Ten Alternative Cold and Flu Remedies to Try

Homeopathic medicine has great potential when used in conjunction with conventional medicine. Here are ten simple remedies you can try to help stop colds and flu symptoms in their tracks.

lemon-essential-oil1. Lemon

Even though lemons taste acidic, their juice helps to alkalinize the body. Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which is known to support the body’s immune system. Lemon, as well as lime, is reported to decrease the strength of the cold and flu virus in the body and reduce phlegm.

How to use: Drink the juice of a lemon, or a few drops of lemon essential oil, squeezed into a cup of water or tea every few hours to build resistance or speed up healing.

garlic-for-cold2. Garlic

Garlic is great in treating sore throats and infections. Garlic contains the immune-boosting compound allicin, also known to relieve cold and flu symptoms.

How to use: Crush five cloves and mix with half a cup of honey.  Let it sit for a couple of hours and the mixture will become runny and thin. Take a teaspoonful at a time, as needed. If you’re worried about a severe odor or taste, crush a couple of cloves of garlic and “steep” them in hot water. Drink it like a mug of tea.

cinnamon-stick-powder-1309093. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is known as a natural antibiotic, is a powerful antioxidant.

How to use: A teaspoon of raw honey and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon can knock out a cold within a day or two.

turmeric4. Turmeric

Turmeric contains an anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin, which has a strong cold and flu-fighting properties. Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and turmeric tea has been used for extensively worldwide for colds, congestion, headache, and sore throats.

How to use: Stir a teaspoon into a glass of water or use it in your cooking. In addition, the combination of honey with turmeric powder is an excellent remedy for a cough.

cayenne-pepper-metabolism_15. Cayenne pepper

Peppers are a heart-healthy food with the potential to protect against cancer, as well as common cold and flu viruses. Cayenne pepper is a natural remedy for a sore throat that can often precede a cold or flu.

How to use: A mixture of hot red chili powder and orange juice is an effective remedy for sore throats and congestion. Or take a teaspoon of pepper in a glass of water immediately when you feel a cold or a sore throat coming on. Its strong stimulatory effect can be enough to knock a cold out in the early stages.

oregano-herb6. Oregano

Oregano is one of the best herbs for a cold. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory that contains phenolic acids, flavonoids, and color compounds that increase resistance and boosts immunity. Oregano is known for its antibacterial, antivirus, anti-fungus, anti-tumor, anti-inflammation, and anti-parasitic properties.

How to use: Oil of oregano is even more potent, and traditional healers since ancient times have used oregano extract to treat respiratory issues such as coughs, colds, flu, sore throats, and bronchitis. Add three to 10 drops of oil to a glass of water twice a day and continue until symptoms subside.

ginger-essence7. Ginger

Ginger is a stimulant that will also warm you if you’re feeling chilled with your cold. It’s best used fresh rather than as a powder.

How to use: Peel and grate a small piece of ginger root and place in a cup of boiling water. Allowed it to steep for five minutes, sweeten with honey if desired, and sip whenever needed to soothe a scratchy throat or a cough.

peppermint-oil8. Peppermint

Peppermint can clear blocked noses and sinuses. It can also help the body fight off illnesses.

How to use: Enjoy it as a stimulating tea or add some peppermint teabags of it to your bath. A few drops of peppermint essential oil in a glass of water, or diffused, can also work wonders.

apple cider vinegar9. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can fight off infection, ease digestion, reduce inflammation, kill fungus, regulate pH balance, and wash toxins from the body. It’s also known to restore alkaline acid balance.

How to use: Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to a tablespoon of honey and a cup of hot water to create an elixir to help ward off cold and flu symptoms.

honey-lemon-tea-a-800-dm10. Honey

A daily dose of honey can help you to feel energetic and stay healthy. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, so, if you do develop a sore or scratchy throat, honey will soothe and help heal. Research shows that children who take a spoonful of honey before bed, cough less and sleep better than those who take over-the-counter products for coughs and colds.

How to use: Adding a little lemon to the honey will increase its anti-microbial effect. Honey and lemon can also be combined with hot water to make a soothing tea.

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Can Essential Oils Help Treat ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a brain disorder that involves inattention, hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, or all three.

The individual may find it hard to remain focused, and they may face challenges with organizational skills. They may find it hard to remember or to follow instructions, and this can lead to seemingly careless mistakes at work or school.

With attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the symptoms are chronic so they can last for a long time. They may be severe enough to interrupt daily functioning, learning ability, social habits, and even relationships.

This article takes a look at whether essential oils can be used as a form of treatment for people with ADHD.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils
Essential oils are natural oils from plants that are obtained by cold press extraction or distillation.

Essential oils are concentrated forms of compounds found in various plants. They are normally made through either cold press extraction or distillation.

In cold press extraction, a large amount of plant material is pressed using great pressure, until the natural compounds are released.

