With the change in season comes a change in the weather, temperature + sometimes your health. No matter how hard you try you inevitably end up with a cold at some point during the year. I’ve just had mine + it hit me pretty hard. After dosing up on all the usual natural remedies + experimenting with some new techniques I’ve compiled a list of alternative cures that I’ve found to be rather effective.
Many of you would’ve heard the old saying “catch a cold” which is not from going outside with wet hair or any of the other wives tales but from coming in contact with the virus either through the air (sneezing/breathing) or contact with a contaminated surface (keyboard, door handle, crockery etc). So to avoid coming in contact + catching a cold be sure to practise good hygiene- washing your hands + surfaces. It can take up to 2-3 days after exposure for symptoms to appear so maintain your vigilance! The best way to avoid a cold is to;
- Make sure you get plenty of sleep so you’re not tired
- Take time out to relax so you’re not stressed
- Keep fit through regular exercise
- Keep hydrated- loads of water + herbal tea
- Listen to your body- being sick is your bodies way of communicating something is not right + you need to take it easy.
However, if you do unfortunately succumb, then understanding your symptoms which vary according to the strain- from a scratchy or sore throat to sneezing, stuffy nose, watery eyes + mucus can help in deciding what remedies to apply. There are many remedies that can assist pre, during + after a cold from oregano, probiotics, cinnamon, garlic, lemon, ginger, honey to herbal tea + essential oils but here are some of the more unusual ones that I’ve experimented with.
Tea Tree Oil Steam
Clears the sinuses + kills bacteria- simply add a few drops to a bowl of boiling water, cover your head with a towel + inhale through the nose for 5-10minutes! Warning- it can be quite intense for the first couple of breaths but worth it for clearing the airways! Repeat as often as necessary.
Snorting Sodium Ascorbate (vitamin C powder)
Vitamin C has several benefits from producing extra white blood cells + thinning mucous to strengthening the immune system + controlling inflammation. If option 1 above doesn’t do the trick then to really kick your sinuses for touch resort to snorting sodium ascorbate. Warning- it can be unpleasant for a minute or two but from my experience it is highly effective! Just make sure you have the tissues on hand to clear you out! Pretty straight forward but lay a line on a clean surface + snort through the blocked or both nostrils.
Restores balance, strengthens immunity, relaxes + heals your body + mind. At the end of the day a cold will always run its course so instead of fighting it why not try to make yourself feel better by changing your state of mind. Taking time out to focus on your body + its suffering is a great way to ease pain- particularly congested sinuses + a head cold. Find a quiet, relaxing place + practise for 10-15minutes start by completing 3 deep belly breaths- filling the chest + then releasing before settling into a normal breathing pattern. Focus on the pain with every in-breath + release the pain with every out breath. (If you’re too congested to breath through your nose try completing suggestion 1 or 2 above so you have clear airways).
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant + anti-microbial therefore excellent in helping fight colds. This tea is a nice warm option if you’re feeling the cold as a result of having a cold- it’s creamy tasting + the frothy top makes it feel like a real latte (best to steer clear of any form of dairy when you’re congested).
- 2 cups of milk of choice (almond, pecan, coconut and dairy all work in this recipe)
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)
- Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
- Piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- First, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
- Then, Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
Citrus contains flavonoids + high doses of vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system + body’s white blood cells.
- 1/3 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 cm piece fresh turmeric
- 1 cm piece fresh ginger
- 1/2 orange, peeled
- 1/2 lime, peeled
- 1/4 grapefruit, peeled
- 1/4 lemon, peeled
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 1 cup ice
- Place all the ingredients in high speed blender and blend until smooth, around 1 minute.
Bone Broth with a Kick
Bone broth is extremely rich in minerals which are easily absorbed when fighting a cold.
Adding spices (chilli, cayenne +/or black pepper) helps release watery fluids in your mouth, throat, and lungs which assist in thinning respiratory mucus so it’s easier to clear.
- 2 kg of bones
- Enough water to cover the bones (3-4L)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 onion
- 2 large organic carrots (unpeeled) + chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- salt, pepper, and spices to taste (garlic, peppercorns, chilli, cayenne pepper etc.)
- Place bones in a large stockpot and cover with water. Add apple cider vinegar, veggies + spices. For the first 2-3 hours, skim any foamy layer that develops on the top and discard.
- For beef broth, simmer for up to 48 hours, for chicken broth, simmer for up to 24 hours, for fish broth, simmer for 8 hours (apply common sense with these cooking times, these are an indicator to extract all the goodness but a tasty broth can be produced after 4 hours).
- Allow to cool slightly and strain. Store in an airtight Mason jar or freeze until ready to use.
Disclaimer: the above information is based on my opinion through experimentation therefore not strictly scientific!