Common colds during these cold winter months can significantly impair our ability to function and socialize. Not to mention that it’s difficult to sleep soundly with your nose clogged all night. And if you have kids or a pet, chances are they’d catch the virus and become ill as well.
Unfortunately, colds have no cure. There are a lot of pathogens that could cause common colds so finding a “miracle pill” to fight all of them sounds next to impossible. Sufferers have to experience discomfort, like a clogged or runny nose, watery eyes, dry throat and nasal passages, among other symptoms, until their bodies are strong enough to kick the viruses away.
Thankfully, there are a lot of foolproof ways to relieve said symptoms and boost your immune system to fight the micro-invaders. And you don’t have to go far－if you cook at home, your pantry is already stocked with these home remedies. Here are few of them:
When we were kids, our mom would always cook chicken soup for us every time we’re sick. It’s challenging to eat well if you are battling an illness, so she provides this yummy concoction to push us to eat regardless if we finish a bowl or not.
Turns out my mom (and probably yours too) has merits in giving chicken soup for colds; studies show that the hot stuff helps the movement of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that concentrates on battling infections. Soup gives them a fighting chance against the viruses causing your colds.
Aside from that, chicken soup is rich in vitamins and minerals that help boost your immune system, the barrier that protects you from foreign bio-invaders.
You don’t need expensive equipment for this; if you have a shower heater, just open the knob and stay in the bathroom until you inhale the steam. Or if you don’t have any, just boil some water, open the lid, then breathe in the vapors escaping from the pot.
Steam can help soothe your irritated nasal passages and throat by providing moisture. Have you noticed your mirror being foggy right after a shower? That’s what happens in your upper respiratory system when hot air goes through your nose.
Sneezing brings out moisture from your nasal passages, leaving them dry and itchy. Steam counteracts this effect by providing the moist environment your system needs. It also helps soothe clogged nose.
Scratchy throat is one of the tell-tale signs of colds. If left alone, it could lead to cough which is a gateway for other respiratory problems to occur. Water provides lubrication and moisture so that mucus can quickly clear out of the body. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water every day is a good start－you can even continue the habit even after your cold has subsided!
This root, when crushed and boiled into tea, provides the double whammy of steam and water benefits previously mentioned. It also helps in expelling the mucus out of the upper respiratory tract by opening the nasal passages.
Most colds are commonly caused by microorganisms like viruses and bacteria of different kinds. A “salty” environment, however, hinders their exponential growth at your nose and throat. It prevents the microbes from producing even more mucus and worsening the condition. (Want to know what too much salt can do to your health? See them here.)
It doesn’t matter how you use it－whether through gargling or by nasal irrigation－for as long as it goes through your sinuses. Either way, they flush the harmful microbes out of your system. Just make sure to use previously boiled water and a sterilized container to kill bacteria living in both substances.
Some experts agree that catching a cold is like your body telling you that it needs a time-out from all the hustle and bustle of life. After all, lack of rest and chronic stress weakens our immune system, making us susceptible to even the most “harmless” of diseases. Take a break, have a good sleep, and just make the most out of being sick by de-stressing. Your body will thank you for it. Here are ways on how to naturally improve your sleep.
Colds must not affect the quality of our lives. Try these remedies and enjoy your day with your loved ones－even in these cold winter months.