Here are 8 home remedies that you can try to help alleviate the symptoms of a cold and boost your immune system:
Honey is a powerful natural antiseptic, often used for coughs and sore throats. It also has antibacterial properties which makes it useful for stomach upsets. A good rule to remember is: the darker the honey, the more nutrients it contains.
Combine honey and lemon in some warm water for a warming cough syrup.
Kiwis are packed with antioxidants, including high levels of vitamin C, which help boost your immunity and fight off colds and flu. They actually contain more vitamin C than oranges. The best way to eat them is raw, on their own.
The herb, thyme, has antibacterial qualities which can help loosen and expel mucus, making it a good choice when you have a sore throat, cough or a sinus headache. Make a tea using the dried herb to help alleviate the symptoms of a cold.
The volatile oils present in ginger root have anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease the symptoms of colds, coughs and flu. Make a tea with freshly grated ginger and take at the first signs of a cold.
Citrus fruits, especially lemon, contain lots of vitamin C which helps white blood cells fight infection and boost your immunity in general. Lemon peel is full of beneficial antioxidants so try and use the peel, if possible. You could make a warming drink using lemon peel, ginger root and raw honey to soothe and relieve the symptoms of a cold.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic which, if taken regularly, it can build up resistance to infection. It can help relieve congestion and the symptoms of colds, coughs and flu. To get the most benefit, scatter raw, finely diced garlic over your cooked meal. Alternatively, if you’re cooking with garlic, let it stand for 10 minutes after crushing or slicing it to allow the antibacterial compounds to develop before heating it.
A syrup can be made from the berries, which contain good amounts of vitamin C, to boost immunity. Take the syrup with honey to help fight against colds and flu.
The flowers are anti-inflammatory and can help cool down a fever. Make an infusion with the flowers and take it at the first sign of any symptoms.
Cranberries have a slightly antiseptic nature which can help alleviate sore throats and chesty coughs. Make a tea with the dried berries to help soothe the throat.
Note: These natural remedies are more effective when taken at the first sign of a cold.
Aside from these natural home remedies, ensure that you get enough rest to allow your body to heal, keep hydrated, limit your intake of cold foods and try to increase your intake of warming foods (such as soups and teas).
Also, remember: prevention is better than cure. Therefore, take preventative measures such as strengthening your immune system and looking after your health and wellbeing so that you’re less likely to catch a cold.