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It’s hard to avoid getting sick sometimes, especially if you’re in an office all week or with the little ones in and out of daycare, even public transport can pose cold and flu risks. There are, however, some great simple and easy homemade ways to ease your symptoms and see you through until you can get to your healthcare practitioner.

These helpful tips and remedies can reduce the severity of your symptoms naturally without having to resort to pharmaceutical cold and flu medications. These medications can often make you feel better by suppressing your symptoms and allowing you to ‘soldier on’ tricking you into feeling better, thus prolonging your recovery time.

For swollen, sore and painful throats:

The following techniques are great to help reduce a sore and swollen throat that often marks the start of an illness. Try both or one to help reduce and calm the inflammation and pain.

  1. Gargling with warm salty water. Your mother or grandmother may have got you doing this as a child, and it does help. Add a teaspoon of unrefined salt to warm water and stir. Gargle and spit several times, using up the whole glass if you can manage it, to help reduce the swelling and pain in your glands and throat. It’s important to do this several times a day to keep getting results. Salt and warm water acts as an antibacterial wash and helps to cleanse the inflamed tissues and reduce the heat in the affected area.
  2. Gargling with Apple Cider Vinegar and warm water is also a strong way to calm a burning sore, swollen throat. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and gargle when necessary. It’s quite a strong taste and may not be to everyone’s ability so alternatively it can be made into a throat soothing drink with the additions of honey and ginger. Here’s how:

Grate a knob of ginger into a small pot or milk pan with 2 and a half cups of water and simmer for 10 mins. Strain the liquid into a bottle and add 1-2 teaspoons of honey and stir, add 30mls of Apple cider vinegar (adjust to taste). You will find this apple cider vinegar tea really helps to take the edge off your bad throat and helps to reduce sinus congestion and phlegm. It does taste good and will help reduce the duration of your illness.

Coughs and sinus congestion:

Homemade Ginger, Onion and Honey Cough Mixture

This is a great recipe for the whole family and can be used in conjunction with steam treatments to help with coughs and congestion. It is particularly good for children who suffer from sinus and chest congestion that haven’t mastered blowing their noses, as this cough mixture can work wonders to help expectorate phlegm and reduce coughing.

How to make:
1 red onion – finely chopped so the juices can easily seep into the honey (alternatively use 8-9 cloves of garlic if you prefer)
1 cup of raw honey
1 good size knob of ginger – grated so the juices can easily seep into the honey

Add the chopped onion and grated ginger into a glass jar (that has a good tight fitting lid).
Add in the honey and stir well.
Replace the lid and let sit for a few hours or overnight to marinade and become nice and strong. The sediment may settle on the bottom.
Take one spoonful every hour as needed. For children, it may be easier for them to take the mixture without much sediment (onion, ginger bits) in it so spoon off the top for them.

* Red onion or garlic both strengthens the immune system and works as a natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and expectorant.
* Honey is good at moistening and soothing itchy and irritated throats. It too has natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
* Ginger is spicy and warm and helps to stop cough and promote light perspiration and reduce a slight fever. It also warms and strengthens the digestive system.

If symptoms get worse or persist, please see your health practitioner or GP.

Nicola Loizou
Nicola Loizou
Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Book in with Nicola online or call us on reception on 9482 4325 so we can find a time that works for you.