Did you know that the most common human disease is the common cold? The average person may suffer with up to 5 colds per year. There are hundreds of viruses that may cause a cold but the most common is the human rhinovirus.  Unfortunately the rhinovirus can survive outside the human body for up to 23 days, so it is pretty hard to avoid. With this said, here are 10 of my favourite recommendations for nurturing yourself whilst suffering with a cold:

Illustration credit: @kirrajamison
  1. Use herbs and spices. Lots of herbs and spices have immune boosting properties, such as being anti-inflammatory or anti-infective. For example turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne.
  2. Try Manuka Honey. Manuka Honey has strong antibacterial properties. Interestingly, due to its effective prevention of infection, it is being used in some hospitals, in particular for dressing wounds.
  3. Make chicken soup. In many cultures chicken soup is considered a traditional remedy for the common cold. Made from scratch with the addition of nutrient-packed veggies and immune-boosting herbs and spices, it’s sure to make you feel better.
  4. Drink plenty of water. The symptoms of a cold can lead to dehydration. Drinking lots of water helps to keep you hydrated. Herbal teas can make fluid intake more interesting and many have the benefit of supporting the immune system as well. For example, try elderflower, peppermint and green tea.
  5. Use Essential Oils. Many of these have anti-infective properties, others can be decongestant. For example, peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree. Essential oils can be vaporised, used in a chest rub or added to the bath/shower. 
  6. Go for a walk. The lymphatic system, which helps rid the body of waste and also forms an integral part of our immune system relies on muscle contraction to pump lymphatic fluid. A gentle walk when you have a cold will ensure the lymphatics are doing their job well.
  7. Avoid Dairy. The jury is out as to whether or not dairy products produce mucus. However, there is some speculation that dairy products may thicken the mucus and phlegm that is being produced. Best to keep clear of these whilst unwell to be sure.
  8. Take a nap. Your body needs sleep to fight infection and it is whilst you are sleeping that important protective proteins are released by your immune system.
  9. Better still take a sick day. Those advertising campaigns of the 1980s encouraging us to solider on when unwell have a lot to answer to. The more rest you get when you are sick the faster you will recover. Your co-workers will appreciate you not sharing your germs too.
  10. See a Naturopath. Many of our patients visit the clinic for complex and ongoing chronic health conditions. However, there is a lot that can be done to provide short term symptom relief for a simple cold. And that is why we have been working hard behind the scenes to provide you with a new Relief Care Consultation option. Watch this space!

In health and happiness