Get Well Remedies
As cold and flu season approach, it’s time to start thinking about how we will care for ourselves if we begin to feel under the weather. It’s important to remember that some cold and flu symptoms simply can’t be treated with a trip to the doctor or antibiotics.
Here are some effective get-well remedies that work, and a few myth busters.
- Stay hydrated: When you’re sick, you can quickly become dehydrated, which can be very dangerous. Water, clear broth, or warm lemon water with honey can help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and soda, as these can make dehydration worse.
- Rest: This is the best way for your body to heal.
- Sooth a sore throat: A saltwater gargle can temporarily relieve symptoms of a sore throat. Just mix together ¼-½ a teaspoon of salt with an 8-ounce glass of water. You can also try ice chips, throat spray, and lozenges.
- Combat stuffiness: Nothing is worse than an all-day sniffle. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops and spray can help relieve stuffiness and congestion.
- Relieve Pain: A cold or flu is typically paired with head or body aches. Take Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, or Aspirin for relief, just pay special attention to the dosage directions on the bottle.
- Sip warm liquids: Warm liquids like chicken soup, tea, or warm apple juice might be soothing and can ease congestion by increasing mucus flow.
- Add Moisture to the air: A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home and relieve congestion.
Despite what you may have heard, the jury is still out on these popular cold remedies.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C can’t help the average person prevent colds but taking Vitamin C before cold symptoms begin might shorten the duration of this pesky illness.
- Zinc: There has been buzz about taking zinc for colds since 1984 when a study showed that zinc supplements kept people from getting sick. Since then, there has been mixed research on its affect on colds.
- Sweating it out: Lots of people believe all you need to kick a cold or light flu is to sweat it out with a good workout. However, intense physical activity can depress the immune system making it harder to fight off infection. While sick, try walking, yoga, and low impact activities instead!
The moral of the story is, if you’re feeling under the weather, listen to your body! Slow down, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and you’ll be well in no time.