Kick Your Cold to the Curb: At-Home Remedies to Combat Cold Season

Cold season remedy

After drinking way too much witch’s brew and not getting enough sleep, you may have fallen for the trick not the treat from this Halloween weekend. With cold season upon us, it’s always an apprehensive feeling to wake up with a sore throat or stuffy nose. While the common cold lasts about 7-10 days, there are natural, creative ways to try and make it as quick as possible. Keep in mind that these remedies will not “cure” your cold (it must be waited out, or if symptoms persist past 10 days, see a doctor), they are proven to lessen your symptoms and speed up the process of ridding your cold.

Lemon & Ginger Root

Chop up one, 3-inch section of ginger root. Put into bowl with 1/2 cup lemon juice+ 2 tbsp honey+ 2 cups of boiling water. Stir to combine all ingredients, and then cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Strain, then consume hot.

How it works: Lemon serves as an antiseptic, as well as a Vitamin C- packed immune booster. It’s also  anti-inflammatory, which means it helps calm those irritated membranes. Ginger root’s potency stimulates perspiration, so it “cleanses the system and brings down the body temperature” (livestrong.com). Ginger also suppresses coughing!

Wet Socks

Ok, EW I know… BUT it works. To ease a fever or clear up congestion, soak your feet in hot water first. Then, dip a pair of thin, cotton socks in cool water, wring them out, and slip them on right before you hop into bed. Layer up with a pair of dry, wool socks over the wet ones. You’ll wake up with warm, dry socks in the AM.

How it works: This process draws blood to the feet, helping to promote blood circulation. When you are suffering from congestion, blood flow slows in these areas, so increased circulation helps clear this up.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix 1/4 cup hot water + 1/4 cup unfiltered Apple cider vinegar + honey + cayenne pepper. Stir well- and I mean WELL;) squeeze in 1 lemon wedge to sweeten.

How it works: Apple cider vinegar boosts the immune system, helping to fight off the bug as quickly as possible, while the cayenne’s anti-inflammatory properties work to subdue your symptoms.

Echinacea Drops

Echinacea purpurea is one of the most popular herbal treatments for the common cold. Dr. David Leopoldo, MD., and also the director of integrative medical education at La Jolla’s Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, suggests mixing 15-20 drops of echinacea to warm water 4-5 times per day to treat your cold.

How it works: There are several different species and forms of this flowering plant. Consumption of echinacea purpurea in tincture form (fancy word for liquid extract) has proven to be much more effective in battling colds than taking echinacea pills (supplements, vitamins, or “gummies”). The plant has been found to increase the number of white blood cells, which aids in defense against germs, specifically when consumed in extract form.

Turmeric Milk Tea 

1 small pinch black pepper and grated ginger

2 cups almond milk

1 tbsp honey

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp coconut oil

Pour all ingredients into small saucepan, bring to light boil, whisk to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 mins. Strain any large chunks of ginger out. To serve, add honey and drink warm! It’s divine!

How it works: Turmeric is known for relieving chest congestion and coughing because of the curcumin content. It makes you feel better, as well as actually fighting against bacterial and viral infections.

Salt Water

Full glass of warm water+ 1/2 tsp salt+ gargle= the most classic remedy for a reason!

How it works: By gargling this saline solution, your sore throat will be eased and soothed.

 

Studies and research found in the New York Times, WebMD, Health.com, Livestrong.com, Turmeric For Health, and Popsugar. Links below:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28real.html?_r=0

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Cayenne-Pepper-Cold-Remedy-25811765

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/echinacea-common-cold

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306929,00.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/147760-lemon-ginger-root-cold-remedies/

http://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/using-turmeric-for-cough

 

 

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