Photo: Wall Street Journal
Winter is in full swing and snow on the way! Unfortunately, with the freezing temperatures come those nasty, stubborn colds. You know the one—sick in bed for days and over-the-counter meds only make you feel lousier and drowsier. Well we’ve got some of the best natural remedies to have you back to feeling your best in no time at all!
Irrigate your sinuses
Stuffy noses are the worst! But blowing your nose over and over again can lead to some pretty nasty side effects like a painful, chapped nose, inner-ear problems, and even sinus infections. Instead, try a nasal irrigation device like the Neti Pot. Medical studies show that “these devices alleviate congestion, facial pain and pressure.” They use a saline solution to help the tiny, hair-like structures in your nose move faster in order to remove irritants and allergens. (WebMD)
Plenty of warm liquids
The dry, winter weather can make a dry cough feel even worse. Warm water or tea with honey is one of the best home remedies for a sore throat or cough. Honey coats the throat and acts as a natural cough suppressant, and the warm (not hot!) water rehydrates and sooths the irritated tissue in the throat!
Make things a little steamy
Steam helps to break up nasal congestion in addition to keeping your throat moist. Next time you’re feeling congested, turn on a humidifier in your room or opt for a hot shower. Hang eucalyptus in your shower for an additional cooling effect and to open up the sinuses. Plus, the warm water from a steamy shower can help relieve body aches and sore muscles!
Know which foods to stock up for each of your symptoms
- Soothe your stomach: bananas & rice
- Boost your immune system: Vitamin C (supplements, oranges, & bell peppers)
- Natural aspirin for fevers & body aches: blueberries
- Natural antibiotics & anti-diarrhea: Catechin (black & green tea)
- Soothe sore throat & decongest: peppermint/menthol
- Open sinuses & break up mucus: spicy peppers, ginger, & horseradish
- Congestion & immune system boost: elderberry syrup
Make a chest or nose salve
A cooling salve is ideal for relieving congestion and to help you breathe easier, but some over-the-counter kinds can irritate sensitive skin. Try making your own at-home version with just two natural ingredients.
Always remember to wash your hands more frequently—after sneezing, coughing, etc.—when you’ve got a cold. Germs can spread more easily than you think, and they can not only get others sick, but can linger around longer than needed and hinder you from getting better. Just make sure to wash your hands (and forearms) thoroughly and throw away all dirty tissues straightaway.
Last, but not least, get your rest!
Your body tells you that you’re tired for a reason, and ignoring that signal only prolongs your symptoms and hinders you from feeling better. Sleep helps your body fight off an infection more quickly, so take a break and give your body a chance to heal!
Get well soon!