Fighting off the sniffles, a cough or sore throat? You’re not alone.
The stress hangover from the Christmas holiday, combined with having just spent a ton of time in close quarters with family and friends, creates the perfect platform for catching a bug. It’s really no wonder cold season tends to peak around this time of year.
Try these drug-free home remedies to get you back on your feet and feeling better fast.
1. Soothe your sore throat:
When I was a kid I suffered with sore throats all the time and my mother always had me gargle with warm salt water. Well it turns out mom was on to something. Experts agree that a salt water gargle is great for an aching throat. The warm water soothes your throat pain while the salt draws fluid out of throat tissues flushing away the virus, and creating a salty barrier against the bugs that are making you feel punk in the first place.
Boost the effectiveness of your salt water gargle with ginger. Pour around two cups of boiling water over about a tablespoon or so of freshly peeled and chopped ginger and steep for several minutes. When the water has cooled down but is still warm strain out the ginger and mix in a teaspoon of salt, stirring to dissolve. Gargle with the mixture for at least 30 seconds and then spit it out. The ginger is both a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial so it helps reduce swelling and pain while killing off bacteria.
2. Calm your cough:
There’s a reason why honey can be found in traditional healer’s medicine bags the world over. It’s an effective natural healer. And using honey to calm a nagging cough couldn’t be easier. Simply combine around one quarter cup of raw honey with 6 tablespoons of warm water and swallow a spoonful or two. The warm water soothes your throat as the honey goes to work reducing inflammation and fighting off illness causing bacteria and viruses to help you heal faster.
Bump up the power in your homemade cough suppressant by replacing the water with lemon juice and coconut oil. Both lemon juice and coconut oil have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and coconut oil also helps soothe your throat. Combine a quarter cup of raw honey with three tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and two tablespoons of coconut oil in a small sauce pan over a low heat. When thoroughly mixed remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. While still liquid swallow a tablespoon or two to drive away your cough. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Simply reheat before using.
3. Clear away congestion:
Breathing in steam first thing in the morning and right before bed is a great way to loosen up mucus and phlegm to help you breathe easier. Boil some water in a pot or kettle and carefully pour it into a heat-safe bowl. Lean over the bowl and drape a towel over your head and the bowl to trap the rising steam. Continue to breathe in the steam for five to 10 minutes.
To get more out of your steam bowl try stirring in some fresh or dried soothing herbs. Thyme is a natural expectorant and can help loosen up phlegm. Rosemary has antibacterial properties and can help relieve cough and congestion. Peppermint helps clear nasal passages, thin mucus and loosen up phlegm. Lavender can help reduce inflammation and relax bronchial passages and eucalyptus can help relieve nasal congestion.