Speaking of which, have you gotten your flu shot yet? Now is the time!
If you do happen to find yourself weighed down by the horrors of the sick season, there are a few things you can do to help ease the symptoms and support your immune system.
1. Eat right. Making sure you get the nutrients you need to sustain function is vital. Your body is working hard to fight off the infection, make sure to support it by providing it the energy it needs to continue the fight. Chicken noodle soup is actually a good choice! A 2000 study suggests chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties that help lessen the severity of respiratory infections. Chicken soup and other warm liquids, such as hot tea, help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration.
2. Hail Hydrate! Make sure you are getting your fluids! The last thing you need is to get dehydrated while you are feeling miserable.
3. Rest. No really. I know in this day and age of limited PTO or unpaid sick leave it is really hard to take time off when you are sick. I get it. But if you can take the time off, do so. You will need to focus that energy on getting better.
4. Hygiene is important. If you can’t take the time off to rest (and even if you can!), make sure to wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and a good soak in the bathtub helps to clear your airways.
There are essential oils that can help to ease some of the symptoms that can be used during an illness. Check out Up-Nature.com for more information and some handy recipes to use at home!
1. FRANKINCENSE ESSENTIAL OIL
Frankincense essential oil has remarkable rejuvenating and healing properties. It has natural cold-fighting properties, such as antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties which make it an ideal essential oil for treating a cold or the flu. Frankincense is also useful for reducing anxiety which can help with worrying about missing work or important events when you get sick.
2. OREGANO ESSENTIAL OIL
Oregano is a super powerful antiviral and antimicrobial essential oil. In fact, a recent study shows that oregano essential oil dramatically reduces symptoms of upper respiratory ailments including coughs and sore throats.
3. EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL
Eucalyptus essential oil comprises about 72% eucalyptol making it an efficient remedy for chesty coughs and to ease breathing.
*Do not take eucalyptus essential oil orally, as it can be toxic.
4. TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL
Tea tree essential oil contains antiseptic, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Using this essential oil for colds is excellent for diminishing coughs, bronchial congestion and sore throats. Tea tree essential oil is also an excellent, natural disinfectant, so you can use it to kill germs on surfaces and in the air.
*Tea tree essential oil can be a mild sensitizer, so be sure to perform a patch test before using it for the first time.
5. LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL
Lemon has long been considered a cure-all fruit and essential oil, especially for treating the flu and for reducing fevers. Furthermore, lemon essential oil also is a great treatment for fatigue as it is an energizing essential oil.
Lemon essential oil has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which not only makes it ideal for fighting viruses, but also for reducing cold and flu symptoms such as coughing, congestion, swollen glands and bodily aches and pains.
Another remarkable thing about lemon essential oil is that the oil is found right in the peel of the lemon. You can cook with the peels or rind, and use the peels as a room disinfectant by placing the peels right in your fireplace and burning them to release the oils and aroma. You can also add them to a pot of boiling water and allow the steam to escape into the room.
*As a citrus based oil, lemon oil is phototoxic, so avoid using it if you are heading outdoors into the sunlight.