Natural cold remedies

Everyone has experienced having the common cold at some point in their lives. Feeling tired, groggy, stuffy, congested, feverish, achy and scratchy are all symptoms that no one wants to go through, but unfortunately when they hit we have no choice but to deal with them until they pass. The common cold usually lasts anywhere from 3-10 days and is easily spread from one person to another. Children in daycare and elementary school are likely to get as many as 10-12 colds a year as their immune systems are still strengthening.

Although it is impossible to avoid getting all cold germs, there are ways to lessen your chances of contracting the cold virus. By washing your hands thoroughly after coming in contact with things that are touched by people on a regular basis you can eliminate a lot of germs from entering your body. Be sure to carry some hand sanitizer to use after touching things like gas pumps, shopping carts, door handles, etc. These are all places that have thriving germs. If you are living with someone that has a cold, make sure you do not eat or drink after them and avoid being near them when they sneeze or cough. Use disinfectant spray on items that are shared like phones, t.v. remotes, sink handles, etc. Prevention is always the best way to battle getting the common cold.

If you are unfortunate enough to get a common cold you can help lessen the duration of the cold by adding some Vitamin C and Zinc to your diet. Make sure you take a multi-vitamin daily to keep your immune system strong and drink plenty of fluids to stay well hydrated. By adding extra vitamins to your daily routine you can help the cold symptoms fade quicker, but you may also find that you get a lot less colds all together.

Garlic is another natural herb that has been taken for years to ward off colds and fight cold symptoms. Research has shown that people that consume fresh garlic or took garlic supplements on a regular basis get less colds and their colds do not last as long as others who do not consume garlic. Eating fresh garlic is very good for your health, however it is important not to consume it in excess before or after surgery or if you are taking blood thinners, vitamin E or ginko.

Taking a tablespoon full of honey at night can help with a sore throat as well as an annoying cough. Because honey is thick it helps coat the throat. However, make sure to avoid giving children under one year of age honey because it can cause botulism.

For a stuffy nose you can try a few things. The first thing to try is breathing in steam from a hot shower or over a hot pot of water or sink. Cover your head with a towel and run a steamy sink of water with a few added drops of menthol or eucalyptus oil for added benefit. To loosen your sinuses and chest congestion you can also sleep with a vaporizer in your room at night. Using a saline spray or using a nettle pot from your local pharmacy can help clear drainage in your sinuses as well.

Another home remedy for colds which offers several different benefits is powered cayenne pepper. A lot of people swear by its ability to help a sore throat. By mixing a hot cup of water with some cayenne pepper powder, salt and honey you can gargle the solution a few times to alleviate a sore throat. If you are daring enough and can tolerate the spice of the pepper you can also use it in a drink or on food to help clear your congestion. Spicy foods and drinks cause the nose to run which can help you blow out the congestion that is causing you discomfort.

Remember, however frustrating a cold is, it is temporary. Drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest and take your vitamins and within a few days you will start feeling better.

Last updated on Sep 6th, 2009 and filed under Alternative Medicine. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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