Health & Wellness

5 simple flu fighting hacks

At home, my mom always has natural remedies in stock. Rarely do we keep conventional medicine in the house. When I feel a cold coming on, I’ll take some charcoal. I may also grab some golden seal and some vitamin C. I often can knock a cold out with that regimen as quick as overnight.

My grandmother was a nurse for many years and tends to rely more on conventional medicine. She pops some sort of red pill when she gets sick. I tried said red pill and was not at all convinced. So, I trekked off to the nearest Rite-Aid to find that they didn’t sell charcoal. When I did find a bottle of charcoal, I couldn’t afford it. So, I have been using some creative pauper’s tricks in the meantime.
As we come to end of flu season let me share my tricks. Of course, keeping your immune system strong with a healthy lifestyle is the best solution. Prevention is better than the cure, they always say. Yet, for those of you who somehow landed a cold anyway here are my tips.


I know that you should drink a lot of water. I also know being well hydrated can help you fight a cold, but I don’t always practice it. However, I was at my wit’s end with an incredibly sore throat and I wanted to get rid of it. So, I drank water. Sometimes I couldn’t tolerate cold water, so I drink warm water. And thus, I drank my way out of a sore throat.
What motivated me the most was having a bottle I enjoy drinking from and warm water. Somehow warm water is soothing for a sore throat. I don’t know why drinking from a water bottle is more motivating than a cup. Of course, it a little bit easier to always keep a water bottle handy.


When we lived in the Northwest, someone told my mom to always feed us oatmeal, so we wouldn’t get sick. I don’t know if that was an old wives tale, but studies have shown the oatmeal has a special molecule that boosts immune health. You can also find this molecule, beta glucagon, in barley. So, yes, I have been eating more oatmeal during flu season.

Garlic-Lemon-Honey Tea

You have probably heard of Lemon-Honey tea, but here’s a twist. Add garlic. My aunt gave this to me once when I got sick after travelling (I always seem to get sick after travelling…). I called my dad from the East Coast telling him that I was sick. I drank the tea and flew home. By the time I got to the West Coast I was all better. Of course, sleeping on the plane helped a lot. Remember to crush the garlic and put lots of lemon.

Fresh Air

I remember I time I got sick when I was camping. I took some deep breathes of the cool forest air and went to sleep. The next morning, my sore throat was completely gone. It’s a little more difficult with the polluted air in the city were I currently live, but it still helps.

Vitamin D

We are now starting to realize how important vitamin D is for maintaining a health immune system. Even though you can get Vitamin D in your food, the best way to get it is through your skin from the sun. It is recommended that you try to expose as much of your skin as possible during the time the sun is at it’s highest (10 am to 3 pm). You do want to avoid sunburn. Therefore, Dr. Stanhiser recommends that you stay out just as long as it takes to make your skin turn red. Other studies recommend about 15 minutes. You can make up the gaps with supplements and food sources such as fortified foods and radiated mushrooms.
Usually my grandma buys fortified soymilk. However, she got a deal on some other almond milk and cashew milk that wasn’t fortified and loaded up. So, I’ve gone a couple weeks without vitamin D. Not good for the immune system. Armed with a better understanding of how I needed to absorb some great vitamin D from the sun. I went outside in the privacy of my back yard and soaked up some sun. I feel a lot better already.
What are your inexpensive tricks to fighting a cold?


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