Feeling under the weather is never fun, no one would wish to feel sick or to catch a cold or just be poorly in general. Sometimes it even feels like we have no time to be ill. But sometimes life catches up with us and forces us to slow down a bit by having some time off and rest to recover which is likely good for both our bodies and our minds. So if you find yourself with a cold, take the time to look after yourself properly. We’ve created a summary of our top tips to deal with a cold, and if you enjoy the tips follow along on our Facebook and Instagram as we regularly post new tips there.
Leg compresses to lower a fever is a simple trick that never fails to work.
Fever is a good thing, it's protecting the body against infection. Just when it gets too high (40 degrees or above) it's good to lower it as it can be very uncomfortable. I find calf wraps are an easy home remedy that often avoid having to use tablets:
- Soak two tea-towels in lukewarm water.
- Wrap one towel around each calf - and afterwards wrap with a hand towel to keep the bed dry.
- Redo it every 10-15 minutes until the fever goes down below 40/39 degrees.
It's not advised to do it on very small children (6 month and under) and when children have got cold hands or feet already.
Tablets & Water
Take tablets with a whole glass of water. Water alone does not react with the medication, and juices, coffee, alcohol, tea and milk can affect medication to the point that they stop working. The good thing is the more water you drink the quicker the results, as the medication can be absorbed much faster.
The thing about painkillers is to know when to use which one. If one of us gets a headache we never go for Paracetamol as studies show it's as effective as a placebo against pain from a headache or backache. Paracetamol is however useful to lower a temperature when having a fever.
Herbal Cough Syrup
Herbal cough syrup often works better and has fewer side effects - win win. Marshmallow root extract is the one we usually go for. If you only use it during the day it also makes helps toward coughing less at night.
You can also make home made cough syrup: Buy some black radish or winter radish as we call them here in Germany. Cut the top off, make a little hole and poke three holes in the bottom. Pour some brown sugar and a spoon full of honey in it, let it sit and it will start dripping out the bottom into the glass ready to have. You can also keep it in a clean jar in the fridge for later.
Clogged Sinus relief
This is simple way to clear a stuffy nose or ease an itchy throat: A bowl of hot water, a towel and some sea salt or essential oils. For clogged sinuses it's actually even better to inhale the steam with your head upside down. We know this sounds funny but it actually helps to drain the sinuses more effectively.
Fresh ginger and honey tea - a yummy and healthy way to boost your immune system.
Do you put wet towels on your radiators to keep the air moist in your house? We tend to cough a lot less when the air is moist and fresh - so windows open and wet towels or bowls of water on the radiators helps us a lot.
Magnesium is a drug worth having to hand. Taken at night will help calm your nervous system and lead to better sleep, careful though, a high dose taken can be an alternative to laxatives.
Your greatest ally in flu season is a bar of soap. Germs can live on surfaces (door handles, phones) for two hours or more, so regular hand washing (at least 20 seconds, and not missing your fingertips) is the best protection.
Stress can take a toll on your immune system so taking time out to meditate could be a good idea. There is evidence to prove that meditation reduces depression symptoms, stress, hostility, anxiety and improves sleep, academic performance and social skills. These health benefits of meditation apply to all ages though, along with several other benefits which can include reducing the risk of heart disease and reducing blood pressure & improving your immune system.
Open your windows
Open your windows in the Autumn for about ten minutes everyday. Germs accumulate in stuff rooms so doing this helps to keep things fresh for both your home and your body.
Gargling with salt can help to relieve a sore throat as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Try one teaspoon of salt in a glass of cooled down boiled water.
When you’re recovering from a cold often you can get a chesty cough which gets worse at night. Warm non-caffeinated (dairy free) drinks before bed can help break up the mucus causing the cough making it easier to breathe during the day and to get to sleep in the evenings.
‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.’
Soups and broths are great when you’re feeling poorly. They’re easy to eat and are a source of vitamins, minerals, calories and proteins. They’re helpful at providing fluids and electrolytes as well as giving off steam which can help clear relieve a blocked nose. #WorldFoodDay