Even though you do all of the things you know of to stay healthy, you still might come down with a cold or the flu. The body aches, fever, chills and nasal congestion can be enough to make anyone miserable.
Not to worry, here are some home remedies that can help you feel better when a virus seems to have knocked you down.
Your mom was right, chicken soup really can make a difference. It may not be a cure-all, but it’s a great choice when you’re sick. Research suggests that enjoying a bowl of chicken soup with vegetables, homemade or canned, slows the movement of neutrophils in your body. Neutrophils are a common type of white blood cell. They help protect your body from infection. When they’re moving slowly, they stay more concentrated in the areas of your body that need the most healing.
The study found that chicken soup is especially good for reducing the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Low-sodium soup also carries great nutritional value and helps keep you hydrated. It’s a good choice no matter how you’re feeling.
The health benefits of ginger root have been touted for centuries. A few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water may help soothe a cough or sore throat. Research suggests that it can also ward off the feeling of nausea. One study found that 1 gram (roughly 1/4 teaspoon) of ginger can “alleviate clinical nausea of diverse causes.”
Honey has a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain. Research suggests that honey also is an effective cough suppressant. In one study, researchers found that giving children 10 grams of honey (roughly 2 teaspoons) at bedtime lessened the severity of their cough symptoms. The children reportedly slept more soundly, which also helps reduce cold symptoms.
However, don’t ever give honey to a child younger than 1 year old, as it often contains botulinum spores. While they’re usually harmless to older children and adults, infants’ immune systems aren’t able to fight them off.
Garlic contains the compound allicin, which may have antimicrobial properties. Research suggests that adding a garlic supplement to your diet may reduce the severity of cold symptoms. And some research reveals garlic may help you avoid getting sick in the first place.
The research is limited, which means more needs to be done on the potential cold-fighting benefits of garlic. In the meantime, eating more garlic may help keep you well.
Vitamin C plays an important role in your body and has many health benefits. Along with limes, oranges, grapefruits, leafy greens and other fruits and vegetables, lemons are a good source of vitamin C. Adding fresh lemon juice to hot tea with honey may reduce phlegm when you’re sick. Drinking hot or cold lemonade may also help.
While these drinks may not clear up your cold, they can help you get the vitamin C that your immune system needs. Research suggests that getting enough vitamin C can help relieve upper respiratory tract infections and other illnesses.
Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria and yeast that are found in your body, some foods, and supplements. They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy, and research indicates that probiotics may reduce your chance of developing an upper respiratory infection.
Yogurt can provide a delicious source of helpful, probiotic bacteria. Besides its potential benefits for your immune system, yogurt is a healthy snack that provides plenty of protein and calcium. Look for products that list live bacteria on the label.
Other Things That May Help You Feel Better
Gargling with salt water may help prevent upper respiratory infections. It may also decrease the severity of cold symptoms, such as sore throat pain and nasal congestion.
Gargling with salt water reduces and loosens mucus, which contains bacteria and allergens. To try this remedy at home, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water. Swish it around your mouth and throat. Then spit it out.
You might not like the smell, but some old-fashioned topical ointments, such as vapor rub, appear to reduce cold symptoms in children older than 2 years. Just one or two applications before bed can help open air passages to combat congestion, reduce coughing, and improve sleep. Vapor rub is becoming more popular among some doctors who encourage parents to avoid giving over-the-counter cold medicines to young children because of unwanted side effects.
Influenza thrives and spreads more easily in dry environments. Creating more humidity in your home may reduce your exposure to the virus. Increased humidity may also reduce nasal inflammation, making it easier to breathe when you’re sick. Temporarily adding a cool mist humidifier to your bedroom may help you feel more comfortable. This is especially true in winter, when dry indoor heat can make your symptoms worse. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil might also stimulate your breathing.
It’s important to change the water in a humidifier daily to stop mold and other fungi from growing. For the same effect without a humidifier, take a long shower or hang out in a steamy bathroom.
Sometimes you can reduce a child’s fever with a warm sponge bath. Warm baths can also reduce cold and flu symptoms in adults. Adding Epsom salt and baking soda to the water can reduce body aches. Adding a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, juniper, rosemary, thyme, orange, lavender or eucalyptus may also have a soothing effect.
October ALTRUM NEWS
Studies Suggest You Need More Protein With Age
You’ve heard a lot about the importance of protein in your diet. A new study supports research that suggests you need more protein as you age. This issue of ALTRUM News brings you some of the details of the importance of protein to maintain your strength and health as you age.
Get Ready for Cold and Flu Season
Although food sources of nutrients are always best, it’s sometimes hard to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need in a day to stay healthy, especially during the cold and flu season.
ALTRUM brings you a variety of natural supplements to help you strengthen and support your immune system throughout the year.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Please check with your physician when using prescription medication in combination with food supplements.
ALTRUM News brings you the most recent information on ALTRUM nutritional supplements and how nutrition helps maintain youthful vigor, health and mobility — plus much more.