There is nothing fun about being sick, especially when you have a cold. Headaches, fever, a runny nose, congestion, a sore throat; the list goes on and on. While many people are tempted to visit their doctor, or at the very least purchase an over the counter cold medication to relieve the symptoms, it is important to understand that there are alternatives. And plenty of them!
Natural remedies and herbal cures have been around for hundreds of years, so why not give them a try? Many will shorten the amount of time you are affected by the cold and even help reduce and alleviate the symptoms. One of the most important things you can do when you are feeling sick is to rest as much as possible. Continuing to follow your routine while you are ill, will only prolong the length of time you are feeling out of sorts.
Garlic is incredibly powerful and acts as a natural antibiotic. Eating an abundance of garlic in your meals when you are sick can speed up your recovery. Or if you think you are able manage the taste, mince up a couple of cloves of garlic and add to water.
Hot Lemon Water
At the first sign of a cold, you might want to start drinking hot lemon water. The heat will boost your immune system and ease a sore throat. You could even add a bit of honey to taste. Staying hydrated is imperative when you have a cold or flu.
Cinnamon, like garlic, has amazing antibiotic properties. Mix one tablespoon of cinnamon with one tablespoon of honey and stir into hot water for a natural tasting tea. It can relieve your cough and lower any fever you may be experiencing.
If you are suffering from congestion, then breathing in hot steam can be helpful. Add a selection of fresh herbs (thyme, oregano and rosemary will do nicely) or ½ cup vinegar to the water. The vinegar might not smell as great as the herbs, but both are effective in their own way.
Nettle leaf is a powerful natural herb with many vitamins and trace minerals to remove toxins and keep you hydrated. It can be purchased as a team and consumed hot or cold. Nettle leaf tea is quite common in health food stores and supermarkets.
Chamomile will make you feel better, improve your ability to sleep, and reduce your fever. It is one of nature’s best remedies for cold and flu symptoms and may be inhaled in hot water as well as taken in tea.
Ginger, in fresh or capsule form, is very helpful. It will relieve the symptoms of headaches and fever or aid with sinus and congestion issues when steeped in boiling water. You could even add fresh ginger slices to a hot bath to feel their full effect.
Vitamin C in any form is extremely beneficial for those suffering from a cold. Take it as supplements or add a variety of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C to your diet. Oranges, kiwi fruit, guavas, strawberries, broccoli, papayas and dark leafy greens will give you the boost you need.
Peppermint can be taken as a tea in both hot and cold form and works well to reduce a fever. Due to its antimicrobial and antiviral properties, peppermint may assist with headaches, soothe muscular aches, and open up your nasal passageways.
If you are looking to boost your body’s immunity, then coconut oil is a must. And due to its amazing versatility, there are so many options on how to use it. Cook with it, add it to tea, or massage a little directly on your chest area; the choice is yours!
There is nothing like relaxing in a warm aromatherapy bath. Combine 2-3 tablespoons of salt with a few drops of your favorite essential oils – choose from eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender or other favorite scents. Soaking in the bath is a perfect way to ease any stress and clear up congestion!
Elderberry has amazing antioxidant properties and is useful for colds and flu. It will boost your immune system and aid in the relief of any sinus infection. Drink elderberry as a tea, add it to your juice, or take it in a pill or powder form.
While yarrow in not as common as some of the other natural remedies for colds, it has the ability to reduce the impact of your cold. Use as a tea or tincture to maximize the effect. Yarrow has a naturally bitter taste, so you might want to sweeten it a little, especially when consuming it as tea.
Catnip helps with sleep and stomach issues and is a good way to tackle colds and flu. Purchase in tea bag form, or you can crush the fresh leaves of the catnip plant and mix with hot water. Steep, sweeten to taste with honey and enjoy!
Vitamin D works both as a preventative measure and a cure for tackling the common cold. If you take Vitamin D regularly, then it may pay to increase your dose for a day or two. In the winter months, it is important that you watch your vitamin levels as there is less exposure to the sun, increasing your chance for a deficiency.
Camu Camu Berries
Camu camu berries are a superfood, extremely high in Vitamin C; some statistics say they contain up to 60 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Camu camu berries can be purchased from the health food store in powder form and added to food such as oatmeal and yogurt, as well as juice and smoothies.
The use of red clover for health purposes dates back centuries as it is extremely high in nutrients. Drinking red clover tea a few times a day will allow you to feel better. Look out for it in fresh form or in pre-prepared tea bags.
Taking zinc at the onset of your cold symptoms will reduce the lifespan of your illness. While it does not work as a preventative measure, popping a zinc lozenge may minimize your sniffle. The dosage of zinc should be managed carefully as too much may have an adverse effect on your immune system.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is one of the most natural and effective combatants to the cold that you will find. It may be taken directly on the tongue, mixed with juice or oil, or even taken in capsule form. Adding a few drops in a diffuser will reduce both congestion and a stuffy nose quickly.
While the effects may vary from person to person depending on the severity of the cold, natural remedies have the potential to produce favorable results and ultimately relieve the symptoms. Hopefully, it won’t be long until you are back on your feet feeling healthy and full of energy.