Drink Plenty of Fluids: I know it sounds so simple and this one you get on your own, but there's a method to the amount and type of fluids you drink! My first defense is always water - HOT water! This is important. When I feel the slightest scratch in my throat or tickle in my nose, I immediately heat water. Hot water helps to kill any lingering bacteria in the throat. Skip the juices, sodas, sports drinks or anything with caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and can dehydrate you even further.
Anti-bacterials: No, not the soaps or wipes. Anti-bacterial foods! Lemons, garlic and onions are all anti-bacterial foods. So, I like to add fresh squeezed lemon juice to my hot water or teas. I add sauteed onions and garlic to my soups to give that extra germ fighting kick my body needs.
Rest: This is the important step that most people forget or overlook. When you have a cold or the flu, your body is using the majority of it's reserves to fight this infection wether bacterial or viral. Allow your body time to fight by giving it some relaxation. Resting periodically throughout the day, letting household chores slide or having hubby put the kids to bed. Either way, get some rest.
Steam: When my nose is running and I can't seem to slow it down, I use essential oils to create a soothing steam. Take Eucalyptus oil (about 4-8 drops) in a large glass bowl. Boil 2 cups of water and pour into the glass bowl. Immediately put your face over the bowl (not too close to burn you) and drape a towel over your head and the bowl. Carefully and slowly breathe in the steam, allowing it to stay in your nasal passages and lungs momentarily before exhaling. Mucus is your body's natural response to get rid of whatever irritant is in your body. So the worst thing you can do is try to dry up the mucus. By using steam, you can sooth the irritated tissues so that your body will naturally slow the production of mucus and end the runny nose.
Gargle: This is one of those things to do in private :) Can you tell I hate gargling? It just sounds so gross! BUT it works! 8oz of warm (not hot) water with 1 tsp of salt. Stir until dissolved and gargle in mouthfuls until gone. Try to do this 3-4 times a day. Salt water will help to moisten a sore throat providing relief from coughing as well as kill any lingering germs.
Honey & Apple Cider Vinegar: Although you won't find any scientific research on honey and apple cider vinegar curing colds, I can tell you IT WORKS! The thought of this combination may leave you unsettled, but this is a wonderful way to kick a cold and jumpstart your immune system in attack mode! Make a misture of honey to apple cider vinegar at a 1:1 ration. Meaning 1 tablespoon of honey to 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I prefer to take my shot warm, so I heat it slightly and sip it down. Apple Cider Vinegar has many home remedy uses beyond a cold, so I take it on a daily basis in cold water. Please use Braggs brand apple cider vinegar. Anything less isn't worth the money. (Honey is not recommended for children under 1yr old)
Herbal Teas: I use a brand called "Yogi Tea" and it's a favorite in my household. Ginger is a wonderful compound that has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. This is a great tea to use when you have a cold. Another brand we use specifically for colds is "Traditional Medicinal". They have several variations for colds, such as "Cold Care Tea" or "Throat Coat Tea". Both are tasty and can be used with honey.
Don't forget to BLOW: There is nothing worse than a head cold and a runny nose. I'm literally blowing my nose as I type this. Many people don't take the time to blow their nose properly when they have a cold. It's very important not to sniff your nose, causing all of the mucus back into your nasal passage Doing so can create sinus infections and make you feel worse. Remember, mucus and a runny nose is your body's natural response to rid the irritant. So, work with your body. Not against it. Blow your nose as often as you can. Using soft Kleenex with lotion or even with Vicks Vapor will help to keep your skin soft and not chaffed.
If you find yourself getting a tickle in your nose or a scratch in your throat, don't wait! Hit up this list and attack the cold before it even starts!! Hope you all feel better soon! I'm off to bed to rest :)