Lately, I’ve been too restless to get anything useful done. In my mind, there is this long list of things to do. Newsletters, blog posts, blog maintenance, herbal studies, work stuff… the impending holiday season has me up in a frazzle! I just want to be outside so badly that all this other craziness makes me feel like I’m in slow motion. Words swim around and sentences don’t make sense anymore and I end up feeling spacey and disconnected. There’s just too much going on this time of year.
It’s times like these when catching a cold is easiest. Your defenses are down due to stress, over-exertion, and not getting enough rest. This time of year, it’s all too easy to get swept up into the holiday hustle and bustle, but let’s face it, no one wants to get sick right before Thanksgiving or Christmas.
How do we avoid getting sick in the first place and what do we do when a cold catches us?
Easy! I’ve got a few things lined up for you that should do the trick.
How to Prevent Cold and Flu with 5 Preventatives
• Wash Your Hands
Okay, so this one’s a no-brainer. EVERYONE knows that washing your hands frequently during this time of year can really reduce your chances of getting sick. Did you know that most colds and flu are actually caught through your eyes? Yep, touching or rubbing your eyes puts viruses and other bacteria straight into your tear ducts and thence to your sinuses.
Washing your hands thoroughly will, of course, reduce the chances of these bacteria/viruses from getting into your system.
Wanna know a secret? The best way to REALLY kill germs on your hands is to use friction. Rubbing your hands together vigorously will get the job done quite nicely, believe it or not, so be sure to utilize this little trick to prevent cold and flu symptoms.
• Gargle Morning and Night
The simple act of gargling with salted water will dislodge bacteria and keep throat tissues tight and healthy. You can reduce your chances of getting a sore throat by quite a lot just by doing this alone during the cold season.
I like to add a fresh squeeze of lemon from time to time to really kill the little beasties when they rear their ugly heads. Works quite well if I do say so myself.
To make a salt gargle, simply mix 1 tsp of sea salt into 1 cup warm water. Gargle twice a day for a few minutes.
• Use a Neti Pot
Another way to prevent sore throats and sinus ailments is to use a neti pot on a regular basis. I have to be honest… I hate using mine, but the good results I get from using it make it worth it.
I have found that if you’re as clumsy as I am when using one of these over the sink, you may want to consider using it in the shower instead. You can be as messy as you want in there and no one will ever know.
To make things even more cleansing, try using an infused salt. I get mine HERE.
Where to buy a Neti Pot.
Read more about neti pots and there amazing benefits here: Herbal Remedies for Dry Sinus
• Himalayan Salt Inhaler
One of the best ways to keep your lungs clear and free of germs is using a salt inhaler. The tiny salt particles will strengthen the respiratory system and will even increase lung capacity if used daily. When a cold has made its way into the lungs, using salt in this way will thin congestion, reduce mucus buildup, and moisten dry mucous membranes.
I like adding a nice essential oil blend to help open the lungs in order for the salt to really do its magic. I talk about the many amazing benefits of salt inhalers here.
Where to buy a Salt Inhaler.
Where to buy my favorite Essential Oil Blend.
• Elderberry Syrup
Remember when I talked about heroism and how elderberry was the stalwart defender against colds and flu? Taking 1 tsp of elderberry syrup daily will greatly reduce your chances of catching a cold (not to mention 10 strains of flu!). So before you even any type A flu symptoms (like fever, cough, sore throat, chills, etc.) start to appear, it’s best to keep some elderberry close at hand.
Elderberry’s ability to strengthen and boost the immune system is second to none. It increases white blood cells which make it easy for your body to fend off sickness. An added bonus is simply that elderberry syrup tastes good too and is therefore great to use for the whole family. You can learn more about elderberry here.
Where to buy my favorite Elderberry Syrup.
I also recommend reading how to stock the Complete Medicine Cabinet!
• Essential Oils
We can’t forget about essential oils, now can we?
Essential oils, especially when diffused in the home during cold and flu season, have been proven to kill bacteria and viruses both in the air and on various surfaces in the home. They cleanse our living spaces and help reduce the chances of catching a cold.
You can either diffuse them or make room sprays to help keep germs to a minimum.
Some of the best essential oils to use for cold and flu prevention and treatment include:
- Cinnamon bark
- Eucalyptus (do not use with children under 10)
- Rosemary (do not use with children under 10)
- Tea Tree
For more on the best essential oils for cold and flu, please refer to this article.
What have been your best cold and flu preventatives? Please share in the comments!
You may also enjoy reading:
The Best Remedies You can Buy for Cold and Flu
Natural Cold Remedies – The Healing Power of Elder
Natural Cold Remedies – The Healing Power of Ginger
Natural Cold Remedies – The Healing Power of Garlic
The Best Natural Remedies for Sore Throat
Herbal Remedies for Stuffy Nose
Herbal Remedies for Wet Cough
Herbal Remedies for Dry Cough
Simple Throat Coat Tea
This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure and disclaimer.