Natural Cold Cures: Conquer Your Common Cold!
Winter = cold weather = cold bodies = sneezing, sniffling, wheezing, and generally feeling sorry for yourself. Sounds like the kind of equation that’s inevitable between December and February, right? But it doesn’t have to be. While there is no official cure for the common cold – due to the fact that it’s a slightly different virus each winter – there are lots of ways to relieve symptoms and feel healthy fast without taking meds.
Whether it’s paying attention to your diet, using natural ingredients, or keeping the air in your home moist, you’ll soon be free to enjoy the winter without worrying about the sniffles.
1. Drink Hot Liquids
Your mom was right when she insisted you drink a cup of tea or a bowl of hot soup when you were sick. Hot liquids clear your sinuses and beat congestion in a fast and delicious way. They also have a soothing effect on the sore throat that often comes along with the stuffy nose.
Green tea is a great choice for beating your cold, because of its antiviral properties. Since the common cold is a virus, green tea offers not only a calming effect for your symptoms, but is actually fighting against the virus at the root of your stuffed or runny nose. In fact, green tea is a known immune booster! If you’ve made a habit to drink a cup every day before the onset of winter, you’re less likely to develop a cold in the first place.
Not a tea person? That’s okay. Hot water and organic honey, or just plain organic honey, can be equally as effective as a cold-buster. Simply take a couple of spoonfuls a day (you don’t want to be eating too much, as honey still contains sugar) to fight off infection and drastically reduce the length of time your virus lasts. Like green tea, raw honey is a natural immune booster with powerful antioxidant properties.
3. Vitamin C
This is a bit of a cheat, since it won’t do much once you already have a cold (though with its high antioxidant level, it can’t do any harm). However, if you’re consciously getting enough Vitamin C in your diet before the cold season hits (too late for this year, but keep it in mind for next year!), then it can shorten the length of your cold. So drink up that fresh orange juice during the summer and fall – you’ll thank yourself later, come the winter.
Adding a humidifier to your home can help to bring back moisture to the dry air that is causing so many of those uncomfortable winter symptoms. Moist air means clearer nasal passages and easier breathing, so a humidifier would be a welcome addition to your living room if you tend to suffer from a blocked nose.
A well-known antiviral and anti-inflammatory, ginger works great to fortify your immune system and fight off bacteria. It also acts as an antihistamine, and can clear congested passages (i.e. your stuffed nose). The chemicals contained in ginger specifically target cold-causing rhinoviruses, which are the viruses that bring on your nasty cold in the first place.
To use ginger for a cold, you can drink ginger tea, or add a few pieces of ginger to a bowl of steaming water, cover your head and the bowl with a towel and inhale.
6. Eucalyptus Oil
We all know that essential oils are exactly as their name suggests. Eucalyptus essential oil is great at fighting off colds, due to its antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. For decongesting, add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of steaming water, put a towel over your head and the bowl, and inhale through your nose for around 10-15 minutes. Adding a few drops to your shower can also help with your cold.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
No, it doesn’t taste good, but if you have to choose between a not-so-pleasant drink for thirty seconds, or sneezing, sniffling, coughing, loss of appetite and taste, and fever for a few days or a week, what would you choose? I thought so. Organic apple cider vinegar (“with the Mother”) works to thin your mucus and balance your body’s pH levels, which means that germs and bacteria are not sticking around in this new alkalized environment.
Besides for being natural, it’s also cheaper than a lot of OTC cold medications, so it really hits the nail on the head in every way. Add one to two tablespoons of ACV to a glass of water or juice (if you can’t take the strong taste) and drink every four to six hours until your cold is no more.
Last winter, you may have been supporting your drugstore (and pushing chemicals into your body) for the whole season. This year, you won’t be, because you know better. There are natural and easy ways to fight against the common cold – and help make it not so common. Your body (and your wallet) will thank you for it! And your five-year-old won’t be the only one singing “The cold never bothered me anyway” this winter.