I am currently recovering from the worst cold I have ever had – swollen glands, hot and cold shivers, sinus headache, chronic cough, the works!! As I really, really hate being ill I decided to try out natural cold remedies to see if they would work. It turns out that some or all of them did as I’m feeling much better after just 3 days. So here you go – this is my guide to curing the common (or in this case unpleasantly uncommon) cold:
- Raw garlic: this contains allicin apparently which is a powerful antibacterial which is released when the raw garlic is crushed. I have a juice extractor so I chucked a couple of cloves in with some orange juice (for the vitamin C) and drank the mixture a couple of times a day. It’s fortunate that I live alone as I think my breath could have been used as a chemical weapon afterwards but it helped.
- Raw ginger: a couple of chunks sliced up in boiling water with some fresh lemon juice and a spoonful of honey really helped with the coughing and snuffling and plus it tasted a lot better than the raw garlic. I did try eating a slice of raw ginger (as suggested in a very popular Youtube video) and this stopped me coughing immediately but that could have been all my various tubes going into shock for a few minutes; raw ginger is very, very strong!
- Apple cider vinegar: added to the ginger/lemon/honey concoction above again really helped with the cough and added to the flavour (I think I’ll carry on drinking this ‘tea’ as it really does taste rather nice). I actually discovered another use for apple cider vinegar today which made me realise how desperate I was to get rid of the last of this bloody cold. I decided I was well enough to go out for a walk so did a quick couple of miles and felt pretty good when I got back except for blocked sinuses and a really irritating tickley cough. A quick trawl through Google brought me to nasal washes – yes it is exactly as it sounds before you ask. Five minutes later I was inhaling a mixture of cooled boiled water and apple cider vinegar – that was a shock to the system I can tell you but it worked!
- Thyme: apparently fresh thyme is a natural expectorant and it certainly seemed to work when added into the medicinal ‘tea’. I won’t go into details as it really was not pleasant but most of the phlegm that was clogging up my nose, throat and chest was forcibly removed overnight (yuck!!)
- Vicks vaporub (but not as you’d expect): someone told me years ago that, if you put this on the soles of your feet, put on a pair of socks and take yourself off to bed you’ll feel better in the morning. I don’t know why and, quite frankly, I don’t care but this also seemed to work.
- Sweating: my best friend swears by ‘sweating out’ a cold. Honestly I was convinced that it was an old wive’s tale but, having tried all these other weird and wonderful cures I thought I’d give it a go last night. It’s been pretty warm over here for the last few days but I shut all the windows, put on a thick pair of pyjamas, a pair of socks (complete with Vicks) and climbed under the duvet. It took a lot of self control not to throw it all off so that I could stop feeling like I’d gone to bed in a sauna but, much to my surprise, this morning I felt a lot better.
- Steam inhalation: whilst sitting with your head under a tea towel and over a bowl of steam is not the most glamorous thing in the world, neither is being all snotty and coughing and spluttering all over the place so it’s worth a try. Not only does it relieve a bunged up nose, it also clears your pores pretty well so a win/win
So, there you go, I’m not sure which of the above worked but something certainly did; two days ago I was feeling like nothing on earth not really wanting to move from my bed and today I walked a couple of miles and didn’t die. Of course it could just be that I’ve taken my mind off things by researching and preparing all these strange concoctions; either that or I’ve found a cure for the common cold. Either way I’m rather glad that I no longer feel like a bag of crap…………….