When I fall into this trap, I actively do everything possible to convalesce myself quickly, and I will share what I’ve learned for expedited healing, so we can all get back on top as soon as possible. Everyone knows the basics: bed rest, some fresh air, and mom’s chicken soup. Therefore, below you will find some of the lesser known solutions to cold- and flu-like symptoms. My rationale is that combining numerous of these remedies will either have an additive effect on healing, or that this “shotgun method” will produce one with real efficacy.
My experience in treating a sore throats with ginger is encouraging. You can pick up ginger root (not the pickled ginger you eat with sushi) in the produce section of your grocery store. One option is to make a ginger tea, boiling peeled slices of the root in a pot of water for 15 minutes. Alternatively, take a few slices of ginger and place them in your steeping tea. The most instant and effective way is to cut a small cube of peeled ginger, and chew on it, swallowing the vitriolic juice. It will produce a strong burn in your mouth and taste buds, but outperform Chloroseptic without polluting your body with synthetic chemicals. You can swallow the ginger (it is known to aid in digestion), or spit out the slurry once it stops producing the desired bitter juice.
2. A small serving of alcohol
There is no scientific evidence behind this, just anecdotal from my experiences. Plus it makes a great excuse for a morning shot of whiskey. Alcohol has been shown in studies to have preventative effects on colds. Aim for red wine to get the added benefits of the anti-oxidant resveratrol.
Aside from being the world’s most delicious drink, the steam from a freshly boiled cup of tea will help loosen up mucous in the nose. It is also an excellent vehicle for delivering other remedies. Add honey to soothe and coat the throat, ginger (see above), and lemon juice for its concentrated vitamin C. Flushing the body with any healthy fluids will also aid in healing.
4. Vitamin C and Echinacea
Studies have shown that supplementing your diet with this potent combination can help reduce the incidence of colds by up to 86%. If you’ve already developed a cold, taking these supplements can reduce the duration by up to 1.5 days.
Another delicious cure, garlic is believed to have both antibiotic and anti-viral properties. The biologically active compound, allicin, is responsible for this. A 2001 study showed that garlic was effective as a preventative measure and also shortened duration. The biggest side effect? You will smell like garlic. Strange how we love the smell of garlic in the kitchen, but despise it on people.
6. Neti Pot
This is probably my favorite cold helper. And it sure beats blowing your nose into snot-filled tissues all day. Neti pots are ancient devices that are filled with a saline solution used to irrigate the nose. Simply pour warm salt water in one nostril, and allow it flow out the other. It will flush out plenty of mucous and loosen up the rest so it can easily be blown out just after use.
A problem I’ve run into is being totally clogged up, and not being able to initiate the flow. Enter Tabasco Sauce. Taking one teaspoon of this has an immediate effect on the nasal passages. If you can handle it, have a teaspoon, and feel it start to loosen up clogged sinuses in seconds. From there, you should have an easier time Neti Potting. Watch with joy and delight as your sink fills up with expelled yellow and clear mucous. Delicious.