** You're coughing and sneezing, your nose is running, your throat is sore, and maybe you're running a fever. Those are all symptoms of the common cold. Colds generally last seven to ten days, and symptoms may linger for a couple weeks.
A flu virus, which attacks the respiratory system, can be more dangerous, particularly for the very young and very old. Flu is usually accompanied by fever and can produce chills, sweats and muscular aches. In both cases natural treatments can be as helpful as medication for reducing symptoms.
Drink plenty of liquids to replace sweat and also moisture lost through your nose. Chicken soup can help reduce cold symptoms. You might also look for probiotics that contain both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. They can help prevent colds and reduce their duration.
Boil a wedge of lemon with some grated garlic and ginger. Then add herbs such as echinacea, thyme, and holy basil. When cooled, add a spoonful of or so of manuka honey for a better taste. This antimicrobial tea will help to soothe a sore throat that comes from coughing and aid your immune system in fighting off infection.
Zinc lozenges ease sore throats and coughs, while supplements reduce the duration of colds, and help prevent colds and flu in elderly people who are often zinc deficient.
American ginseng help prevent colds and may protect against flu in elderly people.
Taking high doses of Vitamin C throughout the winter can help reduce the duration and severity of colds and may be particularly effective for athletes in training.
In cough lozenges and vapor rubs, this herb eases cold symptoms and its essential oil makes and effective steam inhalation. Other helpful essential oils for inhalations includes tea tree, peppermint, rosemary and marjoram.
Elderflower tea and elderberries have been shown to be helpful against respiratory illnesses.
See your doctor if you
- have breathing problems
- suffer chest pain
- cough up blood
- experience severe swelling of glands in your neck or armpit.