Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sick on Saturday: Home Remedies that Help

It's that time of year again! As the weather gets cooler ( or here in Colorado, downright cold) we all cross our fingers that our families will be safe from the common cold. I wish crossed fingers had kept us safe, but here it is, a SATURDAY, and we are all battling round two of "the kindergarten crud!" Well friends, it's time to wage war on the common cold! Grab your tissues and cough drops and be prepared for the 5 best home remedies for treating the common cold!
E, the source of our germs, smiling proudly since he's feeling a bit better!
1)Drink plenty of fluids.
If you've ever been sick I'm sure you've had at least one person tell you along your path to recovery to "make sure you're drinking lots of fluids." I'm sure in the moment, if you're anything like me, you may have found that statement slightly annoying. But according to Dr. Roxanne Sukol, guest author at and Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Enterprise, water is a key step in the road to recovery! She explains that water is the essential "fuel" to every body system, including the immune system. If your losing water by sweating from a fever or even losing water straight from your mouth due to coughing and sneezing then it stands to reason that you should be "topping off your tank," so to speak. Dr. Sukol recommends to stay well hydrated when you're sick. Don't wait until you're thirsty to top off the tank!

2)Gargle with warm salt water.
My grandmother, whom we lovingly refer to as "Troubles", and whom my father lovingly referred to as "Granny Clampett," swears by this remedy. Anything from a mouth ulcer to a itchy sore throat she always suggested gargling with salt water. I detested gargling but in the instances that I would cave and gargle the salty solution I found almost instant relief! So why does it work? According to one journal article, gargling helps flush out the area of the throat, the salt draws out moisture in bacteria and your own swollen tissue to reduce inflammation, destroys and prevents the regrowth of bacteria, and keeps you healthier overall during cold and flu season. The lesson in this... Never question the wisdom of your granny!
** A persistent sore throat can lead to more serious medical conditions! If your sore throat persists, 
worsens over time, or seems to be from more than just a cold, consult a doctor right away.**

3)Enjoy a mixture of honey and lemon.
One of my many memories of childhood was drinking a warm mixture of honey and lemon when I didn't feel well. Turns out that mama really did know best! When suffering with an annoying cough or painful sore throat add 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of hot water. The honey acts as a cough suppressant while the lemon helps break down mucus and the hot water relaxes sore muscles. This is a simple, effective, and tasty remedy!
** This remedy is not suitable for children under the age of 1, nor is any remedy containing honey.**

4)Plug in the good 'ol humidifier.
Oh the humidifier,  Again, mama is always right! Turns out that cold viruses thrive in dry conditions. Dry air also dries out membranes that can cause a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. Adding a humidifier to your home can help keep colds at bay and help ease those annoying symptoms. Make sure to change the water daily to recent the growth of mold and bacteria!

5)Chicken soup IS good for the soul.
That warm bowl of soup you crave when you're sick might actually be doing you some good. It seems that the warm soup of your choice might help reduce inflammation and temporarily slow the movement of mucus. Check out my boards on Pinterest for some really delicious soup recipes!

Remember, there is no cure for the common cold and these remedies are meant to ease the unpleasant symptoms. Don't hesitate to visit your doctor if symptoms persist! Check out these remedies and more at 

Hope you have a spectacular Saturday!

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