The common cold is something that everybody deals with throughout the year. For some, it’s just a quick two to three day speed bump on the road of life. For others, it can become an ordeal that may last for weeks. Regardless of the amount of time, the common cold has been wreaking havoc on humans for centuries. And to date, nobody has found a bulletproof cure for this little monster.
That is mainly because the common cold is attributed to a virus. There are actually over 200 known viral strains of the common cold. Viruses are tricky because they learn and mutate, making them nearly impossible to treat. When somebody catches a cold, the virus will attach itself to the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. The virus then hijacks the cells that reside in the mucous membranes and forces them to replicate more virus cells. The symptoms of the common cold (sneezing, coughing, sore throat, congestion and fatigue) are all just the defensive attack the immune system mounts when trying to fend off the cold.
If there is no ‘cure’ for the common cold, then how do we deal with it? Well, there are a lot of natural choices out there for fighting the common cold. Some are age-old, tried and true, while others are a little less utilized. We are going to examine three of the most widely known and frequently used ways to alleviate the common cold. Methods we all can use to hopefully bring some relief from the suffering.
1. Chicken Soup
Ever heard the saying “feed a cold, starve a fever”? Well this actually has some validity to it. When the body is fighting off an infection, there may be a fever involved. However, typically with most colds, this is not the case. When a cold occurs, the body needs nourishment to fight off the attack. This is why chicken soup is a great remedy for the common cold. Hot liquids and bland foods like chicken soup, will help keep the body hydrated and nourished. With proper nourishment, the body can return to a harmonious balance and the cold will diminish. And chicken soup is full of essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants known to speed up the healing process. Homemade organic chicken soup is the best option.
Ginger is an amazing plant with lots of healing properties. Ginger can be helpful when fighting off the common cold due to its antiviral, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. Eating raw ginger or adding it to tea several times a day, can greatly improve cold symptoms quickly. And to enhance the power of ginger, add some lemon and honey, both powerful herbs in their own right. The anti-inflammatory property in ginger makes it great to help relieve a sore throat. Ginger also helps the body sweat out the toxins associated with the common cold. It is recommended to keep ginger handy at all times of the year and use it as a preventive medicine, even when not feeling sick.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
This one seems like a no-brainer. But in today’s society, we really don’t take this as seriously as we should. When fighting off an illness, proper rest is pertinent. A number of studies have found sleep deprivation leads to poor immune function. Having good sleeping habits will not only help somebody recover from a cold, but it also helps prevent getting sick to begin with. The rest itself should be quality though, not restless. And this can sometimes be difficult with a cold. This is where a lot of people turn to over-the-counter cold medications that contain alcohol. Alcohol will induce sleep but it won’t allow for quality sleep (so try to steer clear of these if possible). Also take time off from the everyday grind when needed, which includes putting your work-out schedule temporarily on-hold!
Dealing with the common cold can be difficult; by incorporating these important habits, you may just be able to kick that cold to the curb. So give them a try the next time that nasty cold tries to take control!