Home care for the Cold and Flu season







Warming Socks Treatment: at onset of cold/flu, daily until resolutions

–       Soak a pair of thin socks in cold tap water and wring out excess

–       Put on feet

–       Cover with dry insulating socks (wool, fleece, thermal)

–       Go to sleep

This will increase circulation to the feet without allowing heat to escape. This increases circulation throughout the body, drawing congestion away from the head, and pushing blood and lymph through organs of immune function and organs of elimination. The immune system gets a boost, and the intensity and duration of cold tends to be diminished. Typically by the morning, the socks are dry!

Alternating Hot-Cold Showers – daily

This may not sound appealing, but it actually feels great afterwards! At the end of your shower, bring the hot water up to what you can handle. Keep it hot for about 2 minutes, then bring it to as cold as you can handle (the colder the better) for 30 seconds. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 cycles, and always end your shower on cold. The extremes in temperature help to improve circulation of the blood and lymph throughout the body by vasoconstriction/dilation of the blood vessels.

Steam Inhalation – at onset of congestion, daily until resolution

Place boiling water in a bowl. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the bowl, place your head over the bowl and cover head and bowl with a towel. Inhale the steam for up to 10 minutes or to tolerance. This treatment helps to drain congestion from the head and chest.

Dry Skin Brushing – daily

Using a natural bristle brush, in a gentle circular stroking motions, work up the legs and up the arms towards the trunk.  Focus especially on the inner surfaces where the lymphatic vessels are located. This will help to exfoliate the skin as well as improve lymphatic flow within the body.


During a cold or flu it is important to increase fluid intake to 2L (herbal teas and water). It is also important to reduce sugar, dairy and wheat during a cold/flu to help reduce mucus formation and reduce bacterial growth. Increasing the intake of ginger, onions and garlic will help to slow bacterial growth.

Herbal teas can be made with lemon and a little honey with the following herbs: ginger, echinacea, licorice, mullein, thyme, elderberry etc.

Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor (find one at www.cand.ca) as we are experts in botanical medicine, homeopathics, acupuncture, nutrition and much more, to help strengthen your immune system and fight off viruses and infections!

Krista Mackay BSc, ND, dr.krista.nd@gmail, 514-932-1415