Everyone has heard of a remedy for the common cold, be it a family recipe or a self-developed antidote. Whilst there's currently no cure, some things can help make you feel better and may even speed it up your recovery.
A simple yet effective measure, keeping hydrated helps loosen congestion and can make mucus thinner, making it easier for you to expel the virus.
Preventing dehydration is key to making you feel better and you can add soothing elements such as honey to make the medicine even sweeter!
Try: Add a squeeze of lemon juice to boiling water and 1 teaspoon of honey.
Ginger has been used for its health benefits for centuries and is often added to boiling water as a tea to ease colds. Research has shown that ginger can act as a diaphoretic, which encourages perspiration, which can be effective at treating feverish conditions such as the cold.
The rich flavour of ginger has a warming effect, boosting you from the inside out and can help reduce the shivering feeling of a cold.
Try: Adding some freshly sliced ginger, cloves and cinnamon to boiling water, strain and enjoy the soothing effects.
Most cultures have a cold remedy that includes garlic from chomping on raw garlic to adding crushed amounts to milk. It's thought that garlic has anti-microbial properties that may help the immune system to fight infection.
The compound allicin found in garlic, has demonstrated antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. However be warned that to get the maximum amount of allicin, garlic should be taken raw.
Try: Chop raw garlic and mix with a little olive oil, fresh tomatoes and basil, then spread over the top of a slice of toast to make a healthy snack.
It's thought that a diet high in antioxidants can help fight a cold as they may help to boost our immune system and help us get better quicker. Antioxidants include beta carotene and vitamins C and E. These are essential nutrients and can help keep your immune system strong.
Foods that include beta carotene are:
- Sweet potato
Foods that are high in Vitamin C are:
- Sweet potatoes.
Foods high in Vitamin E are:
- Peanut butter
- Sunflower seeds.
Try: Immunity-boosting veggie soup - add onion, garlic, chopped carrot, chopped red pepper and chopped sweet potatoes to a pan and lightly fry in coconut oil.
Add vegetable broth and simmer until soft. Blend together and top with sunflower seeds for a powerful soup to ease your cold.
Eat your greens
Those dark green leafy veggies that are prevalent at this time of year, are in season for a reason. Containing high levels of carotenoids which have great antioxidant properties and packed with nutrients and vitamins, it's important to make sure you continue to get your fill to stay healthy.
Try: A green smoothie - add one sachet of Britt’s Superfoods wheatgrass juice to a handful of spinach, a cup of organic apple juice and a splash of lemon. It'll keep you full and give you some energy.
Gargling salt water can provide relief from sore throats. It can also help to loosen the mucus which contains bacteria and allergens.
Try: Mixing 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and swish around in your mouth, gargling against the back of your throat before spitting out.
Having a steamy hot shower can alleviate the symptoms of a cold. The steam helps loosen mucus and can make it easier to breathe. It also helps you relax which can be a big relief when you're not feeling well.
Wash your hands
Although it may sound simple, the best way to keep a cold at bay is to keep germs away. The most effective way of doing this is by frequent and thorough hand washing with soap or antibacterial gel.