Cold Winter Weather

How To Treat a Cold


We all know what it's like to have a cold.  Coughing, sneezing, and a sore throat are all symptoms we are familiar with.    November to March are the months where we are most likely to develop a cold, although it can happen at any time of the year.  

If you normally live a healthy lifestyle, you will  most likely recover fairly quickly.  Older people and children have immune systems that don't function as effectively.  This is why if one child in the classroom gets sick, others often end up ill as well.

There are a few things you can do to treat a cold.  No one enjoys being sick and having to miss work or other activities.  It's great once we start to feel better again.  Here are some tips that I have found to be helpful.  

What To Eat When You Have a Cold

It's quite common to not want to eat anything when we have a cold.  Our taste buds and sense of smell are affected.  This of course affects our enjoyment at meal times.  A lot of food we normally enjoy is tasteless at this time.  However, we need to eat as our bodies need the nutrition in order to recover.  

Vitamins C and D help fight infections.  An orange or a serving of raw broccoli each day provides adequate Vitamin C when we are healthy.  However, we should increase our daily intake while we are treating a cold.  It's not stored in the body so we don't need to be concerned about toxicity.  The one thing you need to be aware of is really large amounts of Vitamin C can cause stomach upset.  

Vitamin C also works best when taken at intervals during the day.  This gives the body a chance to absorb it so that it can do its job.  

There are not a lot of food sources that contain Vitamin D but a high quality supplement can ensure you are getting enough.  

Chicken soup for a cold is one of the oldest remedies of all time.  While there is no proof it really helps, most people find it comforting to eat when they don't feel well.  It also is easy to digest.

Chicken soup is one of the comfort foods.  A broth with added vegetables is a good choice at a time when most foods are quite unappealing.  

Drink plenty of water to avoid dehyration and to help remove the toxins from the body.  This is the best beverage choice as it helps the kidneys get rid of toxins.  

The Echinacea Plant


Echinacea is an herb that can help people recover faster from a cold.  It should be taken at the first sign of a cold in order to be effective.   Some people take it from time to time to boost the immune system.  However, echinacea should never be taken long term.  

It is also important to know that this supplement is not for everyone.  Anyone with an immune system disorder should avoid it.  It also can interact with some medications.  If you take prescription medications, it is best to check with a pharmacist before taking.  Women who are pregnant should also seek advice before taking echinacea, as it has not been determined if the herb is safe for the developing baby.  

Also, I recommed buying a high quality supplement.  Cheaper brands usually contain other ingredients besides the echinacea, and some of them can be potentially harmful.  

Hot Lemon and Honey Beverage

You can purchase hot liquid drinks that help relieve symptoms.  These come in a powdered form where you just add hot water.  They do contain medication so consuming these beverages can make you drowsy.

I have found a simple home remedy works just as well.  Add some liquid honey to lemon juice.  I use about a tablespoon of honey, and twice the amount of juice.  Then add hot water and stir until the honey dissolves.  You will need to experiment with this and adjust the amount of juice and honey you add  to your personal preference.  

This is very soothing for sore throats.  There are no side effects, although you want to be careful with the use of honey as the sugar content is very high.  

What to do about sore, aching muscles and joints

Our entire body usually aches when we have a cold.  I find a hot bath, followed by gentle massage, can provide a lot of relief.  Add a small amount of lavender or eucalyptus oil to the bath.  Lavender oil is relaxing and soothing.  The ecualyptus contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.   These oils can be used in a diffuser or applied topically.  It is important to use extra care because they can be toxic in high amounts.  

These are the natural remedies I use to treat a cold.  I also stay home as much as possible until I feel better so I am not infecting others.  It's highly contagious, particularly in the first couple of days.