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Soon, we’ll be out of winter, leaves will start growing back on all those skeletal trees, and the days will be getting longer and warmer. However, we’re not quite out of the woods yet! If that pesky cold has come back again, and you’re sick of taking over-the-counter medicines, it may be time for a different approach. Here are some tips for treating a cold the natural way.
Blow Your Nose Often
Your cold may be costing you a fortune in tissues, but it’s still important to blow your nose often, rather than sniffing that mucus back into your nose and retaining the germs that caused your cold in the first place! Just make sure you’re not blowing so hard and often that it causes an earache on top of your cold. Close one nostril and blow gently to clear the other. Try to wash your hands or use antibacterial gel after every time as well. If you’ve got an earache or clogged ears as a result of your cold, click here to watch a handy video on remedying it.
Gargle Salt Water
Although cough candy may taste nice, there’s a much simpler solution which gives some great relief to a sore throat. Dissolve about a teaspoon of salt in warm water, and gargle this to moisten your throat and bring on some temporary relief. Doing this about four times daily will speed up the healing process that’s happening in your throat naturally. Obviously, salty water isn’t the tastiest thing in the world. However, there are alternatives which you may find a little more bearable. A tea containing tannin will tighten the membranes in your throat, and help with the tickle you’re getting back there. Alternatively, you can use a thicker, more viscous solution made from honey and cider vinegar. Gargling a mixture of raspberry leaves, lemon juice, honey and warm water is another popular home remedy that can be very soothing. If you’re reading this for someone else, just remember that honey should never be given to a child less than one year old.
Drink Hot Liquids
The standard advice for any illness is to drink a lot of liquids (as opposed to drinking solids or gasses), but making sure they’re hot will help your cold along even faster. Hot teas and coffees will work to relieve any nasal congestion, prevent further dehydration, and soothe the inflamed membranes that line your throat and nasal passageways. If you want to keep this as healthy as possible, stick to green tea.
I saved the easiest until last! If there’s one good thing about a cold, it works as a pretty good excuse to take some time off, curl up under a blanket, and catch up on some TV. By resting when you come down with a cold or flu, it will help your body direct more of its energy stores towards the immune system, and curing your infection. Fighting an illness is very taxing on anyone’s body, so lie down and help yourself out!