The Common Cold
No one likes to suffer through a cold, nor does anyone like to suffer through the traditional remedies for them. Anyone with a cold should consider some herbal remedies. Not only are they more natural, but they can even be more effective. When the cold and flu season begins, the focus should not be on remedies at all, but on preventing the cold in the first place. Eating well, exercising, getting a proper amount of sleep and avoiding undue levels of stress all do their part to keep colds away. They all serve to boost the immune system. On the other hand, things such as smoking, drug use or excessive consumption of alcohol can weaken the body's ability to fight off sickness. Experts will say that taking 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily at the height of the cold and flu season can help fight off sickness. The use of a high-potency antioxidant formula that contains vitamins, A, C and E will help even further to aid anyone in keeping well even during the worst of the season. If sickness should come anyway, hold off on taking that cold medicine. Most of these over-the-counter medicines treat all the symptoms of a cold, even the ones that might not necessarily be present. Instead of taking something that may be exactly the wrong thing for relieving a cold, try some herbal remedies instead. Someone with a persistent cough might consider sage. Boil some fresh water and steep this herb in it for at least 20 minutes. Anyone with the patience to wait could let it steep for nearly an hour, for added effectiveness. The resulting brew could be drunk hot or cold - someone with a sore throat may prefer the soothing option of a hot drink. Head congestion sufferers may benefit from steeping fenugreek in boiled water for five minutes. This should be drunk while still warm. While not precisely herbal, tissues with lotion will help prevent soreness from all that nose blowing while waiting for thesymptoms to subside. Anyone nauseated from coughing or some other symptom should try steeping two tablespoons of freshly grated ginger in three cups of boiled water. Unlike the above remedies, this should not be drunk. Instead, the ill person should gargle it, or soak a hand towel in the mixture and put it on his or her head while resting. This is an effective remedy for an upset stomach. Painful chest congestion is another unfortunate staple of the cold season. Try steeping the herbs mullein or lobelia in boiled water. Soak a hand towel with the mixture while it is still warm, and then place it on the chest of the cold sufferer while he or she relaxes. Herbal experts recommend taking the herbal antibiotic echinacea during the cold and flu season to help prevent anyone from getting sick in the first place. And of course no one should forget chicken soup. Not only does it prevent dehydration, it actually can ease chest congestion - not to mention it being a great comfort food for someone suffering from the common cold.