Fewer Americans are turning to alternative treatments and supplements to prevent or ease cold and flu symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a decline of more than seven percent between 2002 and 2007. Lack of effectiveness, cost and unproven claims are among the reasons for their decline in use.
If you are one of those turned off by these treatments, there are still many options to try.
Sore throat pain
Gargle several times a day with warm saltwater to lessen sore throat pain. Dissolve a teaspoon of sea salt in one cup of warm water.
Try a massage with essential oils
Blend eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint essential oils to make a soothing massage oil for chest and back which will help relieve congestion, open the sinuses and reduce muscle aches.
Stop a cough
Make thyme syrup to provide cough relief. Cover 2 tablespoons of dried thyme with one cup of boiling water. Let steep for 20 minutes and then strain out the thyme and add one-half cup honey. Warm the mixture to completely dissolve the honey. Take one teaspoon as needed for cough. Store the rest in a dark glass bottle.
Take menthol cough drops
Try cough drops made with menthol to ease the cough of colds and flu.
Brew some herbal tea
A tea made of elderflowers and peppermint can act as a decongestant and reduce fever. Pour 2 cups boiling water over 1 teaspoon each dried peppermint and elderflowers in a teapot. Allow to steep for 15 minutes, strain and drink four cups a day.
Take a hot bath
A hot bath will help relieve the chills. Try adding 2 cups Epsom salts and 5 drops ginger essential oil to your bath water to ease muscle aches and warm you.
Drink lots of liquids
Drinking at least two quarts of liquid, including water, herbal teas or diluted fruit juice, will keep your body well hydrated during a fever.
Your best bet is to prevent a cold before it happens. Concentrate on good hand washing and keeping your distance from people who are sick. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, exercise, and eat your fruits and veggies.
For additional suggestions, take a look at Alternative Therapies Decline