Well Being

Cold Remedy Mega-Roundup: 30 Natural Remedies To Treat Or Cure A Cold

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1. Raw garlic. Garlic contains a natural compound called allicin that's released when garlic cells are damaged (via cutting, crushing, chewing, etc.) and has decongestant and anti-bacterial properties  Munch on a raw garlic clove or add chopped, fresh garlic to your food next time you've got a cold to experience one of the plant world's most potent natural remedies. Just make sure it's raw — allicin is heat sensitive, so cooked garlic won't be as good a cough and cold fighter.

2. Zinc. A comprehensive analysis of clinical trials on taking zinc concluded that it really does appear to be beneficial as a cold treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. There's also some evidence zinc and vitamin C together could be helpful for fighting colds.

3. Probiotics. Pop some probiotic supplements or eat probiotic rich foods when you're stressed or exposed to colds this winter. Probiotics can boost your immune response to flu strains, as well as counteract the negative effect of antibiotics. When you're sick, aim for at least one serving of probiotic-rich foods daily, or take a probiotic supplement that contains at least five strains.

4. Miso soup. Miso — a fermented rice, barley or soybean paste — is full of probiotics, which we just noted are good cold and flu fighters. Fermented foods like miso add to the “microbial flora” in your gut and help fight off bacteria. Try some miso noodle soup instead of chicken noodle next time you're feeling ill — same warm, soothing soup benefits, plus the added power of probiotics, garlic, ginger, vitamin B12 and immune-boosting zinc, manganese and copper.

photo-5-400x4005. Raw honey. Studies have shown raw honey to be more effective remedy than many over-the-counter cough medicines when it comes to healing throat aches and coughs. Add honey (raw honey, for the best results) to your hot tea or toast in the morning — just make sure you're using real honey. Most conventional grocery store honey is so ultra-filtered it doesn't contain any bee pollen, which is an important part of what gives honey its medicinal power.

5. Cold water. Drink up! A well-hydrated body is most well-equipped to ward off disease.

6. Hot water. An old but wise natural remedy. Hot liquid — soup, tea, plain hot water — can soothe sore throats and provide hydration, which is important.

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7. Turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, a polyphenol that has immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Add turmeric to your miso noodle soup, order some curry or try this turmeric milk from Remedy Quarterly.

8. Elderberry. “There has been a plethora of research on (black elderberry), mainly on its anti-viral and anti inflammatory activity,” said Holly Lucile, naturopathic doctor and author of Myth Defying with Dr. Holly. “I actually love this ingredient for prevention and to decrease (cold) duration and severity!” Elderberry might be hard to come by, but you could try these elderberry cough drops.

neti-pot9. Neti-Pots. Nasal irrigation tools like the Neti-Pot have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and other traditional medicines. Using a Neti-Pot or other nasal saline irrigation tool can relieve all sorts of cold, flu, sinus and allergy symptoms, including runny noses, post-nasal drip, sneezing, facial pressure and congestion (see more about Neti-Pots here).

10. Humidifiers. Dryness can make cold viruses supremely happy. With a humidifier, the added moisture in the air can help keep your nasal passages from feeling dried out and sore.

11. Herb and fruit sorbet. Curing colds has never been so delicious. Try this vegan lemon, honey & thyme sorbet sweetened with cold-fighting honey and packed with vitamin C heavy citrus.lemon-honey-sorbet

12. Extra pillows. Propping up your head with an extra pillow while you sleep can help nasal passages drain.

13. Vitamin C. Most evidence seems to show that vitamin C won't help curtail a cold that's in progress, but observational data has shown people with vitamin C-rich diets have shorter, more mild colds; vitamin C in combination with zinc also seems promising. Drink some orange juice or try this raw kale salad.

14. Not touching your face. If you don’t want to get sick, don’t touch your face!

15. Saunas. If you've got bronchitis or allergies that make breathing difficult, inhaling steam can help clear your passageways and soothe cold symptoms. Plus, hitting the sauna has a host of other health benefits.

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