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home remedies for common cold

Hot Ginger Tea

This is one of the best teas to sip when you’re feeling stuffed up and yucky. The ginger is delicious, warming, a just a little spicy. Aromatic constituents such as capsaicin (found in chilies) or piperine (found in black pepper) are part of a family of compounds that provide numerous healing benefits. In ginger the compound of that family is called gingerol (original, right?), and it helps relieve congestion in a couple of ways. First, it lessens inflammation of mucous membranes that line the nasal passages and the sinus cavity, and this inflammation contributes greatly to the buildup of pressure and congestion. When the swelling goes down, mucous can flow out instead of getting all jammed up. Although slightly less scientific, there’s also the fact that its spiciness has enough of a kick that it can just perfectly loosen up built up phlegm. The tea itself is wonderful for you because you’re getting extra fluids, which your body needs desperately when fighting off an illness, and breathing in the steam vapors can also help loosen up any congestion you may be expecting. The below recipe is for an infusion, rather than a decoction (which is when you actively steep the herb in simmering water), but you can do either or.

Essential Steam

One beautiful almost instant fix for a stuffy nose is to steam it out. This is a favorite remedy of mine and worth repeating in numerous remedy lists. You can glean the benefits of steam by breathing it in from a mug of hot tea, taking a hot shower, or filling a bowl with a hot water and adding an essential oil. The best essential oils to use for this are the strong ones like tea tree, peppermint, or eucalyptus (tea tree and eucalyptus being the best in my opinion.) The anti-bacterial/anti-viral properties of tea tree oil can be carried via the steam, which will help fight off any bug that you’re battling. Both tea tree and eucalyptus are, of course, rather strong smelling, which also helps dislodge congestion.

You will need…

-5-10 drops of eucalyptus, tea tree oil, or a combination
-A heatproof bowl
-Boiling water
-A towel

Go with a Classic Cure

I love old time home remedies-the ones that we don’t need to question on chemical level, picking apart why they work or why they don’t work. They simply are, just as they have been for generations, and just as they will be for years to come. One of these classic home remedies for colds is comprised of three familiar ingredients-garlic, lemon, and honey. You can combine them in more involved ways if you wish, but this recipe is about as simple as it gets. It’s particularly useful for a cold that is accompanied by a sore throat and a dry cough.

You will need…

-1 medium clove of garlic
-1 lemon
-1 teaspoon of honey
-Warm water

Make a Honey-Onion Syrup

This recipe is great for cold that come with a nasty cough. The honey is wonderful for healing a sore throat while the onion works its wonders through antibacterial and anti-inflammatories actions. It can also help loosen up phlegm deep in the chest.