7 Natural Remedies For A Cold
In the UAE it seems as if the flu season is all year round, with shared AC units the viruses can spread very easily, especially in school and office environments. I try to keep my immune system as strong as possible by taking probiotics and eating foods rich in Vitamin C, however when I do get sick I avoid prescription medicine at all costs. In this post I have put together my tried and tested remedies for a common cold.
1. Most of the headaches that I experience are caused by tension, so using peppermint essential oil and magnesium relieves it. When I have an actual migraine which lasts longer than 24 hours then the only thing that helps me is acupuncture.
Peppermint essential oil is very strong, so it is important to dilute it properly. I use one drop of peppermint oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of shea butter. Other carrier oils that can be used are coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil. I prefer shea butter, because it is solid at room temperature which makes it easier to apply. Click here for my Headache And Tension Relief Balm.
Taking magnesium citrate orally often helps to relieve my headache within a very short amount of time. I dissolve 500mg of magnesium in a cup of warm water and my headache usually goes away within half an hour. Another way to absorb magnesium and to relax the body’s muscles are epsom salt foot and full body baths. Epsom salt is sold at most pharmacies, Holland & Barrett, Abela and also on iHerb. For the full body bath I use around 500 grams of epsom salt for a full bath tub and stay in it for a minimum of 40 minutes. I like to keep the temperature between 37-42 degrees and add warm water whenever I feel the water getting cold. Before doing a foot bath I clean my feet from sweat and oils. I then use around 4-6 tablespoons of magnesium chloride in 5 liters of water.
2. Cough clears the throat and beathing passage of irritants and mucus by rapidly releasing air from the lungs. I make sure to drink a lot of warm thyme tea with fresh ginger pieces. I like to buy organic ginger from Peru which is sold at Mawasim.
3. Having a sore throat is usually something that comes with other symptoms, such as a runny nose, cough and fever. It is commonly caused by infections. Gargling with salt water helps to kill bacteria in the throat. I mix one cup of warm water with 1 tbsp of salt and stir it until all the salt is dissolved. For those who can not stand the taste of salt water I recommend gargling with sage tea. Having a steam bowl bath with chamomile tea also helps me soothe pain. I do not recommend this method for children as they might burn their face, a nebuliser might be a better alternative. Drinking warm tea with honey also soothes a sore throat, I highly recommend organic thyme and marshmallow root tea.
4. When I have a mild fever I do not use any remedies to bring it down. A fever occurs when the body’s temperature goes above 37-38 degrees and it is a way for the immune system to fight infections.
5. When I am sick I make sure to support my body as much as possible by eating anti inflammatory foods, such as beets, brokkoli, black beans, chia seeds, whole grains, nuts, leafy greens, turmeric and ginger. I avoid all foods that cause inflammation such as sugar, oil and fried foods, refined flour, dairy, processed foods and alcohol.
6. I believe that the immune system and good gut health are directly connected, so I make sure to consume a lot of prebiotic foods and probiotic supplements when I am sick. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that improve the digestive system.
7. Staying hydrated while being sick is incredibly important to help the body heal faster. I make sure to drink a lot of herbal teas, however there are many other ways to stay hydrated. I like home-made vegetable broth and soups, sparkling water with lemon, probiotic drinks like kombucha and water kefir. Another superfood is fresh coconut water which helps balancing electrolytes.
Especially while I was pregnant I made sure to be seen by my doctor whenever I was feeling sick. Most doctors I came across were very supportive of trying natural remedies before using any prescription medicine or antibiotics.