10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold
Everywhere you go there are coughs and colds around and it is hard to prevent catching them. Having a cold can make you feel really miserable. Here are 10 things you can do to help relieve and shorten the symptoms.
- Echinacea – this herb can be bought as a herbal supplement or as a tincture from your local health food shop and is said to help boost your immune system to help your body fight off infections. Studies are mixed with some studies say that it doesn’t help to actually prevent a cold but that it can shorten the symptoms by a few days so that has to be a good thing. Take it as soon as you feel the symptoms coming on and continue for a week to ten days. The tincture is said to be a little more potent that taking the tablet form. Go for quality – a cheap product won’t give you the results you want.
- Zinc – again studies are inconclusive with some showing that although taking a zinc supplement may not prevent a cold, it may help shorten the length of time and the severity of the symptoms.
- Vitamin C – This is one of the most studied remedies and again studies show mixed results, but out of all remedies this has most support of its benefits. Research shows that it can reduce the time you suffer from cold symptoms but it won’t prevent you getting one. You can buy vitamin C supplements alternatively increase your intake of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruit, sweet potatoes and kiwi.
- Chicken Soup – is it an Old Wives’ Tale? Possibly, but a very effective one! Chicken soup can help cold symptoms by easing your blocked nose. Recipe here. There is a compound in chicken soup called carnosine which helps the immune system. You need to take it regularly though so a constant supply would be required! MailOnline Article.
- Fluid – a warm drink relieves your blocked nose and soothes your throat and keeps you hydrated which is very important. A cup of tea, black tea, green tea, honey and lemon, hot water, all important in keeping you hydrated.
- Hot Toddy – a teaspoon of honey, a small shot of whiskey, a squeeze of lemon in a cup of herbal tea helps to ease congestion, soothe your throat and help you sleep
- Garlic – garlic has anti-bacterial properties and helps the immune system to fight infection. Taking a garlic supplement may help prevent colds when taken regularly. Better still use garlic regularly in your cooking together with onions and leeks which have similar properties.
- Steam – breathing in steam decongests and relieves your nasal passages. See 10. below for ideas for steam inhalation using essential oils.
- Ginger – ginger is a valuable consideration. The way to take it is to soak fresh ginger in some hot water, and drink the tincture. Alternatively include fresh ginger in your cooking. You can keep a root in the freezer and grate as you require it.
- Essential Oils – I would recommend keeping the following oils in your Aromatherapy First Aid Kit – Eucalyptus, Ginger, Thyme, Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon. When you feel a cold coming on run a warm bath and add 2 drops of thyme, 2 drops of tea tree, 1 drop of eucalyptus, 3 drops of lemon and swish the oils around well before getting in the bath for a soak. Inhale deeply. For steam inhalation use 1 drop of thyme, 1 drop of tea tree, 1 drop lavender. Put hot water into a bowl, add the oils, and put your head just above the bowl with a towel over your head. Inhale deeply. All these oils can be bought from Neals Yard Remedies here.
When you have a cold, keep hydrated, take time to rest, remember that colds last around 7 to 10 days so it will soon be gone. If you are always catching colds then it may be that your immune system is lowered, perhaps you are stressed and not sleeping well, so it may be that you need to look at your lifestyle and diet.
(See also my previous blog about Aromatherapy First Aid Kits here.)
Thanks for reading 10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold. If you like my blog please comment, like or share.