Distillation involves placing plant matter in a closed container and passing steam or water through it to extract the compounds from the plants. When the excess water is removed, the concentrated compounds that remain are called essential oils.

Essential oils aim to contain the highest possible concentration of beneficial compounds.

Many of these compounds are being used or studied for their potential in medicine.

Can essential oils help with ADHD?

Small studies and anecdotal evidence have suggested that some essential oils may benefit people with ADHD.

There is no evidence to suggest that essential oils can be harmful to people with ADHD. A healthcare provider may help a patient to experiment with some oils to see if they relieve symptoms.

Lavender essential oil

A person who is experiencing hyperactivity with ADHD may have trouble feeling relaxed enough to fall, or stay, asleep.

A recent study carried out at the University of Minnesota found that lavender essential oil may improve sleep.

The researchers studied the effectiveness of inhaling lavender essential oil for people with sleep issues.

Results indicated that those participants who inhaled lavender essential oil had a better quality of sleep than those who did not.

The use of inhaled lavender oil appeared to boost the well-being of the users over time.

Vetiver essential oil

If a person with ADHD is having difficulty staying focused, vetiver essential oil may help them to stay alerted and on task.

A study posted in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology has measured the direct effects that inhaling vetiver essential oil has on the brain.

Those who inhaled vetiver essential oil showed an increase in their attention levels, and this was reflected in measurements of brain activity.

The researchers noted that the effects of vetiver essential oil may be beneficial for learning and memory processes. It appears to have a stimulating effect even at low inhaled doses, and it may improve alertness and task performance.

Rosemary essential oil

essential_oil_of_rosemary1,8-cineole is one of the main compounds in rosemary oil. Studies may suggest that its use can increase cognitive performance.

The fresh scent of the common cooking ingredient rosemary may help to keep the mind sharp.

A study posted to Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology looked at the effects of one of the main compounds in rosemary essential oil, called 1,8-cineole.

The research showed that a higher concentration of this compound in the body resulted in better performance on cognitive tests.

The results were noted in both speed and accuracy. People with higher levels of the compound in their body described themselves as feeling more content.

More studies are necessary to confirm the findings.

Other essential oils

Other essential oils have been used by many people for many different symptoms of ADHD, with varying results.

Essential oils that may be useful include:

  • Frankincense
  • Ylang ylang
  • Bergamot
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon
  • Cedarwood

One study reports that hospice patients who received a hand massage using oils containing bergamot, frankincense, and lavender, for example, felt relief from symptoms of depression, although the effect on the separate components was not studied.

Bergamot is thought to have antidepressant qualities, and a combination of clary sage and ylang-ylang may also lift the mood.

Cedarwood oil is said to have sedative effects, while some claim that both lemon and frankincense oils can improve focus.

However, there is not enough scientific evidence to confirm the benefits.

How to use essential oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated and should, therefore, be used with care. Before starting to use any essential oil, a physician can advise about any possible interactions with other medications.

Here are three appropriate ways to use essential oils:

  • Inhaling by adding a few drops to an aromatherapy diffuser
  • Applying diluted oils topically, to be absorbed through the skin
  • Putting a few drops into a full bath or a hand or foot bath

It is important to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before putting them on the body. Examples of carrier oils include olive, coconut, and grapeseed oil.

The high concentrations of compounds in the oils can cause reactions if applied undiluted anywhere on the body.

It is also important to perform an allergy test. This test can be carried out by applying a small amount of the diluted mixture to a small area of the body, like the back of the hand.

If any signs of allergy such as redness or burning sensations occur, do not use the oil.

Using essential oils for children

Since a child’s body and immune system are still developing, extra care is needed when using essential oils.

Children under 10 years of age are advised not to use essential oils containing 1,8-cineole, such as eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint.

The compound can cause reactions in young children and should, therefore, be avoided.

Making lifestyle changes to support ADHD

Women doing yoga
Steady lifestyle changes such as exercise, including yoga, may help to focus and balance the mind.

Many people also find relief from ADHD symptoms by making steady lifestyle changes.

For example, drinking herbal teas such as chamomile may promote a calm state of mind.

Likewise, a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids could lead to a decrease in ADHD symptoms.

Many people find relief from restlessness by exercising daily. Practices including meditation, yoga, and Tai chi may help to provide a more balanced state of mind.

Medical treatments for ADHD

Anyone who has been diagnosed with ADHD should discuss treatment options closely with a healthcare provider.

A physician will often prescribe stimulant drugs to treat ADHD. Stimulant drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine have an effect on brain chemistry, which calms the patient’s mind. Nonstimulant drugs include Strattera.

There are side effects associated with most drugs used for ADHD.

It is important to work with a doctor in order to find the best treatment and to discuss any alternative treatment options with the physician.