Cold or Flu? How to Lessen the Severity

 Colds and flu are both upper respiratory infections caused by viruses. Viruses cannot reproduce outside host cells, unlike bacteria. Sometimes viruses weaken your body enough to let in bacteria which causes even more complications. Outdoor environment, drafts, wetness, temperature changes, etc. aren’t the cause of either illness. The flu is more serious because it can spread to your lungs and cause severe bronchitis or pneumonia. The beginning stages of both can be very similar. Both colds and flu begin when viruses penetrate the body’s protective barriers. Nose, eyes, and mouth are usually the sites of invasion from cold viruses. The most likely entry target for the flu virus is the respiratory tract. Colds and flu respond to different treatment. So the first thing you need to do is identify which one you have.


~ Slow onset. Meaning you can feel it coming on. The sniffles start and in a day or two you’re sick.

~ Rarely accompanied by fever and headache.

~ Localized symptoms such as runny nose and sneezing.

~ Mild fatigue and weakness.

~ Mild to moderate chest discomfort, usually with a hacking cough.

~ Sore throat common.



~ Swift, severe onset. Meaning you wake up one morning and boom your sick and not just sick but you’re miserable.

~ Flushed, hot, moist skin.

~ Usually accompanied by high fever (102° – 104

°),   headache, and sore eyes.

~ General symptoms like chills, depression, and body aches.

~ Extreme fatigue, sometimes lasting 2-3 weeks.

~ Extreme chest discomfort with severe hacking cough.

~ Occasionally sore throat.








When I get sick, I prefer to drink tea for a few reasons: My symptoms not only disappear rather quickly but the teas also strengthen my immune system and I won’t relapse. If I’m unlucky enough to catch it once I certainly don’t want it coming back. I also like the idea that once I have fought a cold or flu naturally I haven’t added unnecessary stuff into my body that will eventually lead to the breakdown of my body’s natural defenses.

For colds you want a tea that contains:

Decongestant Herbs

Lymph Flushing and Cleansing Herbs

Sources of Beta Carotene and Vitamin C

Friendly Digestive Flora Sources

Anti-Bacteria Sources

Diaphoretic Herbs ( A fancy name for herbs that make you sweat)


For the flu you want a tea that contains:

Anti-viral herbs

Enzyme precursers

Chlorophyll sources

Liver cleansing and supporting herbs

Beta Carotene Sources


 Before Cold and Flu Season hits make a dry batch of each tea because you’re not going to feel like mixing when you’re sick. Make sure you label and date it and then store it.

 Cold Tea

 1 teaspoon Eucalyptus (Decongestant Herb)

2 teaspoon Echinacea (Lymph Flushing and Cleansing Herb also Anti-Bacteria Source)

1 teaspoon Lemon Peel (Beta Carotene and Vitamin C)

1 teaspoon Peppermint (Friendly Digestive Flora Source)

¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger Root (Diaphoretic Herb)

 When needed measure 1 teaspoon of dry herbal mix and steep about 7-10 minutes in 1 cup hot water. Drink this tea along with other fluids like water and juice throughout your sickness and few days beyond. Not only will your cold symptoms not last at long but you won’t have lingering side effects.

 Flu Tea

 1 teaspoon Echinacea (Anti-viral herb)

1 teaspoon Peppermint (Enzyme precurser)

1 teaspoon Nettles (sometimes can be hard to find) or 1 teaspoon Parsley (Chlorophyll source)

¼ teaspoon ground Milk Thistle seed (Liver cleansing and supporting herb)

1 teaspoon Lemon Grass (Beta Carotene Source)

1 teaspoon Rosemary (Anti-Oxidant)

 When needed measure 1 teaspoon of dry herbal mix and steep about 7-10 minutes in 1 cup hot water. Drink this tea along with other fluids like water and juice throughout the day. Continue to drink the tea a few days past your sickness. Not only will your flu symptoms not last at long but you won’t have lingering side effects.

Some other things that work:

~ Suck on a honey stick or a spoon that’s covered in honey. It helps sooth a sore throat and keep it moist.

~ Squeeze half a lemon in a cup of hot water. The vitamin C does wonders.

~ Sip some chicken soup to help unclog the nasal passages. Make sure to put thyme and garlic in the broth.

~ If your sore throat gets irritating, gargle with saltwater (8 oz warm water to 1 tsp salt) morning, noon, and night..

~ If your appetite was not so good during a sickness, freeze ripe bananas and when you start to feel like eating a again, puree and have a cold refreshing dessert that’s filled with potassium and light enough to not bother your stomach.

~ Essential Oils:

Run a bath and add: 5 drops tea tree oil, 2 drops Lavender and 2 drops Thyme.

Add 3 drops Eucalyptus, 2 drops thyme, and 2 drops lavender to a diffuser. If you don’t have a diffuser put the drops on a tissue and place it under your pillow.


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