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Natural Remedies for the Winter Common Cold

Wintertime weather can take a toll on your immune system but with these natural remedies you won't have to let Jack Frost ruin your health.

For some people, winter means snow sports like ice skating and skiing. For some, it reminds them of building snowmen and snow sculptures. For others, it’s the sickness season. But don’t fret! Just because winter is the season of the common cold, it doesn’t mean you can't have fun during this time. There are plenty of natural remedies that you can use to relieve your symptoms so you can go out there and throw snowballs at your friends just like how you did years ago.

This herb is one of the most popular herbal remedies for the common cold. It’s also the most widely available. Although there have been recent studies pointing out some negative results, the effectiveness rate of echinacea depends on the method of preparation. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine funded two studies to probe this herb. Both of them found no benefit from the juice formulation or combination of the herb and root. But another expert, David Leopold, MD and integrative medical education director at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, Calif proved that putting 15 to 20 drops of the herbal extract in warm water four to five times a day can do wonders for your winter cold symptoms. He said that this herbal remedy is even more powerful than prescription meds.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C has long been known for its abilities to fight off colds and other viral ailments. Although studies have given mixed results regarding the potency of this vitamin as a cold remedy, many support the theory that vitamin C’s ability to strengthen the immune system can ward off the common cold. Experts agree that vitamin C can actually reduce either the duration or severity of the cold. People are advised to take in 75 milligrams of vitamin C a day for women and 90 milligrams a day for men. It’s also a good idea to stock up on vitamin C items like oranges, chili peppers, bell peppers, guava, kale, mustard greens, garden cress, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kiwi fruits, papaya and strawberries.

Ginseng is an herb that's primarily popular for its ability to enhance energy and stamina. But only a few years ago did some researchers explored the power of ginseng when it comes to fighting colds and other viral illnesses. In 2005, Canadian researchers did a study on this and they found that people who take this herb on a daily basis had less serious and shorter duration of symptoms associated with the common cold. There is also some evidence that it has some cold-preventive abilities as well.

Nasal Rinsing
Daily rinsing has long been practiced by people in the holistic bunch. These people believe that this habit could effectively curb colds, cough and sore throat. They probably got this idea from a study that provided evidence on how children who rinsed with saline nasal wash six times daily showed significant improvement in cold symptoms. There also had been fewer recurrences among them. The study involved about 400 children between the ages of six and ten. They were randomly assigned to either the standard medication or the combination of nasal wash remedy and standard medication. It’s important to note, however, that nasal rinsing is counterproductive if you’re in top shape. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology published a study in 2009 that indicated that daily rinsing can wash away the protective mucus inside the nose and up the risk of common cold as well as other infections.

More Home Remedies to Try

  • Squeeze lemon and add some honey in warm water and drink this mixture twice a day. The high concentration of vitamin C in lemon can improve the body’s resistance to cold.
  • Boil cloves of garlic in water and sip on it like a hot soup. This can give you relief from the cold symptoms, thanks to the garlic’s antiseptic and antispasmodic properties. The garlic oil can also help open up the airways and make breathing easier.
  • Drink ginger tea to get relief from the sore throat and headache that comes with the common cold.
  • Turmeric with its anti-inflammatory powers, can help a lot in easing the cold symptoms. It can also energize and rejuvenate the person suffering from the common cold. This is best consumed at night mixed with ginger and milk.
  • To relieve a runny rose, add eucalyptus oil, apple cider vinegar or turmeric to steaming water. Inhale the vapor to help loosen the discharge and secretions.
  • Indeed, there are plenty of ways to remedy your winter cold. These will help ensure that you’ll be able to have a good time either you choose to stay indoors and read a good book or go out there and engage in winter sports and activities.



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