4 natural cold and flu remedies

Published January 30, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Instead of going to the drugstore when you are coming down with a cold or the flu – why not try your local natural food store?

According to The Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, these remedies will help you feel better quickly.

1. Eucalyptus Oil
“Eucalyptus oil is the ultimate cold season decongestant,” Kilham said. “Eucalyptus, it's a tree that originates in Australia, and grows all over the world now.  The oil is inexpensive and very effective.  Fill a bathroom sink full of hot water, drop about five drops of this into the water, drape a towel over your head -- breathe the vapors, and this helps to open up clogged up sinuses.”

2. Ginger
“Ginger is just about the best thing for relieving a sore throat, and it makes you feel better almost instantly,” Kilham said.  “And it also contains ingredients that kill rhinoviruses, which are the viruses that cause colds.”

How do you use ginger root for a cold? Kilham said to break off a piece and chop it up very finely or grate it. Put it in a cup and pour boiling water over it, then you let it sit for about five minutes.  Strain it and drink it – you can always add honey for extra flavor.

3. Mint
“For decongesting, this is one of my favorite remedies,” Kilham said. “And I like this because it's safe for children. Mint contains menthol, and menthol is a compound that helps to open up your sinuses. Chop it up finely, and put it in a cup, then pour boiling water over it. Let it sit for about five minutes. Strain it; you can add a little honey.  It will help to decongest, and open up your breathing passages.”

4. Umcka
If you don’t have time to make a cold tea at home – try umcka.

Umcka is the san tribal name for the African herb perigonian serdoties, according to Kilham.  

“What you need to know about this stuff is it reduces the symptoms of a cold quickly, especially congestion. So at the first sign of a cold, you take about a half a teaspoon of this syrup and it starts to work immediately.”

These remedies don’t have the awful side effects of drugs, Kilham said, and they work quickly and efficiently. He also recommends getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and eating chicken soup.

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