We’re coming into winter now and you know what that means! It’s time to bust out the old itchy knitted jumpers! No? It must be cold and flu season then! Yay sick days…. Hmm… maybe not.
I can pretty much guarantee that come change of seasons, I’ll get a cold. I’m always looking for a home remedy before I turn to antibiotics. There is one thing I always do as soon as I feel something coming on and that’s taking some olive leaf extract.
While for me it doesn’t stop it in its tracks, it does lessen the length and severity of the cold. I had a look online at some more home remedies and here are some I came across.
Echinacea is said to have antiviral and antibiotic effects as well as boosts the immune system, relieves pain and reduces inflammation. Like Olive leaf extract, Echinacea should be taken at the first signs of a cold or flu. I have tried Echinacea in a liquid form before and I thought the taste was pretty foul, so I didn’t take it again after that. Olive leaf extract does the same thing, but when mixed with water is a bit more palatable.
Gargling a mixture of water and salt is said to help anything from a tickle in the throat to a sore and swollen throat. It helps to disinfect the throat membranes or moisten a dry sore throat. While also not very tasty, it does help.
When going to bed with a stuffed nose or chesty cough, try sleeping with an extra pillow or elevating your head. I do this and found it really helps. Working in childcare, we do this for kids who come in with coughs and colds. It helps to keep sinuses and chests from “filling up”.
An old one but a good one is hot tea with lemon and honey. The warm tea helps to soothe a sore throat and warm you up when you have the chills. Honey and lemon are both great for soothing and disinfecting a sore throat. The mixture is pack full of antioxidants and helps to fight the virus. I love this when I’m sick, I find added extra lemon helps to numb my throat as well.
Garlic and ginger are also great. Garlic help to boost your immune system and ginger helps to tame nausea. These can be added to chicken soup which everyone loves when they’re sick. This to helps when suffering from a cold or flu. The salty broth helps to thin mucus and the chicken contains protein to boost your immunity and produce disease fighting antibodies.
Then there is the tried and tested, steam. I always feel better after a hot shower when I’m sick. Steam helps to shrink mucus membranes and encourages them to drain. When I have the chills, I’ve found a hot shower helps to relieve it.
So what doesn’t work? Antibiotics attack bacteria and colds are viruses, so these don’t help. The only reason you would take antibiotics for a cold is if it turns into an infection. You can take panadol or ibuprofen can help to provide short term relief for the symptoms of a cold and reduces a fever.
At the end of the day it’s best to try to avoid colds but maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle. This means regular exercise, healthy eating and maintaining decent hygiene, especially washing your hands!