Friday, September 21, 2012

Healthy Habits: Natural Cold Cures

Every year, there are over one billion colds in the United States and more than 200 different viruses are known to cause the signs and symptoms of the common cold - that's why you keep getting colds all the time, even though you're supposed to be immune to viruses after the first time you get then.

There are some easy ways to get rid of a cold: rest, drink fluids, and wash your hands. There are other ways to ease your discomfort and relieve the symptoms of the common cold just a little bit faster!
Zinc Gluconate: Because of zinc's antiviral properties, taking a well-formulated zinc cold remedy, such as zinc gluconate, at the onset of a cold can significantly reduce the cold's duration and severity, according to a comprehensive review of medical research on the subject. The delivery method of zinc is critical to its effectiveness; certain additives can prohibit the zinc icons from being released. Carefully research your zinc product choice to ensure effective treatment. One such productive (that I have tried) is Cold-EEZE oral spray.

Honey: Honey is also a time-tested remedy for coughs and loaded with antioxidants. Studies have shown that buckwheat honey may provide better relief of nighttime coughs than over-the-counter (OTC) cough syrups and can help sooth your throat. You can try just straight honey from a spoon, honey in a cup of warm tea, or a cough syrup that utilizes the power of honey, such as Maty's all-natural cough syrup (one of the very few I'll use on my kids, since you aren't supposed to use regular cough syrups on kids).

Fenugreek: Fenugreek tea helps to clear out mucus, reduce respiratory inflammation, and ease your urge to cough. Recent research suggests that fenugreek may also have powerful antiviral properties. Alvita Teas makes a fenugreek seed tea (although I hate tea, so I'll have to find another way if I decide to try that.

Garlic: Garlic has potent antiviral and antibacterial properties to help fight infection. Mix freshly chopped garlic with food, take it with a teaspoon of honey, or brew some into a tea. Trader Joe's is a good option for garlic (and a lot of other natural products).

Pomegranate: Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and zinc, pomegranate juice boosts your immune system and helps your body defend itself. POM Wonderful makes all-natural juices based off of, of course, the pomegranate.

Cayenne Pepper: A small bit of dried cayenne pepper powder, made into a tea with lemon or mixed into a broth, will help clear up congested sinuses as well as aiding circulation to fend off chills. For extra brownie points, use a natural option, like Simply Organic cayenne pepper.

I can definitely vouch for the first two. The other four I haven't tried, but I have seen them mentioned in a variety of places before, and since we usually have garlic and cayenne pepper around, it's definitely worth a try!

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