My tried and true cold remedies
Well, the cold and flu season is certainly upon us. I don’t personally like taking over-the-counter medicines for colds, only because I don’t really find them to be very effective. Over the years, I have tried many, many home cold remedies. Here is a list of the ones that work best for me.
Giving yourself a drawn-on moustache won’t help your cold, but it might cheer you up somewhat!
- Garlic is a wonder food for treating colds and also for boosting your immune system. Somebody once suggested to me that I should take a single clove of garlic like a pill every day to help knock my cold on the head. I tried it just once and it gave me the worst heartburn I have ever had. Rather than taking the clove raw, I would add it to your food like it is going out of fashion. Garlic tastes great when added to soups, casseroles, pasta sauces and curries.
- Get as much sleep as you feel you need. I find that colds tend to knock you around a bit, and you often want to do very little else. Make sure that you listen to your body and get the rest that you need to recover.
- Aim to keep yourself as warm as possible, without going overboard. If you have a temperature, overheating yourself will only make you feel worse. Dress warmly and make sure that you have enough blankets on your bed, but don’t overdo it.
- Keep your fluid levels up. When your nose is running and you are sneezing all over the place, you are a lot more susceptible to dehydration. Drink plenty of water, juice and tea.
- Make yourself a hot citrus drink. I like to mix together the juice of one lime or half a lemon, two teaspoons of honey, half a teaspoon of powdered ginger or a quarter of a teaspoon of grated ginger and then pour hot water over it. It makes a lovely hot drink that will soothe a sore throat and help to clear your nose.
- Vicks Vapor rub is a lifesaver if you have a congested chest and nose. Apply vapor rub liberally to your chest and back, and then cover yourself with loose layers of clothing. This allows the vapors to reach your nose, and will help to break up any chest congestion.
- Tiger Balm feels gorgeous when rubbed on sore, achy muscles.
- If your cold has got you feeling as achy as if you had run a marathon, a soothing bath will help to loosen your muscles. Make sure that the water isn’t too hot and add a little tea tree oil, bicarbonate soda or Epsons Salts and soak for a while.
- Chilli is brilliant for colds. It is great for unblocking congested noses and boosting your immune system. Don’t go overboard though and steer clear of chilli if you have a sore throat.
- Ginger is another great herb for knocking your cold on the head. It’s especially nice for adding to soups and other hot drinks.
- It’s important to ensure that you are getting plenty of vitamins to give your body a fighting chance to get rid of the nasties. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and take soluble vitamin supplements.
- Although you might lose your appetite when you are ill, it’s very important that you continue eating regular, healthy meals to give your body the energy and nutrients that it needs to fight the illness. Rather than eating three big meals a day, try eating six small meals. This will stop you from feeling weighed down with food. Try eating light, soft foods like soup, fruit salad, yoghurt, porridge, casseroles or curries.
- Soup is a wonder-food when you are ill. I try to make myself a giant batch of either vegetable or chicken noodle soup and that will last for a couple of days. You can eat tinned soup if you must, but fresh soup really is the best for you. If you can’t manage to make it yourself, see if a friend will give you a hand.
- Make sure that you give your body the best possible chance to get better, by taking time out from your usual activities and getting plenty of rest. There is nothing wrong with taking a day off work or school to rest and recouperate. If you try to force yourself to continue with your daily activities, you will wind up feeling worse, you won’t perform as well, it will take longer for you to get better, and you are more likely to spread your cold germs to all your co-workers.
- One of my favorite things to do when I am sick is build myself a little bed on the couch, and watch a stack of my favorite movies. You can doze off whenever you need to, and I find that watching my favorite films really comforts me when I’m not feeling my best.
- When you are sick, it is extra important to pay attention to personal hygiene. Taking care to wash your hands regularly, keeping your clothes and bedding clean and taking regular showers will help prevent the spread of germs, so you are less likely to pass germs on to others, as well as reducing your exposure to further illness-causing germs.
- Avoid caffeine, as it increases your susceptibility to dehydration. Instead of coffee and soft drinks, drink water, fresh juice and herbal teas.
That’s all from me, but I would love to know if anybody else has any well-being tips for dealing with colds and flu.