Monday, March 14, 2011

Natural cold remedies

Colds and other illnesses are definitely still going strong in our area, and I've been wanting to share all season about some natural but effective remedies. I intended to write this post a long time ago (like in October--oops!), but better late than never, I suppose.

If you are interested in natural remedies, you should check out this very comprehensive post covering many ailments. I was particularly interested in the link to 5 simple remedies, and tried three of them this past winter: 1) Mixing eucalyptus essential oil with a little olive oil for a homemade version of Vick's, 2) Making hummus with fresh garlic to take advantage of the garlic's immune boosting properties, and 3) Chopping an onion. According to Stephanie, the fumes offer much of an onion's healing potential, and one night when I was really congested, I even tried her suggestion of placing a small bowl of chopped onion beside the bed. I'm not sure if it helped, but I was willing to try pretty much anything at that point! Another onion remedy is this homemade cough syrup which I plan to try sometime (though hopefully not soon!)

Hydration is very important in combating colds, and I know it sounds kind of gross but you need to keep your nasal passages moist to help avoid infections. To help with this, I tried a neti pot for the first time this year. (I got mine free through an on-line offer.) Yes, it's a bit strange, but it really is effective--this post offers helpful information for trying one. I also run the humidifier every night from late fall to early spring, and I use a saline solution most nights before bed.

For prevention, I'm also a big fan of Emergen-C. Whenever I feel a cold coming on, I drink 1-2 glasses each day. It may seem a little pricey when buying a box, but at 25-30 cents a serving, I consider that money well spent if we avoid doctor or prescription costs! In addition, when I have even a tinge of a sore throat, I use these throat drops, and I also gargle with salt water.

What are your tips for preventing and treating colds?

8 comments:

Jodi said...

I use prefense hand sanitizer. It doesn't dry out your hands like an alcohol based product would. I can't say if it actually works after several hand washings like it advertises, but I know that since my kids and I started using it once a day - no one has been sick! And we live up in Wisconsin where it is still cold/flu season! :)

http://www.prefense.com/

Katie said...

It's not late...just early for this year, right? =) Thanks for sharing all these tips! I haven't tried too many things, other than very frequent handwashing/sanitizer and taking multivitamins. I confess when I do have a cold, though, I'm quick to take an ibuprofen to just help me feel better! Think I'll bookmark this post for the fall.

p.s. Carrie ~ let me introduce my sis-in-law, Jodi, above to you! =)

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I'm a huge fan of Emegen-C too. In fact, I've been drinking it a lot lately, trying to kick the scratchy throat and runny nose that keeps trying to get me down! Maybe I'll try these other timely remedies too. Thanks, Carrie.

Hayley said...

When I feel a cold coming on, I start popping vitamin c and echinacea pills morning and night....that usually stops it before it gets worse. Great post, friend.

Debra said...

I am a big fan of gargling with salt water - it works for me most ot the time. I like Emergen-C, also. It seems to work. Lots of water, too.. One thing I do and am especially diligent about it in the winter is that when we come home the first thing we do is wash our hands with soap and water - that way any germs we bring an get washed away quickly.

Mom said...

Interesting! I can't imagine sleeping with an onion on my bedside table -- did it help? I keep hearing about neti pots, but haven't tried one. Do you like it? How does it work?

I also like Emergen-C and gargling with salt water -- those two things alone seem to ward off every cold that has threatened this winter.

Here's to continued good health!
Love, Mom

Susan said...

The Germans have a tea for everything, including colds. They use salt water nose sprays. And sore throat pain warm milk and honey. Gargling. A lot of tea, honey lemon. They have a throat drop called "Neoangin" basically means "pre strep". I don't know if the US lets this product in, because nobody would be on antibiotics anymore. But here is a website..
http://www.klosterfrau.com/index~uuid~1DD4D224AE4804B88B30B6D6D72DD154~prod_ids~401_402~p_group_id~94~s_group_ids~94.htm

It kicks the pants off of anything I have tried in the US.

JG and CK said...

Zicam has been effective for me, as well as the neti pot. I have a very adventurous friend who tried kombucha once. (It's like a fermented tea with lots of good stuff in it, but it smells like raw sewage. She convinced J to try it, and he said it tasted like raw sewage too). Unfortunately, she didn't really notice any benefits. Or maybe the awful taste just outweighed any . . .