It's the time of the year where everywhere you go someone is either coughing or sneezing in your general direction and no matter how hard you try to stay away from those who are feeling sick, it's nearly impossible. If you're starting to feel achey, congested, sluggish, cold and all around miserable, fear not! Rather than sit around and let the sinus congestion make you feel like your head is the size of watermelon, give these ideas a whirl! We swear by these simple steps you can take to prevent & relieve the symptoms of a cold. It's amazing what a difference some of these small things can make when it comes to feeling better.
First Things First
During 'Cold Season' it is important to take good care of your health before you even begin to feel the symptoms creeping in. As a preventative, you can take a tonic like Fire Cider or Four Thieves' Vinegar to keep your immune system strong and be sure your getting vitamins and minerals that your body needs by eating healthy meals. At the first sign of a cold, steer clear of alcohol, fried foods, sugar, and dairy as these will only exacerbate mucus build-up and congestion. Drink a lot of water and give your body plenty of rest. Try some Yin Chiao, a Chinese Medicine formula that will sort that cold out toot suite. Eat nutritious, warming foods (hooray for soup season!) and add warming spices like garlic, ginger and cayenne to meals. We have a killer garlic soup recipe on the blog and packets of Chinese Herbs for sale that can be added to any soup. If you're tired of drinking just plain old water, make some tea! These simple tweaks in diet and lifestyle will help you keep a cold at bay.
Sore Throat/ Dry Cough
If your throat is starting to feel sore, swollen and dry and you find yourself having dry coughing fits don't reach of the over-the-counter cherry flavored sludge! Instead, cut up some lemons and ginger and add them to hot water. Flavor with honey & sip this religiously for the next few days. Not only will the ginger warm your spirit, the honey will soothe your throat, the lemon will give you some vitamin C, and you'll be hydrating your body. *For a little added heat to your system, you can add a tiny pinch of cayenne* Drink a cup at least 3 times a day for a few days until symptoms dissipate. If your cough is more severe try supplementing this tasty tea with an all-natural cough syrup or some herbal cough-suppressant tea.
If you're feeling congested, try a steam. Steaming your face will open pores, loosen congestion and get things moving in your sinus cavity. First, add a touch of eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil to some steaming hot water. Then place a towel over your head to make a "tent" and hold your head over the steam at a safe distance as you inhale. Have a tissue on hand to blow your nose as the sinuses get relieved. Alternatively, you can place essential oils on a hot, wet washcloth and put it in the corner of your shower when you take a hot shower. This will not only make your shower smell and feel like a fancy spa's steam room, but it will also relieve you of congestion!
Beyond keeping your body hydrated and warm, sometimes it takes a little extra effort to beat the aches that can come with getting sick. Draw yourself a hot bath (or shower) and bundle up in blankets immediately afterward. If you can take a bath, add some Epsom salts to the water to help relieve tension. Adding some lavender essential oil or any other calming oil for added relaxation and scent is also recommended. You can also add tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint or rosemary oil if you are also battling congestion. If you don't have a bath tub, don't fret.
Fill a pot or tub that is big enough for your feet with hot water. Add Epsom salts and essential oils for a soothing foot bath. Although the bath is just for your feet, your whole body will feel the benefits.
After your bath (or shower or foot bath), dry off, keep warm, and snuggle up!