This past weekend, I started to come down with the sniffles. I was coughing, sneezing, and my throat was starting to feel scratchy. Everytime this happens, I get into action mode to try to keep the cold at bay. There’s several things I always do, and 90% of the time, they keep me from getting full blown sick (made-up statistic, but hey, that’s what most statistics are anyhow). I’m not a big fan of drugs and medicenes, and while I feel that they definitely have their place, I like to treat things naturally first, and then move on to the heavy stuff only if necessary. Two days later, I’m feeling fine and sniffle free. Here’s how you can keep a cold at bay naturally too:
1. Drink loads of bone broth: That whole chicken-soup when you’re sick thing actually has science to back it up. Home-made broth is amazingly good for you, and does wonders to boost your immune system. When I start to feel sick, I heat up some broth from my freezer and drink it throughout the day. Homemade broth is super easy to make and there’s loads of recipes out there. What I prefer currently is “Easy, Slow Cooked Chicken and Broth” from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook because it gives you some tender meat for other meals, plus awesome, rich broth. ( I realize that this one is not vegetarian friendly, but all the rest are, so if you’re not into eating animals, just keep reading)
2. Tea with lemon and local, seasonal honey: Tea with lemon and honey is soothing to your throat, and you can get immune supporting blends to help boost your immune system too. I like Yogi Tea’s Echinacea Immune Support Tea. The reason I emphasize local, seasonal honey is that consuming honey that is in season from the plants that are currently blooming around you helps if your cold is allergy related. Getting tiny doses of the allergen actually helps your body to deal with it better.
3. Buried Treasure Prevention ACF: When I was a substitute teacher, I was coming down with a cold and talking to one of the secretaries at the school I was at. She told me that she always took Prevention ACF anytime she started to get sick. After I wrapped up that day, I went to the local health food store and bought some. Ever since, I’ve always taken two tablespoons a day as soon as I start to feel sick. To be honest, I don’t know how everything in it works, I just know that it does. And it’s gluten and dairy-free, vegetarian friendly, etc. Worth the money, trust me.
4. Get some shut-eye: Getting enough sleep does wonders for your immune system, and when you’re starting to get sick, you need it to be stronger than ever. Sleep in if you can, go to be early, take hour long naps in the afternoon. The more sleep and rest you get, the better your body will be able to fight off your cold.
5. Use a Neti Pot: By now, you’ve likely heard about the wonders of neti pots. If you haven’t, they’re basically little pots that you fill with warm salty water which you then pour through your sinuses to flush them out. It’s a bit weird at first, but you get used to it quickly. I use mine every morning and night, and rarely ever get sinus infections anymore. To save money, you can easily use non-iodized table salt instead of the fancy neti salt. (Also, I know netis got some bad press last year because of rare instances of people getting amoebas from tap water. While this is very rare, I do boil all my neti water now before I use it. Takes a little extra effort, but it gives some peace of mind)