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Winter is pretty synonymous with illness. There are a number of ideas why this happens, but generally doctors agree that illness is more common in winter due to:
- Strain on your body from trying to keep warm.
- People staying indoors more which makes illness easier to spread.
- Lowered body temperature, which may inhibit immune system strength.
Overall, being indoors so much is really not a good idea. Not only does it make a cold or flu pass around much easier, but generally in winter people don’t get enough sun to be healthy or remain active.
Traditional store-bought drugs are laden with chemicals and can cause unpleasant side effects. At worst, they don’t even work – and we’ve filled our bodies with chemicals.
Using home remedies for colds not only saves our bodies from the chemicals in traditional medicine, but they’re quite often much more effective.
Here are nine different ways you can cope with your cold this winter.
1. Clear Sinuses with Peppermint Oil Steam
Using plain steam is extremely effective on its own, but for added power add peppermint essential oil.
To do this, fill a pot with water and bring it to a bowl. You will want to be able to sit comfortably with the pot, so I recommend sitting at the dining room table or on a couch with a coffee table in front of you. Depending on how much water you have, add 1 or 2 drops of a high-quality peppermint oil. Place a towel over your head and around the pot, then inhale. You can do this for a few minutes. Generally, even the worst congestion will clear in just a few minutes.
2. Drink or Eat Raw Garlic
Make an effort to include plenty of garlic, especially raw garlic, into your diet during winter and when you have cold or flu symptoms. Click here for a super simple garlic honey recipe. Add cayenne pepper for an even more effective potion. If you don’t like honey you can also try this garlic tea recipe.
3. Soothe a Sore Throat by Gargling Salt Water
Most everyone does this, yes, but it’s worth repeating. This is probably one of the quickest ways to instantly soothe a sore throat with only two “ingredients.” You can use regular table salt, but a quality sea salt will be better. (As a bonus, gargling with salt is also beneficial for overall health and can even help stop a moderate toothache.)
4. Make Your Own Herbal Throat Lozenges
If you want a more powerful sore throat soother, make your own lozenges or cough drops. Store-bought cough drops usually work pretty well, but making your own allows you to skip nasty artificial ingredients and include what you see fit.
Here is a simple herbal throat lozenge recipe that is easy to make: Herbal Cough Drops.
5. Drink Ginger Tea to Help a Cough
Similarly to garlic, eating or drinking raw ginger really helps the immune system and is also wonderful for overall health. When it comes to dealing with sickness, ginger helps soothe the throat, helps with coughs and even can work as an expectorant.
If you’re dealing with a bad cough, try ginger tea before resorting to a cough medicine.
6. Have Some Honey Before Bed
Honey is an amazing food and should be eaten regularly by most people. It is especially soothing to the throat, which makes it ideal for when a cough makes it difficult to sleep. Honey in general is also perfect for helping you sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed.
7. Boost Your Gut Health with Probiotics
Bacteria isn’t always a bad thing. Good bacteria is all throughout our bodies and is required for optimal health. This is one reason why loading up on antibiotics is so harmful to our health. Antibiotics kill all bacteria, whether it is the good stuff or the bad stuff. If you’re taking antibiotics, it is extremely important to give probiotics back to your body. Taking probiotics is also important when you are sick to help your gut and body function better.
8. Take a Hot Bath with Epsom Salts and Essential Oils
Not only is a hot bath extremely relaxing but it also can be very helpful when you have a cold or the flu. First off, the hot water helps soothe an achy, sore body. Secondly, you can add things to your bath that will give it a real edge when it comes to helping with your cold.
When you aren’t feeling well, run a hot bath. Throw in a box of Epsom salts to help with your sore body and add some essential oils to help your breathing. Good choices for essential oils would be peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, lemon and lavender.
9. Make a Bowl of Chicken Soup
Chicken soup isn’t just emotionally comforting when you have a cold. A homemade bowl of chicken soup using minimal salt and packed with whole veggies can do wonders when you have a cold. Hot liquids are always beneficial, plus you’ll get an added boost from the nutrients and minerals in the soup.
Just because you get sick doesn’t mean you have to run to the doctor or medicine aisle at the local drugstore. The next time you start feeling off, try some of these natural remedies.
Do you have any natural home remedies you’ve discovered or had passed down to you? Please share them in the comment section below.