There are times when antibiotics and medicine certainly do the trick. But reaching for these every time you have the smallest of colds can lower your immune system. Encouraging your body to fight naturally against colds can be achieved through a variety of methods. Here are just a few that could be worth trying out.
Drink herbal tea
Herbal teas such as peppermint and chamomile have long been used as a reliable method against a blocked nose. As you drink, the vapours in the liquid run up through the nostrils and reduce swelling allowing easier mucus drainage. It’s thought that this is a mixture of the temperature and the herbs (which have immune boosting properties). Avoid pulling meds out of the kitchen cabinet, and reach for the kettle instead.
Try ear candles
Having a blocked ear can be highly irritating, affecting your hearing ability and balance. Getting your ears flushed out is one remedy, as are eardrops. Another more unusual one is ear candling. This involves inserted a candle into the ear and lighting it, absorbing ear wax from the ear into the candle. This useful guide to ear candles can help you to better understand how they work. You can buy your own candles, or visit a professional who can do the whole process for you.
Take a hot bath
If there was ever a great reason to take a hot bath, then a cold is it. Generally speaking, heat of any kind is brilliant for battling a cold as it reduces inflammation of the sinuses. If you don’t have a bathtub, don’t’ worry because a long hot shower can be just effective. Even washing your face in the sink with hot water can help.
Spice up your life
Spicy foods naturally clear up our sinuses. It’s the reason why a nice hot curry causes your nose to run. Chili peppers, wasabi, mustard and horseradish are all examples of great foods to clear up that blocked nose and get your breathing back to normal. Even some milder foods such as raw onions have been known to have a similar effect.
Don’t abandon exercise
When we’ve got a cold, exercise is often bottom of our list. However, light exercise can actually be good for fighting a cold. Physical activity raises our body temperature, which is essential for clearing up those sinuses of inflammation. Be careful exercising too hard however – this can actually have the opposite effect and lower one’s immune system. Try instead moderate exercise such as going for a brisk walk or doing some cleaning around the house. If you usually go to the gym, try easing back a little on your usual routine so that you’re still working up a sweat but not pushing your body to it’s limits (this could leave it open to more infections).