Acute viral nasopharyngitis! A mouthful, isn’t it? How about acute coryza?
Both medical terminology for what we average folk refer to as, ‘The Common Cold.’
There is no cure for the common cold, a contagious viral infection that affects the upper respiratory system. Numerous products are available to help lessen the symptoms, but they are not a cure.
Each cold season we see new products hit the shelves in bigger and better packaging. They are peddled to us through glossy adverts in magazines and commercials, promising us relief. However, in your rush to feel better, you’re likely to cause more problems for yourself and your family. In fact, over the counter medications can be extremely dangerous. Extended research has seen many popular brands removed from the shelves in recent years. Indeed, that has to raise alarm bells. For example, a decongestant’s purpose is to shrink the respiratory linings, which swell when the virus is present. The stuffiness experienced when you have a cold is caused by this swelling and relieved by the decongestant.
You may breathe a little better, but you place yourself and your family at risk of the following known side effects.
– Elevated blood pressure
– Elevated heart rate
Recent studies have even linked the use of decongestants to heart attacks and strokes. Yes, even in young children.
Don’t be fooled. The underlying factor for the myriad of cold products on offer is financial gain. Ever wondered why many products are offered in their ‘new and improved’ ‘faster acting’ and “lasts longer” forms? These cost many dollars more than the original brand, yet the now inferior form continues to be manufactured. Why? If the consumer’s health is the primary concern, then surely we all deserve the best they have to offer, packaged in one affordable form. Would anyone willingly choose to feel only partially better!
Society is slowly waking up to the idea that maybe Grandma was right all along!
Here are the top five recommendations to relieve the symptoms of a cold, the natural way, compliments of Grandma!
Try them, and I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results and soon discarding the endless assortment of bottles in your medicine cabinet.
1. BED REST
The body’s immune system can effectively deal with the infection of a cold. Within a few days, specific antibodies are produced, which prevent the virus from infecting different cells. However, for your body to take care of you, you have to take care of it. Plenty of rest time allows your immune system to do its job without the added stresses placed upon it when you decide to soldier on!
2. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Drinking plenty of water has two significant benefits. Firstly it will replenish the precious fluid your body secretes while fighting the infection. Secondly, it will assist in thinning out the mucus, helping to alleviate the blocked nose. Herbal teas and soup broths are ideal ways to replenish fluids if you can not handle water on its own.
3. AUGMENTED STEAM
Boil up a large pot of water. If you’re lucky enough to live in Australia, then pop out to the yard and pick yourself a few Eucalyptus leaves to add to the pot. If not, 3 – 5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil should do the trick. Let the water boil for around 10 minutes.
Inhale the steam through your mouth to alleviate mucus congested in the chest area and inhale through the nose for stuffiness and blockages. Keep eyes closed during the process and take deep relaxing breathes until feeling clearer. If you find eucalyptus too strong, then rosemary works equally as well.
4. BLOW BLOW BLOW amp; COUGH COUGH COUGH
Stop sniffing and avoid using cough medicine! Sniffing sends that mucus right back to the very place it came from! You want to expel the infected mucus from your body. Stop sniffing and grab a tissue! Welcome, that cough! Most cough medicines contain ingredients to suppress coughing. Again, you want to shift the infected mucus away from the lungs. Suppressing a cough hinders your body’s attempt to heal. A natural remedy will relieve the cough without stopping it. There are many natural remedies for cough relief. Perhaps the best known is a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon of honey mixed with hot water. Other options to relieve that cough is:
– Ginger tea
– Apple cider vinegar sprayed on the neck area of your clothing during the day and on your pillowcase before bedtime
– A few drops of Juniper essential oil in hot water, sipped slowly.
– Herbal tea with a pinch of cinnamon
– A cup of grape juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey
– Make cough syrup from baked onion juice, comfrey tea, and honey
Many may seem a little odd, and they won’t win any taste test competitions, but they all work a treat.
5. GRANDMAS CHICKEN SOUP
Call it an old wives tale, and many do, but there is nothing like a piping hot bowl of chicken soup to make you feel better. Chicken soup is nutritious, easy on the digestive system and helps clear the head. A quick recipe packed with all things good is found below and will help relieve the nasty symptoms of any cold. Did I mention it tastes great?
GRANDMA’S BASIC CHICKEN SOUP RECIPE
small whole chicken
One large onion diced.
One large carrot diced.
Two stalks of celery sliced thinly
One clove of garlic crushed.
Place chicken in a large pot of cold salted water and bring to boil. Remove scum from the top and return to cook for 10 minutes. It makes the flavour of the chicken more potent and a clearer broth. After coiling for 10 minutes, add all ingredients, cover the pot with a lid and simmer on low heat for 1 to 3 hours. Remove chicken from bones; at this stage, it should break away with ease. Serve to steam hot!
You can modify this recipe to suit your taste. Add potato, parsnip, capsicum, tomato, zucchini or any other preferred vegetable or add noodles. Adding starches such as noodles, rice, or potato will make for a thicker cloudy broth.