Natural cold remedies: How to feel better without heavy duty medicine
When you’re snuffling through the depths of winter, it can feel like Mother Nature is your worst enemy… But what if you could make her your new best friend?
Here are some expert tips on beating a cold without reaching for the Lemsip.
Eat some chicken
We’re not sure that nuggets count, but chicken certainly has cold-busting properties. Dr Clare Morrison, GP at online doctor and pharmacy Med Express, advises: “Chicken is rich in carnosine, which is good for reducing nasal congestion and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract.”
…And some bone broth
According to Dr Morrison, bone broths “contain many immune-supporting minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulphur”. Don’t fancy whipping one up yourself? Try Ocado.
“When you have a winter lurgy, it is even more important to take good care of yourself,” advises Dr Gill Jenkins. “Getting enough sleep, being gently active (no gym or sports work), making sure you are well hydrated, avoiding alcohol and eating a healthy, nutritious diet are all important.”
…But don’t totally veg out
Dr Jenkins cautions against staying in bed all day, suggesting you get out of your PJs (even if you’re working from home!) in order to feel more normal.
Blow your nose the right way
According to Dr Morrison, the most effective technique is to blow one nostril at a time (but not too vigorously). She adds: “Try not to sniff as this will cause mucus to be sucked into the middle ear, leading to earache and ear infections.”
Keep up your vitamin C
Dr Morrison recommends fresh fruit or lemon juice.
Breath in some steam
…To stop feeling quite so bunged up. And add eucalyptus oil for extra decongestion power. A steamy bath or shower works, too.
Swap booze for the right drinks
“Warm water is good with a squeeze of lemon juice,” explains Dr Jenkins. “But tea also contains a range of natural polyphenols which are known for their antibacterial activity so great at bacteria busting.”
Dr Morrison also suggests gargling with salt water, using a mix of one teaspoon per pint.
Get enough zinc
“This is vital for a well-functioning immune system,” says Dr Morrison. “Good sources are beef, shellfish or kidney beans.”
Dr Morrison warns: “When the first symptoms of a cold strike, it’s best to act quickly, as most remedies work better at the beginning, rather than when the cold has taken hold.”
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