Here, we break down the best ways to fight the dreaded winter cold. Put those proverbial boxing gloves on, and let’s fight this thing!
- Experts recommend drinking 8 ounces of fluids every few hours. There are many options for getting hydrated:
- Vegetable juice, broth, or soup
- Herbal teas such as Echinacea, which can help boost the immune system
- Ginger tea (or boil pieces of raw ginger in water and drink the liquid)
- Boil broccoli, and drink the vitamin-packed water that it was boiled in (my mom’s secret weapon!)
- Combine equal parts water and apple cider vinegar, warm (but don’t boil), and add a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, which has a high vitamin C content, then drink.
- To help loosen the mucus, you can breathe in the air from a vaporizer or humidifier.
- Spicy foods can help clear sinuses.
Coughing and Sore Throat
Your poor lungs are simply trying to clear themselves up! There are two kinds of coughing— productive (when you’re trying to expel something from them) and unproductive (that nagging cough that seems to accomplish nothing). Try these remedies:
- Suck on cough drops, lozenges, or sugar-free hard candy to soothe and moisten a dry, irritated throat.
- Prop your head up when you sleep.
- Gargle with warm saltwater to help soothe a sore throat and potentially reduce coughing (1 to 3 teaspoonfuls of salt per 8 ounces of water).
- Boil hot water and mix in one part lemon juice to two parts agave syrup. Cool, then drink to relieve throat irritation.
- Trap the steam from your shower in your bathroom and stay inside for 10 minutes, or simply take a hot bath to help relieve coughing spasms.
- Try this DIY recipe for a vegan menthol rub (apply to chest and/or back before bedtime).
Other Helpful Tips
- To boost your immune system, eat foods containing vitamins A and C: citrus fruits, kiwi, and tomatoes to cover the C, and broccoli and dark, leafy greens for vitamin A.
- Avoid concentrated sugars (such as in fruit juice, bananas, dried fruit, and anything sweetened), which compromise your immune system, for the duration of your illness.
- Avoid dehydrating liquids, such as those containing caffeine and alcohol.
- Zinc lozenges and Airborne® are popular immune-system boosters, available at any grocery store or drugstore.
- Echinacea and arabinogalactans (ARA), which you can purchase in any health-food store, are also excellent immunity boosters.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Wash your hands often.
- Don’t smoke, and avoid smoky environments.
Hope you feel better soon!