As the leaves begin to change and temperatures drop, our thoughts naturally turn to fall and the cold and flu season. While colds are actually a series of viruses without a medical cure, there are five stand-out home remedies that are sure to make your next cold a little easier to bear.
- Use the Good Kind of Bath Salts: Epsom salt is actually not made of salt at all. This wonder cure is made of magnesium sulfate and has a multitude of valuable uses from relieving constipation to making your tomatoes grow larger. Epsom salt has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain associated with muscle aches that are sometimes common with colds. Dissolve 2 cups of Epsom salt in a tub of hot water and soak for 12-15 minutes for the maximum effect.
- Chicken Soup: The old wives' tale about eating chicken soup when you are sick is not just a myth. In a study published in the official journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, it was found that vitamin-packed chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties and can actually inhibit the growth of upper respiratory viruses. So, eat up!
- Get Spicy: The chemical in chiles and hot peppers, known as capsaicin, has been proven to thin the consistency of mucus in the body. That is why your nose tends to run when you eat spicy food. Add your favorite hot sauce to chicken soup for a home remedy one-two knockout punch.
- Steam it Out: Not only does steam lubricate the throat and nasal passages, but if you add essential oils they can help reduce feelings of congestion. Pour 1 quart of very hot water into a heatproof bowl with 2 drops each of eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils. Place your head near the bowl and cover both your head and the bowl with a towel. Breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes.
- Tea Time: Tea is the ultimate way to combine home remedies. Combine your favorite non-caffeinated tea with 1/2 teaspoon of honey, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of cayenne pepper to both soothe your throat and ease congestion.
So, don’t suffer this season! Use your favorite or combine a few of these remedies to chase your blues and sniffles away faster.