Ahhhh February – the month of love, romance….and endless, relentless winter colds. Achoo.
We haven’t escaped the germs. Snuffles and snorts echo through the office, like a cacophony of coughs (see what we did there).
It’s at times like this that we most miss the childhood years of chicken soup of duvet day, but with work, kids, parents and lives to live we simply can’t allow a bug to take over that way.
We know you prefer to red roses to red noses and romance is so much more inviting when the warmth is from your paramour’s arms, not a 40-degree fever, so we’ve hunted the best natural cold tips to get you (and us) through.
Gargle your Germ Gargoyle Away:
WEB MD suggests gargling with the British mother’s friend, tea, to take away a sore throat. The tannin it contains is both soothing and anti-inflammatory, but make sure it’s cool first so you don’t burn yourself.
Leave the Doctors at Bay:
We know it’s tempting but unless you have a persistent fever, have been ill for longer than 7 days and have symptoms that really won’t shift with standard treatments (paracetamol, bed rest, three days of Big Bang Theory etc.) you don’t need to see a doctor.
The tannin it contains is both soothing and anti-inflammatory, but make sure it’s cool first so you don’t burn yourself.
There are over 200 strains of common cold and ALL of them are virus’s that won’t respond to antibiotics. Your compromised immune system however, will catch EVERYTHING in the waiting room you don’t even need to sit in!
Stop Sniffling – Catch it and Bin it:
Relieve that ‘pressure’ sensation from your blocked nose by blowing it regularly. Sniffing keeps the germs in your system, and causes the inflammation to build.
Get it out into a tissue then bin it before you share it!
Boil some water in a kettle, fill a glass bowl with it and then add herbs like lavender, tea tree and/or mint to clear your sinuses and soothe your skin.
Throw a towel over your head once it cools slightly and breathe in the fumes. DON’T get too close. This is particularly effective if your sinuses are very sore.
Sit up Straight:
You need to sleep but lying flat will leave you coughing and suffering with post nasal drip (eurgh).
Prop yourself up on pillows and try to stay upright to encourage everything out and let you get some rest.
This is particularly effective if your sinuses are very sore.
Drink, drink, drink (and make it a HOT one):
Drink as much as you can – water, juice and tea are all fine. We find a cup of hot water with lemon, honey and a little ginger can work wonders but stay off the hot toddies.
Alcohol will only dehydrate you further and make the problem worse. Making sure your drink is hot will keep the nose decongested!
Homemade Ginger tea is the best choice when you’re struggling with a cold. The gingerol it contains reduces inflammation, eases decongestion and clears the sinuses and the spicy quality is both soothing and kicks out some of the nasty phlegm sitting on your chest.
Simply steep four teaspoons of grated ginger with a pinch of cinnamon in boiling water for forty minutes. Strain then add honey and lemon to taste.
Soothe your nose:
Mix a tiny bit of tea tree in Vaseline, or use vapour-rub and dab under the nasal passages to keep them clear and soothe the sore bits
Pop a pill:
Not a paracetamol – vitamins and minerals. We suggest Vitamin D3, Echinacea, Vitamin C (look for the maximum daily dose) and Zinc, which can reduce the strength of the cold.
And finally, give yourself a break. We know it’s hard and life is busy, but as you get older it’s really important to listen to your body.
No one died from a cold. But no one will likely suffer too badly if you take a day to get better when you’re poorly.
Get well soon! Achoo!