Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, sore throats, aches and pains? Got a cold? Feeling miserable? What's in the cupboard that can make you feel better? What will help you get over your cold quickly? There are many natural remedies that can help, some you already have at home. Try some of the following.
Ginger is a great warming herb to enjoy during winter. It warms you up by getting your circulation moving. Ginger tea can help to break fevers and remove mucus build up in sinuses, throat and lungs. Grate about 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger root, pour 2 cups of boiling water over, cover and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Drink a cup of this warm delicious tea every 2 hours.
A good old fashioned home made chicken and vegetable soup can be a great comfort when suffering from a cold or flu. It is warming and full of vital nutrients to help get over sickness. Include in your soup plenty of vegetables that are high in Beta-carotene such as carrots, sweet potatoes, turnip greens and spinach. Adding herbs and spices can help bring relief and loosen up mucus. A pinch of Cayenne pepper in your soup can help to fight off some of the aches and pains as well as helping to reduce the fever. Maintain a healthy diet, especially at this time. Avoid sugary and fatty foods; concentrate on nutritious fruit and vegetables, soups, and oats.
Lemons are well known for their healing properties, especially when it comes to colds and flu’s. Hot honey and lemon drinks with green Tea are popular. This delicious drink can be made with hot Tea, adding honey and lemon to taste. However, for more effect try straight lemon juice, warmed with honey. Don't drink it straight down; swish it around in your mouth first. Other common additions to this lemon drink are garlic, ginger and or brandy.
Honey is an age-old remedy for so many different things. When it comes to colds, it can be used as a cough reliever and it has some anti-biotic properties. A teaspoon of honey on its own can be beneficial, or a cough mixture can be made up. Chop up 4-6 cloves of garlic and place them in a jar of honey. After a few weeks the garlic can be removed, leaving a great mix for coughs and sore throats. Garlic is a very effective tool against colds. It is a strong antimicrobial and antiviral agent. Include garlic in your soups and cooking when ever possible.
Soothing teas for coughs and sore throats can be made out of herbs found commonly in your herb garden or spice rack. Sage and Marjoram have antiseptic qualities, while Thyme is antimicrobial. These herbs could be mixed together or taken separately. Take 1-2 teaspoons of the herbs in a cup of boiling water; allow steeping for 30 minutes. Drink warm. This tea is good for soothing coughs, sore throats and tonsils, while also killing germs. (Add these herbs to your soup.)
There are many products available in health food stores that can assist your recovery. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A, along with Zinc can help reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. These are also very useful as a preventive. Herbs such as Echinacea, Cat's claw, and Astralgulis can fight against colds and flu's and strengthen the immune system.
When cold or flu hits, the most important advice that anyone can follow is to rest. At this time you need to get extra sleep. The immune system functions at its best while we are sleeping. Allow your body the time and opportunity to fight back. Don't rush back into a full schedule as soon as you start to feel better. Take it slowly for a few days, get some early nights, to really allow your body to recuperate. Giving yourself the time to fully recover will help prevent a recurrence.
Drink plenty of liquid, water and herbal teas. When the mucous membranes become dehydrated, they are more hospitable to viruses. A high liquid intake will help repel the virus and also help to flush out the system. Juices and sugary drinks should be avoided. A high sugar intake decreases the ability of the white blood cells to kill bacteria.
At the first sign of a cold, start treating it at once. Increase your vitamin and mineral intake, especially the antioxidants. Start using any of the above treatments or get onto some herbs or tissue salts. The sooner you start to treat a cold, the less severe it is likely to become. A cold should only last a couple of days, if you are no better after a week, seek advice from your health practitioner.
When you are recovering from illness, it is a good time to change your toothbrush. Your toothbrush can harbor the germs you have just been fighting off; changing it now can prevent reinfection.
Without taking care, your illness can change from being a mild cold to something more serious. Remember to take care of yourself.
Andrea Putting N.D., Naturopath, Writer and creator/owner of health sites including,