Sick of colds? Coughing at Christmas? Or are you just looking for some natural ways to stave off colds this winter? Then read on!
Don’t allow colds to keep you from enjoying the winter season. For many, it’s one of the busiest times of the year. So if you’d like to keep the cold outside, here are some tips that have helped me tons over the years.
As a self-employed musician, I can’t afford to get sick. I hate colds. Plus, no one pays me if I don’t turn up and sing! So I’ve got to be in good health ALL year-round and try to make sure that I’m never flat-out sick.
I stand behind these methods – heart on hand. Because they work! They keep me going all winter long and they keep the sniffles at bay. That’s why I want to share them with you.
Fight Colds Naturally
1. Go to sleep
Yes. Sleep is one of my number one immune system boosters. When you sleep, your immune system recharges itself. And when your immune system is fully charged, it’s able to fight all those germs better.
During the day our energy gets drained and our immune systems are hard at work all day long. They need a daily dose of rest to keep ‘em fit ‘n’ fighting.
So if you’ve got a week full of office parties and social events in your calendar or just general running around craziness, make sure you’re getting enough sleep each day or you could be paying the price for it by being stuck in bed later!
I use a pillow spray on my bed at night. It’s become part of my nighttime routine and it helps me fall asleep fast! I highly recommend it!
2. Take your vitamins
During the winter, I also make sure that I’m getting some extra Vitamin C. Our immune systems need Vitamin C to function better. And it’s a vitamin that we need to get from external sources. Our bodies don’t store Vitamin C for much longer than 8 hours. So we need to keep replenishing our stores of this vital nutrient.
If you do take Vitamin C, I recommend a Vitamin C supplement with zinc as it helps our bodies to absorb the Vitamin C easier.
3. Diffuse immune-boosting oils
I use Organic Defence by Neal’s Yard Remedies. It’s an excellent blend of organic essential oils that has already been mixed for our convenience. All you have to do is put a few drops in your diffuser with some water and turn it on. Fab!
I also think it’s important to use high-quality essential oils. You and your family are breathing it in, so it’s best to stay away from cheaply manufactured “fragrance” oils that are high in chemical content.
Also, essential oils like Bergamot, Niaouli, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and Immortelle are all great. They’re well known for their immune-boosting properties. If you use essential oils, be sure to follow the recommended dilution suggested on the product. This is particularly true if you want to live on the wild side and blend your own oils.
Whenever I feel the first signs of a cold – a slightly sore throat usually – I take Echinacea tincture. Echinacea tincture, distilled from the flower, is highly potent and works faster than the tablet form in my opinion. You only need a few drops in some water and it gets to work straight away. I find that if I take it three times in one day, I don’t need to take it again – that sore throat is gone and I feel completely fine!
Just be sure not to take Echinacea for a prolonged period of time. It’s one of those things where your body will get used to its potency and then it’ll become ineffective. It’s always best to “surprise” your system with echinacea by taking it infrequently and randomly. Basically, whenever you feel the first signs of a cold coming on.
5. Drink water
Whatever bugs are lurking in your system, it’s a good idea to keep drinking water. And a good amount of it. Our bodies function better when we’re well hydrated. Think of it like having a freshwater spring as opposed to a stagnant swamp. If you keep the water coming in, you’re helping your body flush away germs that wanna stay put and grow.
I find that I’m much more susceptible to colds when I’m dehydrated. So although those pumpkin spice lattes and hot chocolates are great when the weather turns cold, don’t make them a replacement for plain ol’ H2O.
Keep water accessible
Keep a bottle of water in your bag when you’re out so you can have a sip throughout the day. I prefer using a glass water bottle because it preserves the taste of the water. And it means that I can put acidic fruits like lemon and lime in my water and not worry about any of the chemicals from the plastics seeping into my water. This is my favourite water bottle. It’s made with toughened glass.
I know BPA free bottles are said to be safe, but I still don’t feel great using them with acidic fruits. And I’ve found that they take longer to dry when washed. Which means they’re more likely to stay damp longer and provide a place for mould and mildew to grow. Especially if they’re put back in the cupboard when they’re not completely dry. Don’t ask me how I know this!
So I like to wash my glass bottles with really hot water by hand and dry them on a dish rack. They’re completely dry in 15 minutes which is great! Use a bottle brush for cleaning your bottle. These ones are great as they also have thinner brushes for getting into the narrower parts of your bottle cap.
6. Take ginger
If you’re coughing and sneezing and you’ve gotta take a sick day. I always make a batch of my mother’s Philippino chicken and pasta soup (called Sopas) which is loaded with ginger. It’s warming and nourishing. And the ideal buddy to snuggle up with on the sofa under a blanket in front of an old movie! Chicken soup when you’re ill is always a good idea – yum! But it’s the ginger in my mum’s recipe that’s putting in a lot of legwork.
The Triple Threat
Of course, when you’re sick, the idea of standing in the kitchen making a soup might seem like torture. In which case, try making a simple tea of fresh ginger, lemon, and some manuka honey. It’s simple yet powerful. And it’s a triple threat to any cold!
Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory and gets to work on sore throats. Plus, it contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which help to improve blood flow and prevent chills, fever and excessive sweating. Lemon is anti-microbial and gets to work on those harmful germs. And manuka honey is also highly anti-microbial and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins making it a vital ingredient for when you’re sick.
Feel better naturally
So there you have it, some of my best trustworthy tips for fighting colds and staying healthy.
What tips do you have for naturally fighting colds and keeping the sniffles at bay? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!