Winter is approaching and we’re beginning to feel the joy and magic of the holiday season—old traditions, new traditions, festive parties, and family gatherings—but what are we not merry about? Yes, it’s the dreaded cold. Although colds can occur any time of the year, they’re most common during the winter months. Fortunately for us, there are ways to fight back using proper techniques. Bring it on, influenza!
When your body temperature fluctuates, and you feel hot one minute and chilly the next. Oh, and don’t forget about the discomfort from that awful headache.
Draw a bath: Taking a relaxing bath in lukewarm water helps to cool down your body temperature and reduce your fever. Tip: Add Epsom salt for additional health benefits and to release unwanted toxins!
Stay hydrated: This is one of the most important procedures you can follow. Staying hydrated allows you to fight bacteria and help your body operate at its best. Stock up on water and try chicken soup as an anti-inflammatory agent. Chicken contains an amino acid that helps thin mucus while the combination of vegetables, meat, and broth makes for a powerful remedy. Make sure to avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, and coffee.
Wet sock treatment: Considered one of the strangest but most effective home remedies for a fever, the wet sock treatment helps increase blood circulation and stimulate the immune system. Soak your feet in warm water for about 5 to 10 minutes while a pair of thin cotton socks soak in ice water. Next, wring the socks out thoroughly before putting them on. Place a pair of dry wool socks over the wet cotton socks and wear them while you sleep.
When you feel tight pressure behind the eyes, accompanied by slight dizziness and a headache.
Apple cider vinegar: This type of vinegar contains a wide range of beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins A and E, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, that help eliminate congested mucus and clear sinus cavities. Mix 2 teaspoons with 6 ounces of lukewarm water, and drink two to three times a day until mucus is cleared.
Cayenne pepper: Place this flavorful red spice, also known as the “miracle herb,” on your food to clear sinuses and break up congested mucus.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE): This safe and natural liquid extract helps relieve nasal congestion and eliminate infection, as well as bacteria and fungus. Place a few drops of GSE in a half cup of warm water and inhale it. You also can place a few drops of the herbal supplement in a Neti Pot to wash your sinuses out.
When you can’t stop the runny fluid coming from your nasal passages. “Nobody likes a Mr. Sniffles.”
Steam inhalation: Not only does this technique help with the common cold, but it also helps with allergies, asthma, and bronchitis. Drape a towel over your head, lean over a bowl of warm-to-hot water and inhale the steam. Be careful not to burn yourself!
Garlic: This cold-fighting ingredient contains allicin, an active component that is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Maximize the amount of allicin by chopping or crushing fresh garlic—make a soup or eat it raw.
Ginger root: This antioxidant is popular for loosening mucus and phlegm. You can choose between eating raw ginger slices, making ginger and honey tea, or boiling pieces of ginger in water and inhaling the steam.
Itchy or Sore Throat
When you feel pain in the throat or can’t seem to tame your coughing. Ouch.
Gargle warm salt water: This procedure is also a popular one, as it reduces swelling in the throat while killing bacteria. Place salt in a glass of warm water and stir until it dissolves, then gargle for several seconds.
Honey: Considered to be more effective than cough medicine, honey is a popular remedy for taming nighttime coughing. Make a cup of tea with hot water and a generous teaspoon of honey.
Peppermint tea: Menthol, an effective decongestant and expectorant, is the main ingredient in peppermint. Together, they help thin mucus, eliminate coughing, and calm sore throats. Peppermint is available in several forms, including capsules, creams, and herbal leaves.
We’re confident that if you follow these natural and safe techniques, you’ll be finding anything but germs in your stocking this year. Happy and healthy holidays!
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.