Natural Treatments for Winter Colds
By Jessica, November 15, 2012
Whether it’s a mild dose that you’d prefer to treat naturally or severe symptoms that aren’t retreating with over-the-counter medications – these natural tips for alleviating winter colds and flu could be just what you need.
It may seem obvious, but staying hydrated is essential for flushing unwanted toxins from your system. Drinking plenty of water can help alleviate symptoms such as headaches, and is especially important if suffering from an upset stomach or excessive sweating from a fever. Hot fluids are great if you’ve got the chills, but stay away from sugar-loaded soft drinks to avoid the inevitable crash after drinking them.
Boost Vitamin Intake
While there is no direct evidence that taking certain supplements can prevent or treat colds and flu, some studies have suggested that they can reduce the lifespan of an infection. Vitamin C and Echinacea are both said to help fight off the sniffles, so although you can’t be guaranteed they’ll help, they certainly won’t do any harm.
Wash your Hands
Washing your hands doesn’t just prevent the spread of infection, it can also help shorten your cold. Coughing, sneezing and leaving used tissues lying around can allow further bacteria to breed and delay your recovery. Wash and sanitise your hands regularly and avoid sharing or re-using cutlery, glasses, hand towels or any other objects you’ve been in close contact with.
This is exactly what it sounds like: a rinsing of the nasal passages with saline solution. Many swear by this practice in easing congestion, and there are a number of methods you can try. The traditional approach, which has Ayurvedic roots, is to pour the solution into one nostril and allow it to run back out the other. There are a number of guides to doing this online, but if it’s not for you then try a nasal spray or simply inhaling steam from a bowl of boiling water instead.
Take a Bath
Not only will this ease aches and pains, the steam of a hot bath can offer much needed relief for your sinuses. Try adding a few drops of essential oils for added benefits – lavender is great for relaxing before bed, peppermint and eucalyptus can help refresh and ease congestion, while rosemary and black pepper are said to help with sore muscles.
You may be tempted to battle through and continue on with your day, but overdoing it will simply prolong the feelings of weariness and fatigue. What’s more, you could go on to infect everyone else at the office. Take a day to wrap up warm in bed and sleep off the worst of the infection, you’ll feel much better much sooner.