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SALT LAKE CITY — As the weather grows colder, more Utahns fall victim to winter’s harshest captor — the common cold and flu.
It doesn’t take more than sending one sick kid to school for the entire neighborhood to pass along the pesky illness.
And since Americans spend close to $4.2 billion a year on cold medicine, here are several natural remedies that may soothe symptoms more effectively than a bottle of decongestant.
Eucalyptus oil, which opens air passages, can be used aromatically to help relieve respiratory problems or can be applied topically to help with muscle aches and congestion, according to Spark Naturals. Peppermint oil can soothe a tummy ache. Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to an herbal tea can make it it easy to digest.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial ingredient that may already be in many people’s refrigerators. Although it may not be tasty, mincing one or two cloves of garlic and adding it to a glass of water can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria and boost your body back to health, according to Wellness Mama.
- Between 5% and 20% of Americans get the flu each year
- Flu activity typically peaks in January and February
- A case of the flu usually lasts three to seven days
- 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of the flu (Source: WebMD)
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used in a few different ways to reduce a fever, according to Divine Health from the Inside Out. Taking a warm bath, which can soothe symptoms in itself, and adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to the water is one way, and soaking a wash cloth in the vinegar and applying it to your forehead is another.
As a widely used ingredient in cleaning supplies, lemons effectively detox the body and fight off cold and flu symptoms, according to Girl Meets Nourishment. Adding lemon juice to water or tea is all it takes to start the recovery process.
It may not be as hard to convince your kids to take medicine if it’s something as tasty as cinnamon. Cinnamon is a powerful antiviral and antibiotic, according to Wellness Mama. Adding a spoonful of cinnamon and honey to an herbal tea can reduce cough and fever and relieve congestion.