Natural Cold Remedies

tea

The leaves are changing, the kids are back to school, and the weather is growing colder.  I LOVE fall.  But I am also stuck with one of fall’s less appealing gifts: a cold.

I’m grateful that I rarely seem to get colds anymore, usually only one a year and usually pretty short and easy.  But it’s taken a couple years of trial and error to sort through the various natural cold remedies and find what works for me. I am not a fan of feeling crappy, so just toughing it out is not my kind of plan.  I want to feel better ASAP, but also support my immune system and long term health. I’m happy to say I’ve found some great solutions that get me quick and lasting relief- without resorting to my old stand-by of Advil and decongestant.

And I got to thinking maybe some of you (or your loved ones) might be stuck with a cold looking for some relief as well.  Here’s what’s been working well for me lately:

  1. Sinus congestion? Try Yin Chiao. It’s a blend of herbs used in Chinese herbalism. My osteopath recommended it when I told her I tend to have a lot of sinus congestion and headaches during my colds. It keeps me breathing easy through the duration of the cold, with minimal to no headaches.
  2. Coughing and Chest Congestion? My husband tends to spend most of his colds coughing up a lung (at least that’s how it sounds.)  MY lovely osteopath helped again by recommending Olive Leaf Extract.  We both take it by: putting a dropper full in a glass of water 3 times a day and it gets us feeling better much faster-sometimes it’s downright surprising how much it helps.  Olive Leaf extract has 400% the antioxidant capacity of vitamin C and will give your immune system a huge boost.  I take it when I am sick AND when I am around someone else who is sick.  So far when I have done this, I have not picked up others’ illnesses (knock on wood).
  3. REALLY want to get better FAST?? Go to bed 🙂 I know, this is not what you want to hear.  But honestly, nothing will help you heal faster.  The more you rest and relax, the sooner you can be back on your feet.  Now you’ve got the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and hit those sheets-guilt free.
  4. Support your Immune system. You can do this by helping out your gut.  About 80% of your immune system is in your gut.  So do things that will help your gut heal faster and fight off that virus: Drink bone broth (recipe here), make homemade soup, fermented foods (like Kefir and Kombucha), and take a good probiotic.  And that Advil?  Horrible for your gut unfortunately, which is why it’s worth avoiding if possible.
  5. Sore All Over? It may help to support your liver.  The liver is SO important in fighting off illness and feeling your best. Most of our livers are very overburdened these days for many reasons.  I love to support my liver with an herbal blend when I feel I need it, and also with castor oil packs when I can fit it in. Sadly, Tylenol is hard on the liver so that’s out too.

***And of course, you can’t beat a good cup of tea.  I like Yogi Tea, Throat Comfort. It tastes so good I drink it even when my throat feels fine….***

Don’t forget: always do your research and check with your doctor before starting any new program.  Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it will interact well with your current medications.

Now I’m off to bed to go get some of that rest I’m always recommending…

Have you found any good natural cold remedies?  What’s your favorite?  Leave a comment below.

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