Cold season is coming quickly and you’re likely interested in how to protect yourself or ease the symptoms of a cold.
Protection is the easiest way to fight a cold. Hand washing, getting enough sleep, reducing stress and keeping a healthy immune system by reducing sugar intake, eating whole foods and sticking to regular workouts is going to help reduce the number of colds you may get this season.
Most colds come with a few major symptoms, so let’s chat about how we can use natural supplements or pantry items to ease the discomfort and get you on the mend!
For me, this is the worst part of getting a cold. I can deal with the runny nose and congestion, but when my throat is sore, I just cannot function. My go to remedies include:
Echinacea - this spray with peppermint from A. Vogel has been my go-to for the last year
Ginger and lemon tea - preferably home made with real ginger and lemon
Lozenges - I’m a fan of these. They contain plenty of helpful botanical ingredients and they are sugar free
called a "demulcent," marshmallow is known to soothe the mucus memebranes
can take as a tincture or tea throughout the day
Salt water gargle
Runny nose / irritated nose
A stuffed, irritated runny nose can be helped by nasal irrigation (ie: Neti Pot) with a sodium solution. I aim to do this morning and night, but if I can get 3 sessions in, I notice a big difference. The process and solution will help to soothe the nose and its associated membranes along with helping to kill any bacteria that may be living in the nasal passage.
Irritated skin around the nose is always hard to treat. I haven’t found any foolproof ways to fix the red, scaly skin, but I do find that using a warm wash cloth to remove loose skin, then covering with a thick balm makes the biggest difference overnight.
With just a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil and some boiling water, you can ease a congested chest, nose or head. The process of breathing in steam will break up and loosen mucus, help to reduce inflammation and hydrate the airways. It will also help your body to expel the “junk” sitting in your chest! Aim for 1-2 10 minute sessions once daily while symptoms occur.
General/ Whole Body:
Garlic. The active component in garlic, called allicin, is useful as an antiseptic and as such, is helpful for fighting off a cold if you can catch it early. There are companies that produce garlic pills with low odor, but if you don't have any of those on hand, grab a clove, peel it and chew on it as long as you can until swallowing. Your partner or friends may not chat with you for a few days, but at least you'll feel better!
Rest. Take time to care for yourself and relax. If it means taking a day off of work or saying “no” to an outing, do it. You’re not doing anyone any favours by bringing germs into the outside world!
Warming socks. This was one of the weirdest treatments to me when I was studying hydrotherapy, but it’s also one of the most effective when you are dealing with a cold. The process is quite simple, just follow these steps:
After warming the feet with a hot wrap or with warm water, wet and ring out a pair of socks in COLD water.
Put them on warm feet and cover with 1-2 pairs of a thicker sock to provide warmth. Leave on overnight and remove in the morning. Socks should be dry in the am. If you wake up in the middle of the night with dry socks, repeat the process and leave until morning.
Take high dose Vitamin C with onset of symptoms. You should be looking for a good quality, NO SUGAR vitamin C supplement. Here are a few good options (1), (2), (3). Take about 1000mg - 2000mg daily until cold subsides. Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, if this occurs, take less each day.
Best of luck, and I hope these quick tips help you to kick your cold!