Unravel The Common Cold
Herbal Remedies for the Common Cold
- Echinacea: Echinacea may help some people reduce their risk of getting a cold as well as reduce the duration of their colds significantly.
- Eucalyptus: Steam inhalations using a few drops of eucalyptus oil in hot water can help loosen phlegm and reduce a sore throat and congestion. If you suffer with asthma or allergies check with your physician before trying this remedy.
- Peppermint: Peppermint contains menthol, which works as a decongestant, expectorant and helps thin mucus and cures a cough. Peppermint oil should be used with another neutral oil, and should never be used directly on the skin or ingested.
Other popular home remedies:
- Gargle with hot water and salt to relieve a sore or hoarse throat.
- Drink ginger tea with a squeeze of lemon throughout the day. Ginger acts as a natural decongestant and also helps with pain relief. Lemon provides vitamin C and helps kill bacteria in the throat.
- Sip on a cup of warm milk mixed with a pinch of turmeric and honey to soothe a bad throat and other cold symptoms.
Feed a Cold
- Include foods that are high in antioxidants and vitamin C such as fresh fruit and vegetables to boost your immunity. This will not only help fight a cold but may also prevent it from recurring.
- Foods high in vitamin B complex can also help relieve symptoms of a cold.
- Avoid heavy foods that are high in starch, and foods that are spicy, oily, deep-fried and processed.
- Food rich in zinc such as oysters, pork, crab, nuts, yogurt and milk also help reduce the intensity of cold symptoms.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated and help flush out the toxins. In addition to at least eight to ten glasses of water daily, you should have fresh fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups or broths. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine as they work as diuretics and dehydrate the body further.
- Lemons should be consumed in the form of lemon juice mixed with hot water and honey to soothe a sore throat and boost your vitamin C intake.
- Peppers, mustard, onions, and horseradish that make your nose run and your eyes water are good foods for a cold. Many believe that this can help loosen mucus and thereby help to reduce congestion. The verdict is still out on the efficacy of this theory, but a little hot stuff added into your diet doesn’t hurt when you are nursing a cold.
Other foods that may help relieve cold symptoms include:
- Whole grain toast
- Orange juice
- Chicken or vegetable soup
- Green salads
- Steamed vegetables
- Decaffeinated tea
- Wash your hands regularly
- Exercise often to improve your overall health
- Explore options such as yoga and meditation to reduce stress levels
- Do not share towels, dishes, or glasses
- Get enough sleep
References: Roberta Lee, Michael J. Balick, Flu for You? The Common Cold, Influenza, and Traditional Medicine, EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, Volume 2, Issue 3, May 2006, Pages 252-255, ISSN 1550-8307, 10.1016/j.explore.2006.03.009.