It’s officially fall and you know what that means. Your chances of getting a cold have just skyrocketed. Although there is no actual cure for the common cold, there are plenty of ways to stifle that sore throat, runny nose, and hoarse cough without having to spend a bunch of money at the pharmacy. Personally, when I get a cold I like to try out natural remedies first and only reach for the Tylenol or Dayquil as a last resort. As it so happens, I am battling my first cold of the fall season right now, and have been testing out a few different remedies to see if I can kill this cold without taking any medicine. So far so good, and I definitely give credit to this list of cheap and natural remedies below.
Take a hot shower – I always wondered why I always feel ten times better after taking a hot shower, and now I know why. According to Women’s Health Magazine “steam acts as a natural decongestant” by loosening the mucus in your nasal passage, enabling you to clear up that plugged nose with ease.
Gargle salted water – As gross as this sounds, gargling some warm water with a bit of salt dissolved in it does actually work to help temporarily alleviate a sore throat. I recommend chasing it with some orange juice or ginger ale to get rid of the salty taste afterwards.
Drink hot liquids – Everyone always says to drink plenty of hot liquids when you’re sick, but what does it actually do to help? WebMD explains that a nice cup of herbal tea can help with de-congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe “inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat”. If you don’t want to be drinking ginger mint tea for a week straight, a simple drink of hot water, lemon juice, and honey can go a long way when trying get rid of a sore throat.
Take zinc lozenges – Although lozenges aren't exactly natural, the zinc that’s in them certainly is. Lozenges that contain zinc acetate are known to reduce the duration of a cold by more than 40 percent. Not all lozenges contain this compound, so make sure to read the label before heading to the check out counter.
Consume lots of garlic and ginger – Garlic and ginger are known to be great immune system enhancers. Garlic contains antioxidants and antibodies to help fight that wicked cold virus, and ginger does the same as well as suppresses symptoms such as sore throat, fever, and chills. You can either integrate these two ingredients into your next meal, or if you are really brave you can steep some garlic cloves into a cup of hot water, add a bit of lemon and honey for taste, and drink yourself a nice cup of garlic tea.
Eat chicken soup – Not only is chicken soup good for the soul, since the 12th century it’s been used to help hinder the effects of the common cold. The hot temperature of the soup helps to loosen mucus and relieve inflammation as noted by Men’s Health, and the protein and nutrients in the ingredients help to strengthen your immune system. For the best results, make sure to eat organic chicken soup, or better yet make it from scratch at home.
Get lots of sleep – Not matter what you choose to do try to rid yourself of your nasty cold, there’s still no remedy like a good night’s sleep. Another way to increase your chances of easing congestion during sleep is to prop up your pillow so your head is slightly elevated instead of laying flat. The use of a humidifier might also be a good idea as it will help keep the air in your bedroom moist, thus making it easier to breathe and lessening your need to cough.
Bargainmoosers, what natural remedies do you use to get rid of a cold?
(Photo credit: A Girl With Tea)