Natural Home Remedies: Colds and Flu
It may be ‘just a cold,’ but it’s nothing to sneeze at. And the flu can make you feel downright drained. Fortunately, fast action on your part’including these simple home remedies for colds and flu’can mitigate the misery.
Is it a common cold or the flu? If your symptoms are above the neck’congestion, sore throat, sneezing, coughing’you probably have a cold. If you have all those symptoms plus a fever of 38.8ûC (102ûF) or more, headache, muscle aches, extreme fatigue, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, you’re more likely to have the flu.
1: Drink Up:
Get plenty of fluids. It helps break up your congestion, makes your throat moist, and keeps you from getting dehydrated.
Need ideas for something to drink? Try water, sports drinks, herbal teas, fruit drinks, or ginger ale.
2: Use Saline Spray or Salt-Water Rinse:
Both can help break up the congestion in your nose. If you go the rinsing route, try this recipe:
- Mix 3 teaspoons of iodide-free salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda.
- Place in an airtight container.
- Add 1 teaspoon of this mixture to 8 ounces of lukewarm boiled or distilled water.
3: Hot Ginger Tea:
This is one of the best teas to sip when you’re feeling stuffed up and yucky. The ginger is delicious, warming, a just a little spicy. Aromatic constituents such as capsaicin (found in chilies) or piperine (found in black pepper) are part of a family of compounds that provide numerous healing benefits. In ginger the compound of that family is called gingerol (original, right?), and it helps relieve congestion in a couple of ways.
4: Use Mentholated Salve:
Try a small dab under your nose. It opens up breathing passages.
Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.
5: Put Hot Packs on Your Sinuses
You can buy reusable ones at a drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 30 seconds in a microwave. Test the temperature first to make sure it’s right for you.
6: Make It Steamy:
You can loosen up your stuffy nose if you breathe in some steam. Hold your head over a pot of boiling water and breathe slowly through your nose. But be careful. Don’t let the heat burn your nose.
You can also get some relief with a humidifier in your bedroom. Also try to take in some moisture from a hot shower with the door closed.
7: Line up a caregiver:
A caregiver can’t lower your temperature or cure a sore throat, but “having someone to tuck you into bed and bring you fluids is very comforting,” says Blackwelder. If a friend or family member offers to help, even if it’s only to stop by and check in on you, count your blessings — and take them up on it.