Top 5 Natural Sick Remedies (That actually work!)

The dreaded flu season is upon us. Growing up, my mother was (and still is!) infatuated with using natural remedies to cure anything from aches and pains, to the stomach bug. I held close to these remedies throughout college and into my adult life, as they have yet to fail me. Check out these 5 remedies below and you’ll be back to feeling yourself in no time! 

Let’s start recovery off right with a classic:

(1) Homemade chicken noodle soup.

Homemade Chicken Soup
The dreaded flu season is upon us. Growing up, my mother was (and still is!) infatuated with using natural remedies to cure anything from aches and pains, to the stomach bug. I held close to these remedies throughout college and into my adult life, as they have yet to fail me. Check out these 5 remedies below and you’ll be back to feeling yourself in no time! 
This dish is the perfect meal for when your appetite is out of whack. Homemade chicken noodle soup is not only the perfect comfort food, but it also has amazing health benefits. It is full of immune boosting antioxidants, nutrients, and is high in electrolytes. My favorite version is by Chef John, from All Recipes. It is hearty, flavorful, and sure to hit the spot with everyone in the family. John does not use artificial preservatives, such as the infamous MSG (monosodium glutamate). When consumed, MSG can trigger headaches, sweating, rapid heartbeats, chest pains, and nausea. Yikes! Also, there are about 1,000 milligrams of salt in a single cup of store-bought soup. 500-600 milligrams is the current recommended amount for daily intake. Double yikes—literally!
Pro-tip: Tired of feeling stuffed up? Add hot sauce to awaken your sinuses!
Symptoms of the cold and flu are similar to symptoms of depression.   
Whenever anyone close to me starts to feel ill, I always make this chicken noodle soup for them. I believe the feeling of being taken care of can really perk a person up!

(2) Not all heroes wear capes: Ginger root.

Ginger Root
When under-the-weather, I count on ginger to save me from the Sickness Blues. This peculiar little root has incredible health benefits that can speed up recovery time. Benefits include nausea relief, increase in mucus production (say bye-bye to scratchy throats and irritated nasal cavities), and is full of vitamins and minerals.  
Drinking ginger tea is a warm, delicious way to get a solid serving. I dress up my cup with lemon (high in vitamin C) and honey. As an added bonus, it soothes your throat as you sip.  
What about the kids? Ginger tea can have an overwhelming taste that young ones may not enjoy—but don’t fret! If your children are old enough to swallow pills, ginger supplements are the perfect solution. Make sure to buy ginger root capsules that are preservative-free and contain pure milled herb powder. If the kids are too young for pills, organic ginger chews are a yummy alternative. 

(3) Fight back with the power of steam.

The Power of Steam
Even the simplest of tasks, like breathing, can feel difficult when congested. Personally, I’ve always had trouble completing everyday tasks with a heavy head. As a child, I remember falling behind in school when I had a stuffy nose because it was all I could focus on. Thankfully, steam is a natural, home remedy that can help resolve this paralyzing symptom, for you and your family.
Need a quick fix? Try boiling a large pot of water and add at least two tablespoons of our favorite hero, ginger, to the mix. Let the mixture steep, place it in a bowl, and put your face above the liquid with a towel draped over your head. Take deep breathes and voilà, your sense of smell is back. Don’t be alarmed if you realize the trash needs to be taken out!
For something more permanent, look into buying a humidifier for your home this winter. There are many different variations and it is important to purchase the right one for your family. Christina Vanvuren from Molekule does a great job of weighing the pros and cons for each here. This nifty little machine will not only help control congestion, but better rid your house of bacteria. In the colder months, the air tends to be quite dry. The influenza virus, more commonly known as the flu, thrives in such environment. To prevent the flu from conquering your household, start using the humidifier before flu season begins.

(4) Not for the faint of heart: Garlic cloves.

Garlic cloves
Combat the stubborn flu (and vampires at the same time) with garlic cloves. If you can stand its pungent flavor, this unusual remedy is the ultimate flu fighting champion. Garlic contains allicin, which includes antiviral and antibiotic properties. Regardless of how you choose to consume your garlic cloves, make sure to let them sit after cutting or chopping. Doing so maximizes the production of allicin.
Raw garlic may have an unpleasant taste, but it has the greatest nutrient content when eaten this way.
Or, try roasting a head of garlic in your over for 45 minutes. Eat as is, add it to a slice of French bread, or mix it in with pasta or smashed potatoes.
Not dedicated enough? I don’t blame you. You can always add garlic to Chef John’s homemade chicken noodle soup recipe!
Note: The minimum effective dose for raw garlic is one clove, 2-3 times per day. High intakes of garlic supplements can be toxic, so do not exceed dosage recommendations.

(5) When your immune system needs that extra boost: Echinacea

Echinacea, an over-the-counter herb, is my favorite natural remedy. Not only is it gorgeous, but it is also the perfect weapon when combating sickness. This perennial plant is proven to increase white blood cells when consumed. Our body uses white blood cells to fight off infection, making echinacea a holy grail product this flu season.
It is available in many different forms, including: tea, liquid extract, and as a tablet or capsule. Although each family’s preferences may be different, I suggest buying capsules for those who have small children. Growing up, my mother would empty the dry herb out of capsules and mix it in with apple juice or apple sauce. I was (any may still be…) a picky eater, but I didn’t mind the combination.
Pro tip: Consume echinacea as soon as you start to feel under-the-weather. Doing so can decrease the chance of catching the full extent of your sickness, by 58%. It can also cut the duration of the sickness by a day and a half. With hectic schedules and kids to take care of, that extra 36 hours can make all the difference.
If you try any of these remedies, make sure to share your creation on our socials! Tag us in your posts and include the hashtag #savingstarnaturalremedies. Are there any at home, natural remedies that you swear by? Share the wealth in the comments below.

SavingStar CM

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