There are few things in life more frustrating than catching a cold. Not to mention those pesky aches and pains seem to hit right before a long-awaited vacation or all-too-important interview. Not cool! Having a cold is never convenient, but there are a lot of natural remedies to keep you from feeling miserable. Here are some of our favorites:
Steam It Out
An almost instant fix for a stuffy nose is the power of steam. You can glean the benefits of steam from filling a bowl with a few cups of hot water and adding an essential oil. The best oils to use are strong ones, like tea tree, peppermint, or eucalyptus. Tea tree features anti-bacterial/anti-viral properties while eucalyptus and peppermint help dislodge congestion.
Start by putting your face over the bowl at a comfortable distance. Eventually have your face directly above the bowl as close as is comfortable. Drape a towel over your head to trap the steam, and take deep breaths. Resurface as needed if you become too warm. Have some tissues handy to blow your nose after! Repeat 2-3 times daily as needed.
It’s no coincidence that doctors advise cold sufferers to drink plenty of fluids. Taking in extra beverages replaces fluids lost from fever and helps loosen mucus. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey are all great options. However, steer clear of alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated sodas, as they can make dehydration worse.
Try An Herbal Blend
One of our favorite herbal formulas for fighting the common cold is Jeannie Burgess’ Allergy and Lung Formula. This formula is a natural expectorant and decongestant that breaks up mucus from the lungs, sinuses, and digestive tract and helps the body expel it. It contains the following powerful ingredients:
Fenugreek: A mucilaginous herb that is excellent to use for conditions involving excess mucus or phlegm, such as chronic coughs and bronchitis.
Fennel: An aromatic herb that stimulates the lungs to eliminate phlegm.
Mullein: Mucin and saponins in the leaves act as an expectorant to loosen mucus and move it out of the body.
Boneset: An old Native American remedy for fevers with chills and aching bones. It has aromatic, astringent and bitter qualities.
Horseradish: A pungent, heating aromatic that increases blood flow to the extremities and promotes sweating which is beneficial against colds, flu and to break fevers.