Contrary to what some drug companies may say, there really is very little you can do to prevent catching a cold. Ask any parent. I know when the sniffles and sneezes start making the rounds among my family and friends, we’ll all eventually have a few miserable days.
All the cold remedies in the world don’t live up to the claims to guard us from the inevitable. And, as seasons change, hot to cold, cold to hot, we always seem more susceptible to catching a cold. There is, of course, no scientific proof for that. Catching colds just seems to happen to us when the weather changes.
With the anticipation of cold season approaching, I gathered a few tried-and-true “remedies” for the cold symptoms we dread. Here’s a couple suggestions I found at Woman’s World magazine that I thought were worth repeating.
Eat a big breakfast. There is a Dutch study out that found eating a hearty breakfast increased blood levels of a virus fighting protein called gamma interferon. An interferon is a protein produced by cells that have been invaded by a virus, like the cold virus. This protein inhibits the replication of viruses. Too much technical information for me. I just think the idea of a big breakfast makes sense when fighting a cold. Your body needs fuel and a lot of it to keep from letting those little bugs get you run down. That’s my simple non-scientific thought.
Open a window. This may seem like lunacy considering how cold it has been. However, our elders knew a thing or two about fighting germs naturally. Stale, stuffy, recirculated air tends to make people feel sick for a couple reasons. One reason could be because the hot, stuffy air that you and everyone in the house keeps breathing is laden with germs. You can’t escape the germs unless you let the germs escape. Open the window and bring in the fresh, germ-free air. This is not scientifically proven, but again, it makes sense to me.
The other reason you want fresh air from the outdoors is because it has some moisture in it. Your heated air is dry and that dry air is wrecking havoc on your nasal passages and sinuses. When your nasal passages and sinuses get dry your nose plugs up. If your poor nasal passages can’t drain, your head plugs up and you suffer. Moisture is key to keeping your nose running clean. Yucky, but true.
Drink plenty of fluid. This old adage is more important than most people think. Dehydration is a dangerous problem when people are fighting a virus. You need a lot of fluid to get your body draining those toxins produced when you are battling a cold. Juice, water, and tea will flush those nasty viruses out better than all the cold relief elixirs you can buy.
Good old fashioned salt water gargle. Whenever we get a cold or sore throat in our family I have to remind myself to start gargling with salt water. It is a remedy that I keep forgetting about and it’s one remedy that actually works miracles. Dissolve about a teaspoon of salt in a coffee mug filled with warm water and start gargling and spitting. This concoction heals the back of the throat and rinses away the post nasal drip yuck that is irritating your throat. If you do nothing else to relieve your cold symptoms, do this one thing.
Try not to blow your nose. This is a tough assignment when that’s all you want to do is get that gunk out of there. However, as any doctor will tell you, the risk of the back-pressure propelling more gunk back into your sinuses causes more damage than all the drippy noses in the world. Keep a hankie handy and try to just keep the drips at bay. There are some people who swear by sniffing, although that can be a very nasty thing to do, and hear.
If you MUST blow your nose, never close one nostril. Go somewhere private, hold a sturdy hankie under your nose, and blow out of both nostrils. Wash your face, and emerge a happier person. This is NOT an easy assignment, but preventing further problems caused by sending your cold virus deeper into your nasal passages is worth it.
Eat chicken soup. We all know this to be true, but it took a curious doctor to research his wife’s old family recipe in the laboratory to prove it to the non-believers. University of Nebraska Medical Center physician and researcher Dr. Stephen Rennard dissected his wife’s chicken soup in the laboratory to prove what she already knew. The study focused on one element, the most common white cell in the blood that defends the body against infections. Although colds are not completely understood, it is believed that upper respiratory inflammation contributes to cold symptoms. Dr. Rennard theorized if chicken soup can stop or reduce inflammation, it might reduce the symptoms of a cold. It appears his theories are correct. The University of Nebraska Medical Center has even shared the recipe that Dr. Rennard has found to relieve cold symptoms as believed. Click here to read the recipe and more on the research if you’d like.
Like I said, I’m not a scientist or doctor, but these simple remedies sure make sense to me. When the weather starts to change, and we have those months where days turn from cold to warm and back again, arm yourself with some good old fashioned cures for the common cold. Of course, I know there is no “cure” for the common cold, but these little treats will at least help you feel better and get through the next bout with the sniffles!
p.s. Check out even more chicken recipes by clicking right here. Even if you don’t catch a cold, it’s still good eating!