Got a stuffy nose, sore throat or aching head?
Sounds like you might have a cold. Over-the-counter medicines abound at your local pharmacy, but they’re not always the answer. If you’re looking for a more old-fashioned approach, take heart”there are plenty of natural remedies that can ease your cold symptoms.
1. Ginger Tea
Ginger is considered one of the best herbal remedies in both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine”it helps ward off colds, warms up the body and relieves nausea and fever. To make tea, add one teaspoon of grated gingerroot or ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger to boiling water, and let it steep for five minutes.
If this sounds like too much work, you can also buy sachets of ginger tea at most grocery stores. This tea tastes great on its own, but you an also add in a spoonful of honey to soothe a sore throat.
2. Steam Inhalation
Steam inhalation can help loosen mucus and clear your throat, nose and bronchial tubes. Fill a saucepan with water, add a spoonful or two of dried chamomile or eucalyptus leaves, and then bring it to a boil. Remove it from the heat and breathe in the steam for about ten minutes. You can drape a towel over your head to keep the steam in, just be careful not to get too close”if the steam is very hot, you could burn yourself.
This remedy is also very good for your skin and will make your home smell great!
3. Herbal Baths
Like steam inhalation, bathing in fragrant herbs can clear mucus and help you breathe more easily. Fill the tub with hot water and add a few spoonfuls of dried chamomile, rosemary or lavender leaves. Breathing in the steam from the bath will soothe your nose and throat, as well as relax you and help you rest (which is very important when you are sick).
Sipping a cup of chamomile tea while in the bath can enhance the effects. Soak for at least fifteen minutes, adding more hot water as necessary.
There is some evidence that the herb Echinacea can reduce cold symptoms and help you recover faster. You can take Echinacea in a tablet or capsule form, or use the powdered extract to make a tea. Echinacea seems to be especially effective for cold symptoms such as coughing, headache, lethargy and aching limbs.
5. Mustard Foot Bath
Foot baths are an excellent way to warm a chilled body and relieve cold symptoms such as headaches and chills. Add several tablespoonfuls of dried mustard to a large pot of boiling water and boil for about ten minutes. Let it cool to the point where you can pour it into a basin and soak your feet comfortably.
Dried mustard has been shown to relieve aches and pains, alleviate tension and encourage the elimination of toxins.