Its that time of year. Cold and flu season is in full swing and chances are that if you have not got sick yet it is probably bound to happen in the next month or so.
Now, I was trying to be diligent to avoid getting sick by washing my hands a lot, avoiding touching my face, using hand disinfectant and keeping my distance from those who were sick. Well lets just say that didn't work very well and I am full blown coughing, sniffling, sneezing and wheezing sick! Everyone around me at work was sick so I didn't have much hope to come put unscathed but I thought I would try. Now that I am sick I know that I must let it run its course but that doesn't mean I have to suffer.
There is no medicine that you can take to make it go away but there are things you can do to make it a little less uncomfortable. While I am trying everything in the book to get better I thought I would share with you the cold remedies that I find work the best.
Drink Lots of Water
It is recommended to drink at least 8 cups of water on a good day but its more important now that you are sick. Drinking water will help flush out your system and keep you hydrated. Chances are you are sweating and using the washroom more than normal since your body is pushing the sickness out so its best to replenish that moisture.
Drink Tea with Honey and Lemon
Supplement your water intake with tea. A good herbal peppermint or ginseng tea is soothing on your throat but these benefits are increased when you add honey and lemon juice. Honey is a natural antibiotic and can act as a natural cough suppressant and lemon acts as an antiseptic.
Steam Inhalation with Essential Oils
Fill a bowl with boiling water and add 2-3 drops of essential oil. Place your head 12 inches from the bowl and drape a towel over your head and the bowl to trap the steam. Breath deeply for a couple minutes. Make sure to keep you eyes closed while steaming as essential oils can irritate your eyes. Tea tree oil is great for a cold while Eucalyptus will help with breathing difficulties. Mix them together or use them separately.
Make sure to research a particular essential oil before using it as some are not suited for steam inhalation and could cause other problems. Always use therapeutic grade essential oils.
Gargle with Salt Water
Sprinkle salt into a glass of warm water and stir to dissolve. Gargle 2-3 times a day or as needed. Its best to use un-iodized sea salt but normal table salt should work in a pinch. This will help to disinfect and sooth your sore throat and break up mucus.
While I am definitely no doctor, these simple recommendations that could help make you feel better while fighting with a cold. Always consult with a physician if symptoms are persistent or you are dealing with something more than the common cold.
Word of the day: Essential Oils
A natural oil obtained from a plant by distillation often by using stream.