What to Do When the Sniffles Strike

Despite your best efforts, do you find that your immune system can sometimes still be hijacked by a seasonal cold or flu? If you’re sick and stuck in bed, it may be tempting to just let yourself fall into an easy trap - not properly taking care of yourself. To quickly recover from cold symptoms, here are some great tips.  

First, be sure to take time to rest and also stay hydrated. Purified water, herbal tea, or clear vegetable broth can prevent dehydration and help loosen chest congestion. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda. Also, steer clear of alcohol, as these drinks can make dehydration worse. In order to heal, your body needs adequate rest, so take it easy (yes, you have permission). This is one time you don’t want to “power through”. Be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep per day.  

For a sore throat, a few traditional ways work well to sooth it. Gargling with salt water (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of natural, mineral-rich salt dissolved in 8 ounces of purified water) can help to relieve a sore throat, sometimes immediately. Another traditional remedy to help relieve a sore throat is drinking warm water with fresh lemon and raw honey. For a dry throat or a dry cough, try adding moisture to the air with a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier. Adding moisture to the air can help loosen chest congestion. Don’t forget to change the water in the vaporizer each day.  

Another great way to provide immediate relief from congestion symptoms is steam therapy. This process involves inhaling hot water vapor that helps open airways and facilitates mucus drainage. Since dry or cold air is known to dry out the mucous membrane and restrict blood flow to the lungs, steam can add warmth and moisture to the air to counteract this. The benefits of steam therapy may can quite effective, but they may be temporary. 

If you’re fighting off the dreaded “sneezes” and worrisome coughs, your first step is to get adequate nutrition to power up your immune response. Start with getting adequate amounts of plant-source vitamins and minerals. A natural plant-source vitamin C is particularly helpful as a first line of attack. It supports your immune system’s army of white cells and may help decrease the length of illnesses. Zinc is an amazing mineral which can help prevent the multiplication of some viruses. One of the best forms of highly absorbable zinc is zinc sulfate heptahydrate. Be sure to get adequate amounts of plant-source vitamin C and absorbable zinc when you first begin to notice symptoms. Get on the road to feeling better right away!   

If you get hit with the “blahs” from a cold, your energy levels may plummet, so it’s a good idea to have a “sick day kit” handy for when the sniffles strike. Stock your kit with plant-source vitamins and minerals, hydrating drinks such as organic coconut water, tissues, and easy to cook soups with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as tomato and ginger. The last thing you’ll feel like doing is going to the grocery store for supplies, so keep these items handy. 

Last (but not least), please stay home when you are ill to give yourself a full opportunity to recover quickly. This helps avoid exposing your coworkers, fellow students, or family members to infectious particles. While at home, please enjoy the privilege of taking care of yourself with rest, hydrating liquids, plant-source vitamins and minerals, and lots of TLC. What’s the name of that movie you’ve been wanting to watch? You’ll feel better in no time!