*Editor’s Note: This website is not designed to, and should not be construed to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment.
While it may not be possible to completely and instantly cure a cold when it arrives, there are plenty of things we can do to ease the pain, soothe the aches and feel a little better almost immediately.
Over the counter remedies from pharmacies can be full of chemicals, which can have side effects that make us feel worse, rather than better.
Here are a few simple ways that I have found provide fast relief from symptoms, and also which can be continued daily for a better well-being—even when the cold has gone.
Fluid. Water, hot broth, lemon juice, honey and fresh juice will all help to rehydrate the body, flush the system and loosen congestion.
Humidity. Keeping rooms well ventilated or using a humidifier can stop rooms from becoming stuffy and dry, which can be a reason colds thrive. Ensure the humidifier is cleaned regularly as otherwise it can add mold, fungi and bacteria to the environment.
Washing regularly. Colds are sustained through respiratory droplets of water, which can be released through coughing and sneezing. This is often the cause of spreading the cold to others. Wash hands after coughing and sneezing and also regularly clean work surfaces, door handles, phones and anywhere else that germs and bacteria may linger.
Spice. Tumeric, cloves and cinnamon all contain anti-oxidants, which assist the immune system. These spices can be added to food. Approximately a teaspoon amount per day is sufficient—sprinkle them over foods or mix in to blend the taste.
Raw garlic. Garlic is a natural remedy, which fights colds, flus and sore throats. For the best effect, chew a raw clove every three to four hours, or chop up the clove and swallow just like a pill. Or for an easier way to consume, mix it with honey.
Onions. As with garlic, onions also contain allion and allicin. Add onions to meals wherever possible, or again for better results, consume raw.
Berries. Most berries are good for colds, although ones with a blue tone will work best. Of all fruits, they have the highest levels of antioxidants for fighting illness, according to research from USDA Agriculture Research Service in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Rest. Rest is one of the most effective remedies for a fast recovery from colds. While we may be tempted to carry on as normal, avoid unnecessary contact with others to prevent the cold spreading. When we have a cold, the body lets us know as we experience signs of fatigue. Relax the body, relax the mind, rest, sleep well and allow the body time to recover.
Exercise. Even though we need to rest the body, a small amount of exercise at some point during the day will boost the immune system. Even a short walk in fresh air for a short period of time can be enough for the body to feel stronger in it’s attack against the virus.
Gargle Salt Water. This is one that should most definitely be continued once the cold has gone as it can work wonders in preventing another cold from coming. Salt water loosens mucous, soothes throat pain, neutralises acid, removes swelling and is a natural disinfectant. It is one of the oldest, but one of the most effective and simplest remedies.
Tea. Teas contain theophylline, a natural bronchodilator, which helps to open the lungs and assists breathing. Regularly sip your favorite tea, adding a touch of honey, ginger or lemon for additional benefits and flavoring. Also, green tea contains AGCG which has antibacterial and antiviral activities that stimulate the immune system.
Avoid sugar. Sugar can hamper the immune system’s ability. Eliminate it where possible, try sugar free options or add natural honey for a sweet tasting supplement. High levels of sugar contribute to inflammation, so our white blood cells that should be fighting infections are instead concentrating on the inflammation. Cut down, or cut out sugar completely when cold symptoms kick in.
Fight back naturally and instead of consuming the chemicals found in a lot of the prescribed pharmacy remedies, flush the body with healthy and immune boosting ingredients that can be shelved and repeated all year round.
In cases where symptoms are severe, I would always recommend consulting a professional. These are tips that I have found work wonders on my self, my family and friends and when continued, provide health benefits all year round.
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Author: Alexsandra Myles
Editor: Catherine Monkman