Author: Holly J Coley
When the red flags of an emerging cold appear, you may want to run to your local drugstore to pick up over the counter medicine. But OCM’s tend to mask symptoms rather than treat and as one apothecary once told us, nature has solutions to many of our problems. The next time you’re feeling less than stellar, try one of these six natural home remedies* instead.
1.TAKE A STEAMY SHOWER
Pushing yourself into the tub when you’re sick may be asking a lot, but the steam from the shower will “massage” your nasal passages according to medical experts. If baths are more your speed, consider herbal bathing which we recently posted about. Not only is it relaxing but the medicinal benefits of the plants can help promote healing.
Zinc is a must have item for your medicine cabinet. The mineral has been known to inhibit viral activity, as well as strengthen the immune system. If possible, try finding it in syrup or lozenge form which allows it to stay in the throat longer where it can come in direct contact with germs.
3.ECHINACEA + VITAMIN C
While great solo, echinacea and Vitamin C coupled are a dynamic cold fighting duo. According to one study, when sick subjects took them together the length of their cold was cut in half. The same study also found that those who took the vitamin and herb as a preventative measure were 58 percent more likely to stave off catching a bug.
Definitely one of the sweeter remedies, honey not only soothes throats but has been shown to disrupt the formation of biofilms. It also has been known to work well as a cough suppressant. Try taking a tablespoon when your throat feels scratchy. To see more of the benefits of using honey, read this.
Ginger has been used for centuries in eastern medicine to aid in digestion, boost immunity and promote overall wellness. It has a compound called gingerol which gives it its spicy taste and is believed to hold medicinal benefits. While you can find it in lozenge form and tea, we suggest grating two tablespoons in a cup of hot water, along with a squeeze of lemon and a little honey. Sip to open up your nasal passageway, sooth a queasy stomach, and to easy an aching throat.
It sounds gnarly and frankly, so is the taste but salt is a germ killer and very good when you get that itch in your throat. Add a tablespoon to a glass of warm water, gargle for twenty seconds and repeat 2-3 times. Of course, do not swallow.
*If your cold is persistent, reoccurring or you’re running a fever, call your doctor.