Has it hit your family yet this season? Cold symptoms that run you ragged and then move on to the next victim. Some combination of mucus, headache, sore throat, coughing…you know the drill.
We all have remedies we turn to. I want to share with you some of my family’s go-to remedies. I’ll bet a lot of us turn to some of the same things, but maybe you’ll find something you haven’t tried before.
This is kind of no-brainer, but something that people often don’t do. Is it an inflated sense of self importance that makes us think we are “too busy” to stay in bed or lay on the couch for a day? Whatever it is, we need to get over it and lay down. This isn’t just grandma’s wisdom, either. Did you know that your body makes more white blood cells while you are asleep. Cells that attack viruses and bacteria for you.
Extra fluids, especially hot beverages, are a benefit when you’re sick. Increasing your liquid intake can help to thin out the mucus secretions you’re experiencing. And the steam from your hot cup of tea or soup is especially efficient at helping to clear sinuses. Keep plenty of tissues around!
(3) Immune Boost
As soon as cold symptoms starts showing up in friends or family, we start taking Airborne. I prefer the original tablets, that you dissolve into a cup of water. Sipping on a hot cup is soothing. My husband and boys prefer the chewable tablets, though. So we keep both on hand. I like to stock up on Airborne at Costco, it’s the best value I’ve found, and we run out less often. When one of us comes down with cold symptoms, we up our dose to twice a day. Can I tell you…I swear by this stuff. It really seems to shorten whatever illness we’re dealing with. As an added immune boost (and to help with those throat tickles) I like Halls Vitamin C drops.
(4) Thieves Oil
We use essential oils for a variety of things in our home. Thieves Oil is a mixture of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils. The same blend is sold under other names from other companies. Wherever you buy it…buy it!! Let me tell you how we use it. Sometimes I will shake a few drops of the oil onto pillowcases to inhale overnight. I also will apply a drop or two to a folded up tissue and carry it with me to inhale throughout the day. The last time I spent the day on the couch resting from cold symptoms, I had my Thieves tissue laying on my chest to breathe in all day.
Another way to use it is to mix 10-15 drops in a roller bottle with a carrier oil (I use grapeseed oil). This allows us to roll it on without the oil burning our skin. (Applying some essential oils ‘neat’ can burn. Thieves is one of those). We roll it on our neck/chest area.
Some people advocate for taking Thieves oil internally. While I have taken it (a couple of drops in a capsule or in a cup of cinnamon tea) and do believe that it helps – I’m not a doctor and don’t want to recommend something that some feel is not safe. You can read more here and here and make your own decision.
Thieves, and other essential oils are also delightful in a bath or foot soak with some Epsom salts.
Did you know that garlic is a natural antibiotic? It’s also been shown effective in reducing the length of cold symptoms. My eldest will eat chopped garlic by the spoonful…but for the rest of us, here are a few tips on taking your garlic. First, start with fresh garlic. Powdered garlic does not have the healing properties of fresh. Crush or chop your garlic cloves for the most effectiveness. It’s also most potent raw, or close to raw. In other words, don’t cook it to death. 5-10 minutes of heating is said to be ok.
The way I like to take it is like this: I lightly butter a small piece of bread and cover the top with chopped garlic (2-3 cloves), and then a small amount of shredded mozzarella cheese. I pop this into my toaster oven and heat for a couple of minutes-just until the cheese melts. Sometimes I’ll make this without the cheese, kind of like a little garlic sandwich (unheated). But if I’ve got the cheese on hand, I’ll usually go that route.
When your sinuses are so plugged up that you can’t taste food anymore, or congestion has settled in your chest—a little steam is your best friend. A long hot shower can accomplish this. Or you can use a bowl of hot (not boiling) water, lean over, and drape a bath towel over your head to tent in the steam. Adding a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil can help too. (Just keep your eyes closed, some oils can burn…don’t ask how I know). I usually use a blend called, “Breathe Ease“, which is great for respiratory issues.
I grew up having to gargle warm salt water when I had sore throats. When I had my own kids, they refused. Absolutely refused. What I found that they would gargle was Listerine. I figured if it kills germs in your mouth, it should kill germs in your throat. Now that’s what we use across the board. It tastes better than salt water and is very effective. Whichever you use, gargling with these can kill germs and help your sore throat clear up more quickly.
I’d love to hear some remedies that have worked for your family…
What have you used to combat cold symptoms?