Achy and shivery, you can feel the tentacles of that sneaky rhinovirus coming on. Let's face it, the onset of the common cold and/or flu is a huge pain and it can last for weeks if you don't take care of yourself properly.
Voxie has put together some natural options on how to fight off illness before it takes over your body and robs you of a day, or days, of wellness. Keep reading to see what cold remedies you can whip up at home.
Chicken soup may not be a cure-all, but it’s a great choice when you’re sick. A good warm chicken soup can help slow the movement of neutrophils in your body. Neutrophils are a common type of white blood cell. They help protect your body from infection. When they’re moving slowly, they stay more concentrated in the areas of your body that require the most healing. Chicken soup is effective for reducing the symptoms of upper respiratory infections in particular.
Honey has a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain. Honey is an effective cough suppressant, too. In one study, researchers found that giving children 10 grams of honey at bedtime reduced the severity of their cough symptoms. The children reportedly slept more soundly, which also helps reduce cold symptoms.
Native Americans have used the herb and root of the echinacea plant to treat infections for more than 400 years. Its active ingredients include flavonoids, chemicals that have many therapeutic effects on the body. For example, flavonoids can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. Taking echinacea may lower your risk of developing the common cold by more than 50 percent. It may also reduce the length of a cold.
Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria and yeast that are found in your body, some foods, and supplements. They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy, and probiotics may reduce your chance of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection. For a delicious and nutritious source of helpful bacteria, include probiotic yogurt in your diet. Besides its potential benefits for your immune system, yogurt is a healthy snack that provides plenty of calcium.
Garlic contains the compound allicin, which may have antimicrobial properties. Adding a garlic supplement to your diet might reduce the severity of cold symptoms. It might even help you avoid getting sick in the first place. More research needs to be done on the potential cold-fighting benefits of garlic. In the meantime, adding more garlic to your diet probably wouldn't hurt.
The health benefits of ginger root have been touted for centuries, but now we have scientific proof of its curative properties. A few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water may help soothe a cough or sore throat. Research suggests that it can also ward off the feelings of nausea that so often accompany the flu and common cold.
Vitamin C plays an important role in your body and has many health benefits. Along with limes, oranges, grapefruits, leafy greens, and other fruits and vegetables, lemons are a good source of vitamin C. Adding fresh lemon juice to hot tea with honey may reduce phlegm when you’re sick. While these drinks may not clear up your cold entirely, they can help you get the vitamin C that your immune system needs. Getting enough vitamin C can relieve upper respiratory tract infections and other illnesses.
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Remember, you are most likely not a doctor, and neither are we. If you are feeling ill, consider reaching out to your family doctor or nurse for real medical advice. Sometimes you need a medical intervention! We want you to stay healthy!
Get To Know The Author...
Tara O'Doherty is Co-Founder and CEO of voxie. Tara is a global award-winning strategist, marketer, designer, author, speaker and educator who lives in Toronto, Canada with her two fat dogs. She is best known for her SickKids VS digital work which resulted in numerous global awards and helped secure over 700 million dollars in donations for the hospital. She is also the former co-Founder and CPO of JADEO and ex-VP of Experience Strategy at Cossette Communications.