Although I rarely get sick since I went vegan, none of us can avoid the dreaded flu forever. If you do come down with a nasty virus, there are plenty of natural remedies and immune system boosters that are cruelty-free – so neither you nor animals have to suffer.
Olive-leaf extract contains oleuropein, an antioxidant which may convert to elenolic acid once consumed, which has potential antibacterial and antiviral properties. Many people believe this makes olive-leaf extract extremely beneficial in reducing flu and cold symptoms. It’s vegetarian, but just be sure to avoid any supplement that comes in gelatine capsules.
Taking a steamy shower (or even just sitting in the bathroom with the shower running) helps ease nasal congestion and can help relieve the pain of a sore throat. You can also alleviate congestion by adding a couple of drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to a bowl of boiling water and placing a towel over your head and the bowl as you breathe deeply for 30 seconds – although it’s best not to do this if you have asthma.
Echinacea is another natural remedy that is believed to enhance immune defences, help prevent respiratory tract infections and shorten the duration and severity of a cold. A large number of vegan-friendly capsules and tincture options are available if you want to give Echinacea a try, and most of them contain other beneficial herbs such as liquorice root, garlic and horseradish.
Lozenges can soothe a raw, scratchy throat. Several cruelty-free brands are available – try Olbas Pastilles or Fisherman’s Friend lozenges for some fast relief. If you aren’t sure if your favourite lozenge is vegan, contact the manufacturer to find out.
Although most vegans do this anyway, eating a veggie-packed diet high in vitamins and minerals is a great way to fight off the flu and colds that are going around. You can also take a vegan-friendly vitamin supplement to give your body an added boost when you need it.
Finally, get some sleep. The best cure for a run-down, sickly body is plenty of rest, so put saving the world on hold for a couple of days and listen to what your body needs. You’ll be back to full vegan power in no time!
Posted by Claire Fryer