This week I have been battling a common head cold, something I usually get only once or twice a year. I have been dodging illness for several weeks now, but with the entire family suffering from a cold, I suppose I was bound to end up with it. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the techniques I have been using to ease the symptoms and shorten the duration of my cold. Here are my natural cold remedy hacks.
Obviously this isn’t unique advice to me. Rest is certainly the number one piece of advice given by anyone seeking to help you start feeling well again. We all know that we need rest, but this seems to be the one factor that we avoid or take for granted. Of course, the common cold never hits us when it is convenient. In fact, it may be the result of sleep deprivation that your body is ill in the first place.
I was fortunate enough to have the week off of work which has allowed rest to come a little easier than it normally would. However, I am using this week as a reset and want to start focusing more on get adequate sleep. Sleep is certainly one of the most important factors to controlling the symptoms and shortening your cold. Don’t take it for granted. Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and when you are suffering from a cold, you should expect that you need more. Listen to your body and get adequate rest or that cold will likely get worse and last much longer than it should.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a wonder tonic! We use this ritually in our house. My wife and I both put ACV in our water—every glass of water we drink. You don’t need much, typically just a splash, maybe a tablespoon if using a large water bottle. I credit ACV for keeping me from getting sick. When sick though, the ACV is even more important.
Tips for using ACV:
- Add it to your water multiple times a day
- Gargle with ACV for a sore throat
- Use it in cooking
- Mix ACV and lemon in water for added benefit
My son was suffering with a sore throat that we were confident was strep. My wife started giving him ACV mixed in water 2-3 times a day. The test in the pediatrician’s office was negative, meaning they wouldn’t prescribe antibiotics. Within a couple of days, my son’s symptoms were gone. This, just in time for the pediatrician to call with a positive diagnosis for strep from the more in depth test that they used. ACV had cured his strep infection.
I have enjoyed sipping on a bone broth latte regularly in order to boost my immune system. Besides the tremendous health benefits of the bone broth itself, I add numerous other ingredients that are vital to healing my body. First, let’s take a look at the benefits of bone broth.
Please note that I am specifically speaking of bone broth, not just your average chicken or beef stock. You want broth that is made from boiling animal bones and extracting the marrow and nutrients from those bones. This is where the incredible health boost comes from. When you consume bone broth you are getting nutrients that are difficult to find elsewhere without supplements. Full of collagen and amino acids, bone broth will certainly boost your immune system and assist your body’s ability to fight off your cold.
I like to add coconut oil, turmeric, and ginger to my bone broth for added benefit. Coconut oil adds a healthy fat as well as makes the bone broth latte very smooth to drink. Turmeric and ginger contain anti-inflammatory properties to again boost your immune system and allow your body to heal. You can make your own bone broth or order some. Check out the recipe here or head over to Kettle & Fire to order some excellent quality bone broth with free shipping (this is an affiliate link in which I make a small commission on any purchase you make).
Fermented food is tremendous for your health and immune system, and the fermented drink Kombucha is no different. For some, it may take some getting used to the flavor of this fizzy drink, but the benefits are well worth it. You can find Kombucha at most local grocery stores in the produce section. I will caution you to be careful with the sugar content of most of these drinks. I have been able to find a couple with little to no sugar in them.
I need a really good reason to drink tea as I would much rather choose coffee, but when sick, tea is a great option. Green tea in particular contains tremendous antioxidant properties that are excellent when fighting a cold. Plus, the heat is great for soothing a sore throat. If you want an added boost, add some lemon and local honey.
Fasting yields so many benefits for your body, especially when you are fighting a virus. In many cases, you may not feel like eating anyway so fasting will come naturally. Regardless, use fasting to help boost your body’s ability to fight off the virus. When you fast, your cells work to heal themselves and fight off the free radicals that are hurting your body. Fasting is the body’s natural defense system and is definitely something you should employ when sick.
Much of what I have shared is likely something you’ve heard or even tried before. Notice that drinking lots of orange juice wasn’t in my list? That’s for a couple of reasons. One, vitamin C is important to help your body keep from getting sick, not necessarily to heal it. The other is that orange juice is full of sugar which is definitely NOT something your body needs when fighting an illness. Stick to the natural stuff and you will be better off for it.
When you are fighting off an illness, especially the common winter cold, your grandma was right. Make sure you get plenty of rest and enjoy sipping on that chicken soup…well, bone broth is a much better option. Then, limit your food through fasting and double (even triple) up on the Apple Cider Vinegar! I’m confident you will reduce the symptoms and shorten the length of your cold.
What is your favorite way to deal with a cold?