At one time or another, you’re probably going to get sick. Almost everyone does. Catching a cold or the flu can put you out of commission for days, maybe even longer. It’s unpleasant. The aches and pains and generally miserable feeling can leave you wishing for an instant cure. Although there’s no way to ensure you won’t get sick, there are ways to help you deal with the symptoms and affects of a cold or the flu. The following are a few natural cold and flu remedies....
Even though it sounds simple, one of the best ways to help alleviate the affects of a cold or the flu is to get plenty of rest. Because the illness taxes the body’s ability to fight off the disease, it needs your help and cooperation to perform efficiently. That means you should rest as much as possible and allow your body to direct its energy toward the cause of the discomfort. The more rest you get, especially when you first begin to feel the effects of a cold or the flu, the faster your recovery time will be.
Consume Hot Drinks
Drinking warm or hot liquids, especially certain kinds of tea, can help open up the nasal passages and allow you to breathe easier. Chamomile tea seems to be especially effective as well as other types of tea, such as goldenseal tea. Some say the main effect that hot drinks have on cold or flu symptoms is that the vapors from the warm liquid are what actually opens up the nasal passages--some people say that’s why chicken soup is recommended and seems to work.
Drink Plenty of Liquids
We’ve all heard the commercials that say drink plenty of liquids to help alleviate cold and flu symptoms. That’s an oft repeated phrase because it works. While your body tries to deal with the affects of a cold or the flu, it can become dehydrated. Drinking liquids will help replenish that fluid loss and help the body fight the disease. Although some liquids are better than others--orange juice is a good choice--simply drinking a lot of water can prove beneficial.
Making sure the body has plenty of vitamin C can also help fight the affects of a cold or the flu. It will strengthen the body and thereby give it energy for the battle. Vitamin C is available in fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, kiwifruit, papaya, red bell peppers, guava, and broccoli. If you don’t have any of these immediately available you can get vitamin C supplemental tablets over-the-counter at most any store that sells vitamins.
Although it isn’t accepted by all facets of the medical community, Echinacea (a plant usually referred to as a purple coneflower) has its backers as a natural remedy for colds and the flu. Advocates of Echinacea as a medicine insist it helps the body’s immune system fight disease. Due to the fact that studies--especially the affects of long-term usage--are incomplete, using Echinacea should only be done under a doctor’s care.
Hot or Cold Packs
Applying hot or cold packs around your sinuses may help open them up. It really doesn’t matter whether the pack is cold or hot, the affect is the same. Moisten a wash cloth under a stream of cold water and place it along your sinuses, or warm the cloth in a microwave and do the same thing--make sure you test the temperature of the cloth before applying it so it won’t burn your skin.
Elevate Your Head
The object in fighting a cold or the flu is to keep the nasal passages open, thereby allowing the free flow of air so you can breathe more easily. Keeping your head elevated while you’re resting is one way to do that. Instead of using one pillow, try placing a second pillow under your head while you’re resting or trying to sleep. Since this is probably an unnatural position for you, adjusting the pillows to form a more natural slope will increase your comfort level.
Although some people are put off simply by the smell, garlic is used by people in many different cultures as a form of medical treatment. They believe it contains antibacterial and antifungal agents that help alleviate the symptoms of a cold. Raw garlic is considered to be the most effective method of its use, but you can also buy garlic pills.
Guest post from Bailey Harris.