Natural Remedies to Ease the Common Cold
Consider these natural remedies to keep that healthier-you resolution
By Megan Gartrell, Staff Writer
With New Year’s resolutions fresh in many minds, countless self-improvers strive to be healthier in 2013. Perhaps you’re still recovering from that memorable New Year’s Eve party, or your body is still in holiday mode despite classes being back in session. Whatever the reason, January can be a brutal month for catching a cold. The average person typically catches between two and four colds per year.
If your goal is to avoid reaching for the nearest bottle of cold and flu pills, consider the following seven natural remedies to keep that healthier-you resolution intact.
1. Dust off those Jazz records
According to the website www.besthealthmag.ca, research has shown that enjoying the smooth sounds of Thelonious Monk or Dizzy Gillespie for 30 minutes boosts levels of Immunoglobulin A (IgA), an immune protein that plays a critical role in defending against infection. Naturopathic doctor Jean-Jacques Dugoua said, “IgA resides in the mucosa — the lining of the nose, mouth, throat and other areas of the body. It acts as an antibody and prevents virus, bacteria and other microorganism infection.” Even after the music stops, the effects on IgA levels can continue for an additional half-hour so keep those records spinning until the sniffles subside.
2. Savour some chicken soup
Just like Nana used to make. Some remedies are long-established for a reason—they work. Joy Bauer, registered dietician and founder of Joy Bauer Nutrition Centers, explains on her website, www.joybauer.com, “Hot fluids in general help to keep nasal passages moist, increase the movement of mucus, prevent dehydration and soothe a sore throat. Even more promising, studies have shown that chicken soup with a variety of veggies may contain substances that function as an anti–inflammatory mechanism and potentially ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, including congestion, stuffy nose, cough and sore throat.” Your mom might not be able to make a house call, but a big bowl of chicken soup and a glass of ginger ale can be the next best thing.
3. Focus on the feet
It is common to rub Vicks VapoRub on the chest or back to relieve congestion when suffering from a cold but if that isn’t cutting it, try applying the ointment to the soles of the feet, covering up with wool socks and getting some rest. Many claim this is an effective cure for a pesky cough.
Another similar remedy requires donning a pair of wet socks, covering them with wool or thermal socks and snuggling up under a warm blanket. Quoted on www.besthealthmag.ca, Leslie Solomonian, ND and assistant professor at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, said, “Wearing cold socks to bed when coming down with a cold can mimic the effects of immune-enhancing hydrotherapy treatments. Cold socks stimulate the body to increase circulation to the feet, relieving congestion from the head, regulating immune response and aiding in the elimination of waste. By morning socks are usually dry and feet wake up toasty and warm.”