Nature’s fix for sick days

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By: Brittany Patrick, Columnist 

We all know that initial feeling: a scratchy throat, stuffy head or feeling a little more tired than normal. The changing of the leaves is usually the first clue that cold and flu seasons are around the corner.

Before you make a dash to the pharmacy, why not try a natural remedy instead? Fight cold symptoms with these essential oils to boost your immune system and soothe the sick day symptoms.

Essential oils are natural, extracted oils that usually maintain the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it comes from. Essential oils are often used to fight the symptoms of a common cold.

You can add them to your bath water, diffuse them in the air or even apply them directly to your skin. Essential oils help the body fight off infection and serve to strengthen the immune system.

Tea tree oil: used in an inhaler or in a bath, tea tree oil helps you fight congestion and the resulting discomfort caused by the cold or the flu.

Lavender: add drops of lavender oil to a warm bath with Epsom salts to soothe aching muscles.

Peppermint: the menthol in peppermint is the perfect natural remedy for an upset stomach and also works wonders to sooth a sore throat. Make sure you are ingesting peppermint spirits and not essential oils. Most essential oils are not safe for consumption.

Eucalyptus oil: as an antiviral and a decongestant, eucalyptus helps treat colds and congestion. Try using eucalyptus oil in a steam inhaler to help open blocked nasal passages, to soothe inflammation and to fight bacteria.

Lemon: with its high vitamin content, lemon helps boost the body’s immune system and stimulates the production of white blood cells, thereby increasing your ability to fight off illness. Lemon oil also improves circulation throughout the body.

Make sure to pass on the coffee and lattes during sick season. Skip your normal morning cup routine and replace it with infused black or green tea with peppermint spirits and oregano oil.

Get plenty of rest. Illness is your body’s cue to take a time out. It’s a perfect excuse to catch up on your favorite series or binge a season of Netflix.

Drink plenty of fluids. Even if you don’t have symptoms that cause obvious water loss, a cold or flu can dehydrate you in hidden ways. Make sure you are drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water a day.

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