We do our best to take care of our health. Still, most of us are likely to feel at least a little sick at some point over the next few months. Whether it’s a minor cold or a more serious case of the flu, all you want is relief from your symptoms and to get over it as soon as possible.
You know it’s important to drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest when you’re not feeling well. Here are a few more natural ways you can feel better faster the next time you have a cold or the flu.
1. Gargle with salt water. For natural sore throat relief, mix a half teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water. Gargling with salt helps reduce inflammation and draws out bad bacteria from your mouth and throat.
2. Take a hot shower. The warm water increases circulation while the steam humidifies your airway to reduce congestion and soothe nasal passages. It also doesn’t hurt that a hot shower is comforting and relaxing when you’re not feeling well.
3. Use a mentholated balm. Substances like menthol and eucalyptus have mild anesthetic properties that help open up your breathing and relieve the pain of dry, irritated nasal passages. Dab a small amount just under (but not inside) your nose.
4. Apply a hot or cold pack. Heat will improve blood flood to infected areas. Cold reduces inflammation and provides numbing pain relief. Either way, hot and cold compresses are both fast, natural ways to ease cold and flu symptoms.
5. Sleep with an extra pillow. When you’re sick, it can be hard to get comfortable enough to get the good night’s sleep you need. If congestion is keeping you up at night, try propping up your head with an extra pillow to open nasal passages and make it easier to breathe.
6. Humidify the air. Dry air is ideal for viruses and bacteria to grow. It can also irritate your nose, throat and lungs. If you use a room humidifier to manage your asthma or allergy symptoms, this is a good time of year to turn it up a bit.
Kevin Arnold writes about allergies and asthma, travel and healthy living. For more tips and information, check out all of his posts at www.blog.pureroom.com.