I exercise (sometimes.) I eat healthy (mostly.) I wash my hands (every time I use the loo.) Why did I catch the common cold? I merely dismissed my early symptoms as bad allergies and went to sleep without pumping my body with natural defenses such as garlic, turmeric, lemon, honey and Emergen-C. I woke up on a Monday morning with watery eyes, frequent bouts of sneezes, a weak body, runny nose and body chills. The good news is I got over it in 48 hours and so can you.
The majority of colds are caused by viruses; so, you don’t need to rush off to the doctor right away. If you don’t overcome your cold by yourself in 7-10 days and/or you develop a bacterial infection, then you can go to the doctor. Also, you should keep in mind that due to the overload of antibiotics in our healthcare system, more antibiotic-resistant strains are popping up. Slight bacterial infections can also be cured at home with garlic and oregano oil, but use your judgement.
As you start to feel a bit ‘off,’ make sure you get plenty of sleep- NyQuil helps some people knock out but for me, it induces trippy nightmares. For natural ways to sleep longer and better, try a Melatonin supplement. Avoid alcohol and smoking, consume probiotics like Kombucha, keep your stress low, stay hydrated and make a shot of this:
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp turmeric
Juice squeezed from half a lemon.
Pinch of cayenne pepper or black pepper
2 tbsp water
I like to take this shot after swallowing small pieces of raw garlic and will take it up to two times a day. Apple cider vinegar alkalizes your body (western diets tend to be acidic,) enabling it to fight off colds easier. Raw honey is a powerful combination of antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial nutrients. It will also soothe your throat and improve the flavor of the elixir. Turmeric has curcumin and volatile oils which act as both preventative and healing measures due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-viral properties. Lemon is naturally high in Vitamin C to keep the immune system strong. It also thins the mucus, reduces inflammation and swelling and adjusts your body’s PH, making it inhospitable to viruses and bacterial infections. Cayenne and black pepper also helps thin out the mucus, making your nasal passages more breathable.
There are also other foods you should consider adding to your teas or soups. Raw garlic has allicin, an active component which can block the enzymes leading to an infection. It’s also a natural decongestant. As a natural anti-inflammatory food, ginger warms and detoxes the body, and can alleviate dizziness or lightheadedness. Spinach is incredibly high in vitamin C and can be added to your soups. Chicken broth for meat-eaters is comforting, nutritional and can also thin out the mucus. You should also cook with organic coconut oil, oil-pull with it or consume a tablespoon as it is antibiotic and provides the body with healthy fat. Drink a cup of caffeine to pep up or just function during this low-energy period, but be wary of dehydration. Sipping de-caff herbal teas like Organic India Tulsi Ginger throughout the day will keep you hydrated and boost your recovery. If you have a sore throat, you can gargle with warm salt water. Also, due to significant amounts of eugenol, cloves are another powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial spice. You can suck on a clove, boil it in water for tea or add it to your cooking.
If you are congested, try to steam at least twice a day. For those of you who are new to steaming, boil water in a saucepan, place the pan on a hotplate, add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or a few drops of tea tree, peppermint, clove or oregano oil and place a towel over both the bowl and your head. Try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth (for nasal passage and throat healing) for 10-15 minutes. Try not to burn yourself, ouch!
For the best essential oil ever, try order this Ayurvedic oil:
The product is currently unavailable on Amazon, but check your local Indian mart.
When you are over the body chills and the worst stages, feel free to go on a light jog or do some light yoga to get your blood circulating, to pump endorphins throughout your body and for some fresh air. Also, 20 minutes of sunshine a day boost your Vitamin D levels and mood. Try to be more self-aware of what you’re putting into your body. If you’re eating foods that generate a lot of mucus, you may be more susceptible to catching a cold. If you have allergies, consider getting an air purifier and oil-pulling. Both of these adjustments have worked for me.
Finally, triggering these acupressure points relieve sinus congestion that often follows a common cold.
These are proven ways to overcome a cold quickly so you don’t have to take sick days from work and can resume a normal life in a few days. Please leave any comments or questions below!