Here it comes. A subtly sore throat and flashbacks of swigging cherry cough medicine are sure signs of future days off work. There's that stuffy nose, your head feeling heavier than a wrecking ball, chills and a red, raw nose. The common cold has hit.
After extensive online research, the follow are the most common and natural ways to eliminate a cold. These five tips are ways to help prevent a cold caught early on.
1) Gargle- This may seem like your mom's home remedy, but experts consistently point to gargling as an effective way to relieve a sore throat. According to a WebMD interview with Charles Inlander, president of The People's Medical Society, gargling moistens the throat and temporarily relieves throat irritation (1). There are also various teas and honeys you can use in your gargling solution that will reduce throat irritation, if you want to get fancy.
2) Get steamy- Whether it's taking a hot shower, slowing sipping a bowl of chicken noodle soup, or having your nose hoover over a hot cup of tea, steam relieves congestion. Also, drinking liquids such as tea and chicken broth hydrate the body to help fend off illnesses.
Java and Jack lovers beware, it's important to refrain from coffee, soda and alcohol when you're under the weather (2). These are all caffeinated products. Caffeine dehydrates the body, which is exactly what you don't want while your sick. While a tequila shot may temporarily clear up your sinuses, try to resist!
3) Take a Mental Break- Yes, this means you get to sleep! Take a day or two off work, sleep, lay in bed and de-stress. New York Times writer Jane Brody reported that psychological stress can lead to a cold, according to a study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
You are more prone to catch a cold if you're in a long-term and emotionally wearing stressful state of mind. This can causes the body to break down, Brody says. "It has to be long-term stress, lasting at least a month and stemming from a significant problem like being fired from a job after years of service or being left financially or emotionally bereft by a divorce.