Living in the north east definitely has its benefits, but the bitterly cold winters are not among them. Every year, when the snow starts to fall and the nights draw in, my family gets hit by a bout of the sniffles. The common cold may not be a huge health concern, but when you’re in the midst of one it can feel pretty miserable. Here are some of my favourite natural treatments for beating the pesky cold down.
Fluids, And More Fluids
It may seem simple, but it’s an easy one to forget. Because there’s no real medical cure for colds, flushing it out is the best remedy we have. Extra fluids, especially water, will help your body beat the virus faster and help clear mucus from your system. Hot teas can also help clear congestion and ease sore throats, just stay away from the caffeinated stuff.
Aside from water, broths and soups provide comfort and symptom relief, and if you fill them with vegetables and other nutritious foods, they can also help fight the virus off. They don’t call chicken soup Jewish Penicillin for nothing!
You can get quick relief from a stuffed up nose by inhaling steam: boil water in a pot and lean over it, covering your head and breathing in deeply. This should free up some of the congestion in your head and make you feel better instantly. A hot, steamy shower can also have this effect.
Salt Water Gargle
If your cold is accompanied by a sore throat, try this highly effective old wives trick: dissolve salt, about a teaspoon full, in a cup of hot water (but not too hot). Gargle with the mixture for as long as you can, and repeat throughout the day. This will fight the bacteria in your throat and take the edge off the soreness too.
Stay In Bed
If you can, try and rest as much as possible when you’re battling a cold virus. Spend as much time as you can spare lying down, warm and comfortable. Having a cold is a great excuse for spending a weekend tucked up under the duvet with plenty of DVDs and tissues. What’s more, you’ll recover more quickly if you get plenty of rest.