Feeling under the weather? Try these 5 natural tips to fight a cold and stay healthy this winter…
While we’re all currently feeling paranoid about COVID-19, the common cold is also a type of coronavirus, and it’s especially prevalent this time of year. A cold can hit us at any moment – the weather doesn’t have to be bad and we don’t have to be walking in the cold without a coat on. Just like other forms of coronavirus, we most commonly catch a cold from viruses lingering in the air in the vicinity of other people who are infected.
There is no cure for the common cold (or other coronaviruses), but if you feel yourself coming down with one, there are some natural ways to help fight it off quickly. These methods may also work for other viruses as well, so if you start feeling the sniffles, use these methods to go on the defense immediately and this may help shorten the duration and/or severity of whatever illness you are facing.
1. Take Vitamin C
Some people come down with a cold more often than others, and this can often be due to a lack of Vitamin C in the diet. When you are coming down with a cold, it becomes more important than ever to make sure your immune system is as strong as it can be, and getting enough Vitamin C is an important part of this. The best source of Vitamin C is from natural, whole-food sources, such as fresh orange juice which is not from concentrate, as well as other citrus fruits and red peppers.
However, these food sources may not provide as much of this important vitamin as your body needs when facing an invasion by pathogens. If you feel yourself coming down with a cold, it is important to take supplemental Vitamin C as soon as possible, and in a high enough dose to help your body fight off the invaders. (This site recommends 1,000-2,000mg every 2-3 hours when you first feel like you’re getting sick.) Many experts recommend taking Vitamin C to bowel tolerance: if your stools become loose, cut down on your dosage. Make sure to drink plenty of water with each dose.
2. Gargle with Warm Salt Water
Gargling with warm salt water not only helps to soothe a sore throat, but it can also help to kill and wash away germs that may be hiding out in your throat.
Bring boiling water to a tolerable warmth for drinking (you can add a little bit of cold water to the hot water if you don’t want to wait too long for it to cool down) and add around half a teaspoon of salt to a cup. Fill with the warm water, and stir well to dissolve. Gargle with the salt water, one mouthful at a time, for about 20-30 seconds, spitting out the water when finished, until you finish the whole cup. (Do not swallow the salt water!) Do this two or three times per day when you first begin to feel symptoms of a cold coming on.
3. Take a Hot Bath
A hot bath or shower is a quick way to feel a little bit better and help your body on its way to recovery. Raising your body temperature can help to fight off germs by creating the effect of a fever in your body. If you want to give yourself maximum benefit from a hot bath, add some bath salts or a few drops of essential oils. Oils such as peppermint or eucalyptus can also help to clear the sinuses. A hot shower may help as well, but a bath is more relaxing and better at elevating your body temperature.
Once you finish your hot shower or bath, immediately wrap up very warmly in several layers to avoid getting chilled. You may also wish to wrap your neck with a flannel or scarf, which some believe is helpful at combatting viruses.
4. Eat Hot Soup
You can either make soup or if you’re not feeling like cooking anything, take the easy route and get a few cans of soup from the store. Many of the ingredients which are found in soups, such as chicken, vegetables, lentils, and spices are anti-inflammatories and may help to combat the unwanted symptoms of a common cold. Consuming hot liquids also helps to raise your body temperature to aid its efforts at fighting the infection, and can provide your body with extra hydration.
5. Drink Hot Tea
Like the previous tip, drinking hot tea can help to warm the body and provide support for your immune system. There are many types of herbs that work well in teas and may be very helpful in soothing the symptoms of cold and flu, and some may even help to speed recovery.