The temperatures have dropped and if you haven’t gotten sick yet, there is a chance you might soon. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cold and flu season can start as early as October and last as late as May. We tend to get colds more often during the winter months because we’re indoor more frequently with limited airflow and germs spreading more freely from one person to the next. The way to avoid getting sick is by taking good care of yourself, especially during the cold winter months, by protecting your immune system. That means plenty of rest, eating healthy, exercising regularly, washing your hands often and avoiding contact with those who are sick.
Sometimes those pesky germs find a way to work into our systems anyhow and leave us feeling under the weather. We all know the feeling, it starts with swollen lymph nodes and feeling a little tired, then before you know it, the cold has completely side swiped you with a sore throat, stuffy nose, sneezing, aches, pains and sinus pressure. Since colds are viral infections and cannot be cured, the best plan of action is to tackle your symptoms with rest and all natural remedies. There are plenty of all natural options out there to treat symptoms associated with the common cold instead of turning to over the counter medication.
Resting is the most important thing you can do when sick. When you’re sleeping, the immune system functions better—this allows the body to fight off infection more effectively. It can be difficult to sleep when you’re sick because you’re so uncomfortable. Homeostasis Labs Sleep Relief and Rescue Sleep by Nelson Bach are great options that can help the body rest and get much needed sleep naturally with no side effects.
During a cold, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, which help to keep mucus thin and increases the function of white blood cells. Drink plenty of water, soups with clear broth (think chicken noodle soup) and herbal teas. Avoid orange juice, which has high levels of sugar that can impair immune system functions, as well as alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas that will dehydrate you and only make colds worse. Gargling with warm salt water will also help alleviate throat pain while loosening mucus in the throat.
Vitamin C, Zinc and Echinacea can be used to maintain a healthy immune system, and if used during a cold can reduce the symptoms and the cold’s duration. Try Vidazorb® Super C, a chewable probiotic combined with OPC and Vitamin C that can enhance the immune system as well as balance the digestive system. These chewable tablets come in a tasty orange pineapple flavor and unlike other probiotics, don’t require refrigeration. Zycam Cold Remedy RapidMelts features zinc and is best used when taken at the first sign of a cold. Zycam also has a cold remedy that incorporates the herb Echinacea for an extra boost to the immune system.
To reduce nasal decongestion and inflammation, try a nasal wash like Nasopure, which soothes nasal passageways and also reduces coughing caused by postnasal drip. It can be used on a daily basis to keep the nose, sinuses and ears moisturized, clean and healthy year round. Just remember to follow the directions and only use the saline solution that comes with the product, never use tap water.
Colds thrive in dry conditions so keeping a humidifier in your room will help to keep the air full of moisture. Humidifiers will also help to keep dry skin moisturized. The dry, cracked, red skin on our noses caused by excessive nose blowing can also be treated with natural skincare products like Nourishea Original Body Crème. This body crème will keep skin moisturized with all natural Shea butter and a non-oily formula that leaves skin smooth and soft once again.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than a nice hot shower when you’re feeling sick to help relieve your symptoms and clear stuffy noses. Next time you take a shower when you have a cold, try incorporating aromatherapy to further soothe symptoms. Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that promotes overall wellness through inhaling or applying to skin essential oils from plants. Try California Baby’s Cold & Flu Survival Kit, for both kids and adults, which use Eucalyptus to ease congestion, aches and pains. This kit features a bubble bath, massage oil and spritzer.
These are our go-to remedies when we’re feeling under the weather, what are your favorites?