Colder temperatures bring autumn foliage, fall leaves, and — best of all — the flu season. Before you find yourself grabbing for those tissues and over-the-counter cold medicines, however, try these natural remedies to keep a cough and cold at bay.
How to Combat the Cold Season Naturally
When the outside temperature drops, so does the humidity levels in your house. Although our hair might love the dry air, our ears, nose, and throats aren’t always so happy. Adding a vaporizer or humidifier to your home or office will help add moisture back into the air and the keep the congestion days away.
Viruses like the cold and flu can spread easily in dry air. Higher humidity levels allow for the moisturized air to attach to the virus and weigh it down so that you can sweep it up instead of breathe it in. If you already have contracted a cold or the flu this season, dry air will force your mucus to become thick and nasal passages to become congested. Higher humidity levels will moisten your nasal passages, loosen impacted mucus, and improve your recovery.
Hydration is always an important element to keeping your health in tip-top shape. Water, 100% fruit juice, and soup can be your trusted allies when you want to defend and improve your immune system. As family, friends, and coworkers start to develop runny noses around you, start steering clear of alcohol and caffeine drinks as they lead to dehydration and act as a diuretic.
If you do start feeling cold or flu symptoms, your body will lose fluids making the mucus that you dread and blow out. Over-the-counter medications will work on drying up your runny nose, but it will also dehydrate your entire body. Instead of losing more water, drink plenty of liquids and supply your body with the hydration it needs to kick this cold.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A home remedy that you can find in your grandma's’ cupboard, apple cider vinegar (ACV), works to suppress your sore throat and clear your stuffy nose. It contains a high concentration of vitamin C, fiber, and acid, that have been known to boost your immunity, loosen congestion, and thin out the mucus in your throat.
Drink it straight or mellow it out with eight ounces of water and you will start to feel the relief.
Raw Honey with a Squeeze of Lemon
Warm drinks are the perfect night cap on a chilly night. Boil some water and add a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon. The hot liquid will soothe a sore or scratchy throat, while the honey will coat your throat and the lemon will cut down nasal congestion. Local raw honey especially is best known for its decongestant properties, ability to soothe a cough, and high antioxidant levels — which boost your immune system and kick your energy levels up. Sip away and let the concoction simmer your symptoms.
Mary Poppins might have said a “teaspoon of sugar” helps, but maybe she meant baking soda? Since the early days of medicine, gargling a teaspoon of baking soda and salt in a full glass of warm filtered water has worked to soothe a sore or ticking throat. While the baking soda works to kill germs, the salt breaks up phlegm that might be contributing to the irritation in the throat.
We do have seasons of cold and flu inclines. But, illness prevention is not seasonal. Our daily habits can make or break the prevention of a cold or flu and minimize recuperation times if the bug does hit. Exercising, eating a balanced diet, and washing your hands are the best things you can do all year round to boost your health and wellness.