Everybody has suffered from the cold at least once and knows how annoying it can be to experience the symptoms. Running nose, body ache, fiver, headaches etc… those are among the common symptoms.
Here are 16 home remedies that will help you get some relief and resume to your daily activities asap.
1. Hot Ginger Tea
This is one of the best teas to sip when you’re feeling stuffed up and yucky. The ginger is delicious, warming, a just a little spicy. Aromatic constituents such as capsaicin (found in chilies) or piperine (found in black pepper) are part of a family of compounds that provide numerous healing benefits. In ginger the compound of that family is called gingerol (original, right?), and it helps relieve congestion in a couple of ways. First, it lessens inflammation of mucous membranes that line the nasal passages and the sinus cavity, and this inflammation contributes greatly to the buildup of pressure and congestion. When the swelling goes down, mucous can flow out instead of getting all jammed up. Although slightly less scientific, there’s also the fact that its spiciness has enough of a kick that it can just perfectly loosen up built up phlegm. The tea itself is wonderful for you because you’re getting extra fluids, which your body needs desperately when fighting off an illness, and breathing in the steam vapors can also help loosen up any congestion you may be expecting. The below recipe is for an infusion, rather than a decoction (which is when you actively steep the herb in simmering water), but you can do either or.
You will need…
-6-8 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger root
-A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
-A squirt of lemon juice (optional)
-A dash of honey (optional)
-4 cups of freshly boiled water
-A glass jar (at least 1 quart)
Place the ginger in a 1 quart glass and sprinkle in some cinnamon if you are using it. Bring the water to a rolling boil, and then carefully pour it into the jar to cover the ginger. Steep for 30-40 minutes, and be sure to cover your jar-this is important because it keeps all that evaporating essential oil goodness right where it belongs-in your cup! Strain (use hot mitts or a towel as the jar may still be quite warm) and then pour yourself a piping fresh mug. You may find that you want to reheat the tea slightly. Add honey and lemon if you are using them, sip and savor, and be sure to breathe in the steam. Store the rest of the tea in the fridge for up to 24 hours, reheating and drinking 3 times throughout the day.
2. Essential Steam
One beautiful almost instant fix for a stuffy nose is to steam it out. This is a favorite remedy of mine and worth repeating in numerous remedy lists. You can glean the benefits of steam by breathing it in from a mug of hot tea, taking a hot shower, or filling a bowl with a hot water and adding an essential oil. The best essential oils to use for this are the strong ones like tea tree, peppermint, or eucalyptus (tea tree and eucalyptus being the best in my opinion.) The anti-bacterial/anti-viral properties of tea tree oil can be carried via the steam, which will help fight off any bug that you’re battling. Both tea tree and eucalyptus are, of course, rather strong smelling, which also helps dislodge congestion.
You will need…
-5-10 drops of eucalyptus, tea tree oil, or a combination
-A heatproof bowl
Put the essential oils in the bottom of the bowl and then pour in several cups of boiling water. Start by putting your face over the bowl at a comfortable distance-steam can do some damage if you aren’t careful. Eventually have your face directly about the bowl as close as comfortably possible. Drape the towel over your head to trap all that healing 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, adjusting the amount of essential oil to your preferences. Some people find that too much will make their eyes water, so start with less.
3. Go with a Classic Cure
I love old time home remedies-the ones that we don’t need to question on chemical level, picking apart why they work or why they don’t work. They simply are, just as they have been for generations, and just as they will be for years to come. One of these classic home remedies for colds is comprised of three familiar ingredients-garlic, lemon, and honey. You can combine them in more involved ways if you wish, but this recipe is about as simple as it gets. It’s particularly useful for a cold that is accompanied by a sore throat and a dry cough.
You will need…
-1 medium clove of garlic
-1 teaspoon of honey
Crush up the garlic clove and place it in a glass along with the juice from the lemon. Top it off with the honey (you can add more to taste if you like) and then top it off with warm water. Give it a stir, and then drink entirely. Repeat 2-3 times a day for the duration of your symptoms.
.……….15. You’re Golden
Goldenseal grows wild in the damp mountainous regions of North America, where the ground is covered in dead leaves that feed the rich soil it plants its roots in. Native American’s prized goldenseal, and would mix it with bear fat to use as insect repellant, or make it into a lotion of sorts for wounds or even sore eyes. An astringent and antibacterial herb, it is also wonderful at working on the mucous membranes, which are obviously adversely affected when it comes to the common cold. It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties are most likely contributed by its isoqinoline alkaloids (berbine*, canadine, and hydrastine.) In a very broad sense, the isoqinoline simply refers to the structural backbone of the alkaloids, which are nitrogen-based organic compounds found in the plant. Sadly, goldenseal has been extremely over-harvested, so do get yours from a sustainable reputable source.
*Berbine can stimulate contractions, so do not take goldenseal in any form if you are pregnant.
You will need…
-1 cup of fresh water
-2 teaspoons of dried goldenseal
-Honey or lemon to taste
Place the goldenseal in a mug and cover with fresh boiling water. Steep, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Stir in honey and lemon to taste, and drink 2-3 times daily.
16. Rub it Out
Acupressure is a wonderful way to relieve discomfort for a number of ailments, and colds are no exceptions. If you are experiencing sinus pressure or discomfort with your cold, there are three main pressure points that you can utilize to relieve the pressure and release congestion. Your sinus cavities are mucosa lined air filled pockets located within the bones of the face and skull. Each one opens into a corresponding nasal meatus (aka, nasal passage.) There is the superior meatus, middle meatus, and inferior meatus. When your sinuses fill up with mucous and become inflamed, not only is breathing obstructed, you will also have a face full of pressure and pain. By triggering the right pressure points, your can open up the blocked sinus cavities and open up your nasal passages, relieving pressure and releasing blocked congestion.
B2: B2 is on the bladder meridian, and will affect your frontal sinuses, which are located behind the brow ridges. This point itself is located in the indents of your upper eye sockets, on either side of the bridge of your nose where it meets the ridge of your eyebrows. Rest your index fingers alongside your nose with the tips in the indents, and gradually apply pressure, holding the points for 2-3 minutes. Towards the end, gradually lighten the pressure. Breathe deeply.
LI20: LI20, or large intestine 20, will open up and relieve the maxillary sinuses. The maxillary sinuses are the largest, and are typically what you think of when you think of sinus pressure. The point is located underneath your eyes, just beneath the cheekbones. You will find if you press up there will be a little indent that may or may not feel a little tender. A gentle pressure is all that is needed here. Hold the points for 2-3 minutes, gradually increasing the pressure, and lightning it at the end. Breathe deeply.
St3: St3, or stomach 3, also relieves the maxillary sinuses. The points are located just a little bit further out and a tad below LI20. You can apply pressure to St3 at the same time as LI20, which can sometimes have a greater effect. Also hold the points for 2-3 minutes, gradually increasing pressure and then decreasing it at the end. Breathe deeply.