There’s nothing like a nasty cold or flu bug to bring you down after the merriment of the holidays, and this year’s crop seems to be particularly potent. Winter is the optimum time for this kind of misery, not directly because of the frigid weather but because we tend to spend more time cooped up indoors where germs and viruses can lurk and spread. We all know the motherly mantra to wash our hands frequently to avoid catching these infections, but there’s only so much wishful washing you can do.
According to a recent New Zealand study, approximately 3,000 droplets are expelled in a single cough and 40,000 in a sneeze, with each droplet containing as many as 200 million virus particles. Furthermore, one in four people do not properly cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze and so these clouds of contagion hang in the air and settle on door handles, phones, computer keyboards and other tactile surfaces just waiting to find a host like you.
So what can you do if/when you come in contact with these microscopic menaces?
- Drink lots of fluids to keep your throat moist
- Stay warm and rested, saving your energy for your immune system
- Take zinc, vitamin C and echinacea
- Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hand to reduce spreading your plight to others
- Seek medical advice if symptoms are severe (certain bacterial infections may require antibiotics)
We all wish there was some instant magic cure, but time really is the best medicine once you’ve come down with a common cold or minor flu. It is going to have to run its course (from a few days to a few weeks) and the best you can do is manage symptoms to make you more comfortable for the duration.
That’s where we can help. You know Saffron Rouge as your one stop shop for organic beauty needs, but we also carry a range of wellness and personal care products too. After all, beauty and health go hand-in-hand. Here are some of our natural symptom soothers for cold and flu season.
Primavera, one of the most respected names in aromatherapy and essential oils, has several eucalyptus-based products that that can provide some degree of comfort to your stuffed-up suffering. Derived from native Australian tree, eucalyptus oil has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a strong, crisp, refreshing aroma that can relieve congestion and break up phlegm when inhaled. Try a few drops of Cold Therapy Eucalyptus Blend Oil in a basin of steaming water, drape a towel over your head to trap the steam and breathe it in. Ahhh, it tends to open your sinuses right up. The organic eucalyptus oil is synergistically infused with calming lavender and anti-microbial thyme, a natural expectorant. This blend also comes in a convenient Roll-On and Pillow Mist version so you can inhale on the go or even in your sleep.
There’s nothing like a good soak in a fragrant bath to soothe what ails you. Achy muscles unwind, therapeutic vapor wafts around you, congestion is subdued, rest and relaxation is promoted, and for a few blissful minutes you might just forget your misery. As long as you aren’t spiking a fever, a hot bath can help set you on the road to recovery – or at least make your stay in sickville a little more tolerable. Indulge in a Hinoki Mint Mineral Bath Soak from red flower, and let the blend of sage, lemon, pine, spearmint, chlorophyll, hinoki and cedar wood help purify your body and soul, in sickness and in health. The Lush Garden Mineral Salt Ritual from ilike is a spa-like potpourri of eucalyptus, geranium, mandarin, lavender and rose that brings the European therapeutic tradition of “taking the waters” to your home. Or add a few drops of Dr. Hauschka’s Spruce Bath Oil to your tub to help open the lungs, relax the body and spruce up your outlook.
Most of us probably remember our parents lovingly rubbing some kind of smelly medicinal goo on our chests and under our noses when we were congested. A look at the ingredient list on some of those conventional ointments reveals nasty things like petroleum and turpentine – not exactly what you want to massage into junior or yourself. For a more natural, effective alternative, try Erbaviva Sniffles Chest Balm. This USDA Certified Organic formula leverages the healing powers of eucalyptus, tea tree, myrrh and cyprus oils to help calm coughs, open the nasal passages and soothe dull aches. This natural balm is ideal for babies, children and adults alike – because, really, don’t we all become big babies when we’re sick?