Do you feel a cold coming on? Cold can put a damper on your plans. Making them very frustrating since there is no cure for the common cold. There are some remedies to help you during this time.
Our top 8 remedies for a cold are:
- Stay Hydrated
- Wash your Hands
- Eat a Well Balanced Diet
- Easy the Pain
- Soothe a Sore Throat
- Add Moisture to the Air
- Combat Stuffiness
Did you know your body and brain cells start to slow down when you sleep? Healing can take place during this time. Sleep affects every aspect of your life, if you don’t get enough your body can’t fix what is wrong. Your body is going through a lot to fight off a cold, give it time to heal. Resting allows your body to repair your body on a cellular level. Slow down and take time out for yourself to do more than just rest, give your body time to heal.
Keeping fluids down is key. Drinking water, broth, pedialyte, juice or warm water with lemon helps with congestion and keeps you hydrated. Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks like alcohol, soda, or coffee, these can lead to dehydration. Warm drinks are soothing on a sore throat and can help with mucus flow, easing congestion. Add a slice of ginger root and a spoonful of honey to your warm water to sooth a cough and sore throat.
Wash Your Hands
Cut down on the spread of illness with washing your hands. Germs spread quickly with a cold, from coughing into your arm or sneezing profusely into a kleenex. Keeping your hands clean prevents the spread of germs. Be mindful of what you touch and pick up. Once you are mindful of things you touch on a day to day, you will be aware of how often you need to clean your hands.
Eat a Well Balanced Diet
Chicken soup is not just good for your aching body but it is good for your soul. Breathing in the steam from a hot bowl soup will aid in finding relief from congestion and reduces upper respiratory infections. Whether your chicken soup is made with fresh vegetables, chicken and low sodium broth or warmed from a can, it helps slow the spread of neutrophils, white blood cells, that protect your body from infection. It will keep you hydrated as well. Nutrient dense foods help fight infection and prevent illness. Give your immune system a boost by eating food rich in antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin C and E fighting off “free radicals” in the body.
Easy the Pain
From epsom salt baths to over the counter pain relievers, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain. Warm baths give extra moisture to the air, in turn open up the sinuses, reduce nasal inflammation giving you better breathing. Try adding some essential oils like tea tree, lavender or eucalyptus to your bath to soothe and calm you. Antihistamines and pain relievers like tylenol can help relieve some symptoms but just remember they do not shorten a cold and do have some side effects. Best to test them out first, and hydrate while taking them.
Soothe a Sore Throat
We all hate it when you start to get that tickle in your throat. You feel off since your body is fighting something. As time goes on, the tickle starts to hurt. By the time the day is over, you have a full blown sore throat. What to do? You can’t swallow without the pain sticking. Eating doesn’t feel good nor does drinking water. But have you tried gargling with salt water? Sipping on hot tea? Keeping your throat hydrated helps with the scratchy and soreness. The salt water actually reduces swelling in the throat, loosens mucus and flushes out the bad bacteria. The next time you feel a tickle or scratch, grab a teaspoon of salt and dissolve in a cup of water. Gargle and spit it out, you will instantly get a soothing feeling to that sore throat.
Add Moisture to the Air
Adding a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to your bedroom air helps loosen congestion when fighting a cold. The cool vapor adds moisture to your skin and nasal passages while giving some relief to chest congestion and coughing. Don’t forget to clean your vaporizer or humidifier each night to prevent mineral build up and prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Using distilled or purified water also cuts down on the amounts of minerals in the water.
Saline nasal spray is the best for combating stuffiness. These loosen mucus and fight congestion. The great thing about nasal spray is they do not contain medicine so you can use them as often as you like. Over the counter decongestant nasal sprays help by shrinking the blood vessels in the lining of your nose, these are safe to use for three days. Do not use them after 3 days because they will make your cold symptoms worse. If your stuffiness is from a sinus infection, ask your doctor for a steroid nasal spray. These sprays can help clear up allergy symptoms. Whatever nasal spray you choose, the best way to use a nasal spray is to blow your nose first, press one nostril close with your finger while you tilt your head, use your thumb at the bottom of the bottle, and your index finger with your middle finger on each side of the tip, as you push up with your thumb, breath in slowly. Switch to the other nostril and repeat.
At the end of the day, when you are sick, remember to take care of yourself. There is only one you, work can wait. Remember to rest, take time out for yourself to heal and don’t forget to hydrate! Having a cold is uncomfortable but it shouldn’t slow you down too much. Remember to see a doctor if you don’t start feeling better after a week.