The weather is turning here in Australia, from a hot summer to a cold autumn. We have had days with cold winds, lots of rain and every now and again warm and sunny days. This mix is the perfect way to … get sick.
I feel like I’ve had a cold for the last three weeks and I’ve been taking all my little home remedies that I use against simple cold symptoms. These are my personal favourites and I only turn to them if I have light symptoms. Anything else warrants a trip to the doctor. So, please read them as such: little helpers that can make you feel better but that will not heal any serious infection. Medical advice is necessary in any cases of severe illness!
I’ve come up with quite a list of home remedies so I’ve split this post in two: things you can take and things you can do. This post is all about home remedies to take.
I love honey for a number of reasons. When it comes to cold season honey can work wonders for sore throats and other cold symptoms. Since honey is antibiotic it has the ability to reduce any bacterial growth causing a sore throat for example. Sometimes honey can be even better than syrup because it is so viscous .
There are two main ways I use honey against a sore throat. I sometimes eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. One spoon full about every other hour is perfect. The other option is honey in tea or just hot water.
Please be aware that honey should not be given to babies and small children under one year of age. Also, look for local honey if possible.
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties (among others) which can help to relieve a number of cold symptoms, from a sore throat to stuffy nose and upset tummy. The best way to use chamomile is as tea. Preparing a nice cup of hot chamomile tea with some honey is the best way to feel better. The steam helps with a runny nose, the temperature makes my throat feel less sore and my tummy calms down after a nice cup of tea.
If tea is not an option, a steam bath with chamomile might help. It requires more dried flowers but it can help to relieve symptoms of a stuffy nose and even headaches. Twice a day for about 10 mins of hot steam – that’s sure to feel good.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Okay, this might sound crazy (and potentially disgusting) but Apple Cider Vinegar is awesome against cold symptoms. It has antimicrobial properties and can be used for sore throats and coughs. I like to gurgle with a solution of about one tablespoon of vinegar in half a cup of water. The acid in the vinegar kills any bacteria in my throat. Apple cider vinegar also makes a nice hot drink with a spoon of honey and hot water. Both the vinegar and the honey can be adjusted to suit taste.
However, apple cider vinegar also attacks the enamel of teeth so don’t repeat too often and only if you’re teeth are in good shape. Also, the vinegar can affect the sensitive lining of the stomach. So, drink diluted and in moderation.
I’m not sure where this home remedy comes from but I like to make an onion syrup to help relieve coughs. I cut up an onion, cover it with sugar and leave the raw onion to soak for a couple of hours. Then, I take a spoonful of the syrup. The sugar helps with the taste and one onion lasts about two days.
Of course, a syrup is not the only way to benefit from onions. Anything prepared with raw onions will get you the benefits onions have to offer. Just check out this list by Health Ambition. And there are a number of recipes to choose from but make sure to use fresh (raw) onions.
Admittedly, salt is one of my least favourite home remedies. There are a few ways salt is said to relieve cold symptoms. One is a salt gurgle: add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gurgle away.
Another method to utilise salt to help with a stuffy nose is a nasal rinse. This can be disgusting but the salt in the water helps to draw out any mucus. If the straight-up home-made version of a saltwater rinse is not an option, any pharmacy offers saltwater nose sprays these days.
For free is also a trip to the ocean.
I hope this little collection helps to relieve some of those nasty cold symptoms and gets you through the changing seasons, wherever you might be.