Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More Natural Flu Remedies

Every year the flu season comes and goes.  Many hold their breath and hope they don’t get it while others choose inoculation.  Unfortunately, inoculation and hope don’t always protect us from getting the flu.  And if you do get the flu, it can knock you down for up to two weeks.  The good news is that there are several tried and true natural flu remedies.  Let’s take a look at a few of them:

English: Main symptoms of influenza. (See Wiki...
Main symptoms of influenza. References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hydrogen Peroxide

Some studies have shown that the flu virus enters the body through the ear canals.  If you’re able to catch your symptoms within the first few hours, try placing a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear every few hours.  The peroxide kills the virus before it has the opportunity to multiply and really take hold.  You may still have flu symptoms for a few days however, that’s much better than the standard two-week recovery period. (I use this regularly anytime I feel like I'm getting sick, and usually I'm better with 3 days or so - not sure if it's due to this remedy or not, but it's a nice change from 1-2 weeks down!) And a bottle of peroxide is pennies compared to flu shots or even most over the counter medications (which only treat symptoms - not the flu itself).

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver, a liquid suspension of microscopic particles of silver, is used as a natural antibiotic and antiviral.  Practitioners believe it has the ability to essentially eliminate an enzyme that bacteria and viruses need to survive in your body.  Like hydrogen peroxide, the best time to use colloidal silver is right when you first notice flu-like symptoms. 


Elderberry, an antioxidant, is commonly used to boost immunity however, studies also show it may work as an antiviral.  This means during flu season elderberry supplements, such as elderberry juice, syrup or capsules, may be able to help you avoid the flu and if you do catch the flu, elderberry may help shorten your recovery time. 

Oscillococcinum, the same just rolls off the L...
Oscillococcinum. (Photo credit: Paul Jacobson)

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic product that's manufactured in France and sold in health food stores around the world – particularly during flu season.  Homeopathic comes from the principle that “like cures like." Oscillococcinum is made from extremely diluted parts of the hearts and livers of ducks, which are believed to be particularly vulnerable to influenza viruses. Oscillococcinum is used to shorten the duration of the flu once you’ve caught it - it does not prevent the flu. 


Echinacea, an herbal remedy most often used to prevent and treat colds and flu, has been shown to shorten the duration for flu sufferers.  There are many types of Echinacea, but the leaves, flowers, stems and roots of Echinacea purpurea seem to have the most effect.  It’s typically recommended to take Echinacea, usually in capsule form, every two to three hours immediately after recognizing symptoms.   See Monday's post for more on Echinacea.

North American Ginseng

 “North American ginseng" is a popular natural flu remedy used to shorten the duration of the flu.  However, Ginseng also comes with some serious potential side effects including negative interactions with many pharmaceuticals, estrogenic properties, which can complicate hormone related conditions and other symptoms, and side effects that may cause heart complications among other things.

With any herbs, it’s important to check with your doctor to make sure there aren’t any adverse reactions with any medications you may be on.  Having the flu is one of the most miserable experiences, so it’s nice to know there are so many natural flu remedies available to lessen the symptoms and help you recover as quickly as possible. Keep an eye on this blog throughout cold and flu season for more tips for boosting your immune system and maximizing your health this winter!

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  1. Thank you, the peroxide info is new to me and is certainly and inexpensive and non invasive way to stay healthy. My elderberry syrup is being made today, I don't know what I'd do without that stuff.

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  3. As a swimmer I can tell you that using hydrogen peroxide in your ears is not safe. I am prone to ear infections all the time and hydrogen peroxide is basically water with an extra shot of oxygen in there. When that goes into a dark, damp space it produce bacteria. To eliminate moisture from your ears you can use a small drop of rubbing alcohol and then tilt your head over to let it run out. Unless that's your goal, avoid hydrogen peroxide in your ears.