9 Natural Cold Remedies for Surviving Winter

cold-flu1Already this year, I have heard of people with colds, flu, bronchitis, and the like.  These things are part and parcel of the winter season. Sneezing, coughing, lack of enough hand washing, and a diet weak in nutrients all help the pesky germs to cause trouble.  Stress, a lowered immunity, and sleep deprivation are further ways to make it easier to catch some unwanted “bug.”

It is well documented that over-the-counter do not help much in the reducing of symptoms.  Additionally, more chemicals in the body may be harming it in other ways, so the overall good effect of medications is, at best, slight.

It’s good to remember that colds are a way for a body which is ridden with toxins, to clear itself. It does this with all the mucous secretions, sneezing, and coughing. These are ways that the body tries to right its equilibrium –bring it back to normal. We are wise to try to help it in this process, or even better, maintain a healthy enough immune system to withstand all the many germs waiting to set things off for us.

Colds are annoying, for sure, and we naturally want to be rid of them as soon as possible. It makes sense to try to avoid getting one in the first place, or, if you do get a cold, have some good, non-harmful assists in reducing symptoms and helping it to exit your body quickly.

9 Ways to Avoid Colds, or to Ease and Shorten Their Discomfort if You Get One.

1. Oregano Oil. A report from the USDA claims that oregano oil helps to overcome severe viral and bacterial infections. It is available as an essential oil and in capsules.  Ingestion of oregano oil should be limited, so give it up once symptoms have eased.

2. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. The health benefits of RACV are well known and publicized. For colds, drinking a little in some water helps to drain sinuses once a cold has set in.  Before the fact, it a good germ fighter and digestion aid. See more about this “good-for-everything” substance here.

3. Vitamin and Mineral Supplements. Vitamin C and zinc increase respiratory protection and immune system support. These two things in combination have been reported to reduce both the severity and duration of cold symptoms. Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, leafy greens, and peppers will help. Cashews, chickpeas, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are good sources of zinc. Dark leafy greens, good in very many ways, are also the best things to keep your lungs healthy.

4. Steam. You can thin mucous membranes by making yourself a steam bath.  Boil a pot of water and then put a towel over your head. Lean over to capture to capture the stem. Breathe deeply to inhale the steam into your lungs. Adding herbs like eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme, or rosemary to the pot can aid in the decongesting. Also, even a hot shower can help here.

5. Avoid phlegm-forming foods. Dairy products are the worst here, but refined -carbohydrates like white sugar and flour, bread, and other gluten foods will slow the detoxing process that your body is trying to do.

6. Slow down and get some probably much-needed rest. The rest will allow your body to take some strain off the immune system heal itself.  It has a harder time doing that if you continue a fast-paced, hard-driving lifestyle.

7. Wash up. Those of us who have worked in health care facilities and offices hear this one often. Washing your hands often with warm soapy water for 20-30 seconds helps to curb the spread of germs.

8. Exercise. Regular moderate exercise helps to maintain a healthy immune system. Light exercise, if you have a cold, will help to clear out the respiratory system.

9. Homemade Elixers. Try a tea using lemon, ginger, raw honey, raw apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper. It is warming, soothing, and detoxifying.

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