4 Natural Ways to Prevent Colds
Are you ready for it? Flu and cold season is just around the corner! Seattle is having a streak of warm weather this week but I can feel the air changing. There is a crisp breeze and the sky is still dark when I wake up for work. The kids are back in school and everywhere I turn, someone is coughing or sneezing. I’ve even seen coffee shops offering Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Gingerbread flavored drinks! This can only mean one thing… fall is definitely around the corner and so it cold and flu season. I need to remind my kids to wash their hands often and it is time to pull out my essential oils.
Natural Ways to Keep Colds Away
At the beginning of every school year, the kids catch a cold. I’m sure it’s the combination of being around other kids, the lack of sleep as we get back in to the routine and the stress of being in class again. But over the years we have found ways to prevent the frequency of colds in our house. As you know, I prefer to use natural methods to keep the germs away. My family has found success with these 4 techniques:
1) Use Essential oils to clean the air
We have been using essential oils for several years and I am convinced that it helps to build our immune system and improve our overall health. If you are using essential oils around your children, you will want to be sure the oils are kid safe. There are certain oils that are used for colds, but are controversial for use with children (Eucalyptus for example). My favorite health blend is Peppermint, Orange and Tea Tree. Frankincense is also great for preventing and treating colds.
In addition to choosing the right essential oils, you also want to be sure to use an effective diffuser. My favorite diffuser is Radiance Nebulizing Diffuser. There is no heat or water, so the oil properties are not diluted. In addition, the diffuser produces mood lighting to provide a calm and relaxing atmosphere. I love this product so much that I have a separate review post. Read more about the diffuser here: Organic Aromas Radiance Diffuser
2) Natural Tea at the first sign of a cold
A few years back I had the pleasure of working with a lady who has become one of my good friends! She grew up in a country that didn’t rely on medicine for anything. Needless to say, I learned several natural remedies from her. But my absolute favorite was a tea that she made for me when I was fighting a sinus infection. This tea provided temporary relief and I now start drinking it at the first sign of a cold. I’m convinced that I have prevented colds with this concoction! There is no real recipe for this, just mix the ingredients below and sip. I don’t like spicy foods but when I am sick, this is the best thing in the world!
- Hot Tea – I like green tea
- Black pepper
- fresh lemon juice
- Cayenne powder
- Fresh grated ginger
3) Take Probiotics
I am not one to promote supplements because I believe you should try to get nutrients from food. However, probiotics are one of those supplements that I just can’t live without! I originally discovered it because it was said to possibly have a connection to reducing asthma attacks. My daughter had just recovered from an attack and I was feeling hopeless. I could not figure out how to control her asthma. I bought a pack of probiotics and I swear it helped. The main thing I noticed was that she was much healthier. She wasn’t getting sick as often and when she did, she got over it much quicker. I was sold and now both of my kids take them.
In the process, I also started taking them in hopes of improving my immune system. But the results for me were in my gut health. I periodically suffer from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you suffer from this as well, you know how painful and disrupting it can be. Since I started taking probiotics I haven’t had a severe episode. I always make sure to bring them with me on trips when I know we won’t be eating healthy and they get me through with no issue.
I know probiotics are in foods as well, but a lot of these foods (such as yogurt and dairy) are ones we need to avoid during an asthma attack. So the pills have been the best thing for our family!
4) Wash hands often with soap and water
I have never felt comfortable using hand sanitizers. They sound great in theory, but the fact that they kill germs mean that they must contain harsh chemicals which are then absorbed into our skin. In fact, recent recalls have me wondering just how safe hand sanitizer is. In 2016 the FDA banned a main ingredient from hand sanitizers, citing that the ingredient was intended to be washed off the hands. I don’t typically trust that the FDA is banning all toxic ingredients, so when I see them mention one, I take it seriously. Besides, there is no scientific evidence that hand sanitizers actually work. Being exposed to some germs help to build up the immune system.
In the end, just wash your hands often, using soap and water.
Let’s have a healthy year!
Give these a try and let me know what you think. Do you have any tricks that you would add to this list?