperFoods Shampoos and Conditioners to treat your common hair care concerns naturally. Look at that, you already have one less thing to stress about!

Catch those ZZZ’s. It might sound like a good idea to go out with friends after work or stay up late finishing a project, but you’re running an extra risk during cold and flu season. Make sure you’re not skimping on sleep to keep your defenses at optimal heights!

Don’t skip your workouts. If you’re getting the rest you need, you’ll have the energy to hit the gym, and if you hit the gym, your improved circulation and reduced stress levels will enhance your body’s ability to fight off sickness! It’s a great feedback loop.

Eat your chicken soup. There’s something to this bone broth craze—it’s loaded with nutrients, and the amino acids it contains can help fight inflammation. Plus, with the addition of vegetables, you’re scoring some vitamins too.

Say no to sweets. We know, we know, it’s the holidays. How can you resist?! But the more sweets you consume, the more your immune system is suppressed and the more susceptible you are to infections. Choose your holiday indulgences carefully, and you might just be the lucky duck who doesn’t catch that cold going around the office!

Kick that cold.

Flush it out. Neti pots might seem like weird naturopath-type stuff, but clearing out your sinuses can help get rid of mucus, allergens, and irritants while calming mucous membrane inflammation, which can ease congestion. Hey, if it helps you breathe easier, why not try it?

Get steamy. Take a hot shower, crank up the humidifier, or just hold your head over a pot of boiling water and breathe in slowly through your nose. Steam helps open the nasal passages to get congestion moving and unblock your stuffy nose. It won’t cure your cold, but it will help you feel better while your body fights it off.

Sip some tea. Herbal teas with honey are a minimal-effort option. If you’re into DIY, you can make a simple concoction of honey, lemon, and ginger to send those nasty germs packing when you start feeling symptoms. Honey is a natural cough suppressant, and its sweetness balances the tartness of lemon, which delivers a vitamin C punch to the free radicals in your body. Ginger encourages your body to sweat out toxins and helps calm nausea and dizziness.

Grease up. Essential oils offer a long list of benefits even when you’re not sick, but specific ones like eucalyptus and peppermint can help you recover faster and feel better while you’re healing. Thyme and tea tree fight infections, chamomile works to relieve cold and flu symptoms, and cinnamon and rosemary purify the air around you to eliminate airborne germs and viruses.

Can you hear me now? Food-grade hydrogen peroxide, administered by dropper to the ear canal, helps fight the flu and may also combat respiratory infections. When it stops bubbling, you know it’s done its job!

Ward off the vampires. Stick with me here: garlic is an antioxidant with antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. Add it to your soup for a mineral boost, and tell that sickness to get lost.

Eat like a bird. “Feed a cold, starve a fever,” the saying goes, but when your body’s priority is fighting any illness, giving it a lot of food to digest is only going to slow the healing process down. When you feel up to eating, keep it light with some chicken soup or citrus, and drink lots of liquids.

Long story short

“Cold and flu season” can be “the winter you finally got to enjoy without getting sick” with the addition of some simple life hacks! Keep your health game strong this year and use your sick days for non-sick things, like your family ski trip. Life’s too short to spend whole days in bed blowing your nose!