We’ve all had a cold or flu. Although they’re common, that does not make them any more enjoyable. When your whole body aches and your nose feels like it’s full of concrete, you don’t want to do anything but lounge and sleep. Although different, symptoms of a cold and flu can be fought using an all-natural, thyme-infused bath soak.
Do I have a cold or flu?
There are many similarities between a cold and the flu, making it challenging to know which one you’re suffering from. Both are viruses, yet more often than not, flu symptoms are more severe. The symptoms themselves are generally similar — chills, cough, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, etc.
When suffering from a cold, the symptoms are typically milder and do not end in hospitalization. The flu, however, can cause vulnerable individuals to end up with pneumonia, bacterial infections or other serious complications. This is why it’s important to naturally treat yourself as soon as the first symptom surfaces.
Just remember, although some symptoms are uncomfortable and even painful, they have developed for a reason. For instance, a cough is generally a productive symptom, as your body tries to clear mucus and germs out of your lungs. The same is true with a fever — your body is hotter than normal in order to kill the virus.
When you take over-the-counter cough medications, you’re suppressing this natural defense system. If coughing is causing you to have a sore throat or chest pain, you can implement natural remedies to target these symptoms and boost your natural immunity. Drink plenty of herbal tea infused with ginger.
Use thyme for colds and flu
Now, I’m not suggesting that you sit on the couch and chomp on raw thyme. But when used in conjunction with other flu and cold remedies, thyme offers potent beneficial properties. Of course, this herb can be enjoyed both internally and externally. If offers your body the tools it needs to maximize the healing process.
Offering a vast and impressive history, thyme was used as one of the historic Hippocrates 400 simple remedies. As stated in a study published in the European Journal of Dentistry, thyme is an effective tonic stimulant for digestive issues, fights respiratory infections and soothes pain. It was also shown to be a highly effective antiseptic solution.
Used throughout history as an expectorant, thyme will make your coughs more productive in terms of the goal your body is aiming to achieve. If you’re suffering from a bad cough or heavy chest, simply toss a good handful of dried thyme and a couple drops of thyme essential oil into a bowl of hot water. Lean over, cover your head with a towel and inhale deeply.
One of thyme’s naturally occurring compounds — thymol — is often a common ingredient in mouthwashes and toothpastes for its antimicrobial properties. This just goes to show the ways in which plant-based remedies influence the conventional products we use to maintain hygiene and treat various illnesses. This same chemical is known to increase blood flow, resulting in more rapid healing.
When you take a hot thyme bath, you’ll naturally suppress inflammation, which is what’s causing you to feel achy and sore. As its beneficial compounds are absorbed and inhaled, you will stimulate circulation throughout your body — helping you open up airways and expel phlegm and mucus.
When you add this herbal remedy to Epsom salts, you will help ease aches even further — all while helping your body eliminate toxins. Stimulating your lymph system, Epsom salt supports the movement of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. Also, when I make a bath soak (regardless of whether or not I’m sick), I typically add a touch of olive oil to aid in the development of soft, healthy skin.
Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
Remember, when you’re ill, you need to provide your body with the tools it needs. Drink plenty of water to flush out your system. Even if you don’t feel like eating, try to snack on small amounts of nutrient-dense food so your body and immune system are able to maximize the healing process.
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- 1 handful thyme
- 10 drops thyme essential oil
- 1 tsp olive oil (optional)
1. Simply combine all ingredients and pour them into a hot bath.
2. Soak in this remedy one to two times daily until your symptoms subside.
— Krista Hillis