Wednesday, December 29, 2010

6 Natural Remedies to 'Cure' a Cold

Article written by:By Chris Kilham Published December 29, 2010 | FoxNews.com

With winter fully upon us, cold season has officially arrived, with coughing, sinus congestion, and the dullness that colds impart. Fortunately, natural cold remedies can help you to beat colds more quickly, and reduce the severity of symptoms.

Here are a few of my favorite remedies, which are free of side effects.

1. Fresh ginger root

Spicy and inexpensive, fresh ginger root is my all-time favorite pick for cold care. Buy ginger fresh (organic is preferred), and cut a piece about an inch and a half long. Either chop that piece very finely or grate it. Put the finely minced ginger into a tea strainer, and put the tea strainer in a cup. Pour fresh boiling water into the cup. Let the tea sit for five minutes. Remove the tea strainer, and squeeze the ginger with a spoon to get a bit more of the ginger juice into the cup. Flavor with a spoonful of honey and sip. The anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals in ginger root will help to relieve a sore throat quickly, and they also kill rhinoviruses, which cause colds in the first place. Drink three or more cups daily until you are well. You can also drink the same ginger tea to warm up on a very cold winter day. For children, reduce the concentration of the tea a bit, so it’s less spicy.

2. Eucalyptus essential oil

You are congested, and your nose feels like it is plugged with baking dough. Fill the bathroom sink with hot water. Drop three to five drops of eucalyptus essential oil into the sink water. Drape a towel over your head, and bend over the sink. Breathe the vapors. Do this for five minutes. Eucalyptus essential oil is nature’s very best decongestant. As you breathe the vapors, you will feel your sinuses opening up. Do this as many times as you need. The eucalyptus vapors will also get deep into your chest, and can help to open up congested bronchial tubes. You can also get eucalyptus-based cough drops. They too will help you to decongest.

3. Echinacea
Even though a recent study found little improvement in colds when Echinacea was used, many other studies have shown that Echinacea, a traditional herbal cold remedy, does in fact reduce both the severity and the duration of colds. Your best Echinacea remedies are those made from fresh Echinacea. Try the Gaia Herbs brand or the Herb Pharm brand of fluid Echinacea extracts, or Echinaforce by A. Vogel.

4. Umcka
This funny name is a traditional San tribal name for the South African herb Pelargonium sidoides. You don’t need to remember the Latin name, but do remember Umcka. Especially when taken at the beginning of a cold, Umcka can cut the entire misery short. Human clinical studies show that Umcka works well. My two favorite brands are Umcka by Nature’s Way, and Cold Check by EuroPharma, which contains both umcka and another cold-fighting herb Andrographis.

5. Elder flower tea
Both a traditional remedy and a well studied modern medicine, elder flower helps to relieve the symptoms of a cold. It is safe even for very small children, and is remarkably gentle. Plus elder flower has a pleasant taste, so kids won’t find it objectionable.

6. The super decongestant tea of all time

If your local natural food store has loose herbs, buy equal amounts of eucalyptus, hyssop and sage. Add equal amounts of the three herbs together. Put a teaspoon of the mixture into a tea strainer. Pour freshly boiled water over the herbs and let steep for three minutes. Strain and drink. I have found that when nothing else will provide decongestant relief, this remarkable tea will do so very effectively. Drink one to three cups daily, and stop if your sinuses dry out too much.

Natural remedies work, and that is why they are the most widely used medicines on earth.

I keep all the remedies above in my home, ready for use. If you supply yourself with natural remedies for when cold season hits, you won’t be left scrambling to get them once symptoms have set in. In addition to the remedies above, if you do come down with a cold, stay warm, get plenty of rest, and take time to recover. And yes, for reasons that we do not entirely understand, chicken soup does help too. There’s a reason it’s affectionately known as “Jewish penicillin.”

Basically, follow the advice of wise grandmothers, and you’ll start to feel better.

Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer In Residence. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide. His field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France. Read more at www.MedicineHunter.com

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Note from Lucy: I much prefer to try natural cures before going to the doctor.... I usually do much better....

8 Comments:

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Granny Annie said...

This year I have a ton of people that can use this forwarded. Thankfully we have been healthy so far but we will try anything before going to the doctor.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Thanks again for some wonderful information. I use natural cures as much as I can and encourage my family to do the same. With the cost of prescription drugs climbing steady, we would all do well to go to natural remedies.

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Putz said...

i have been so lucky this year with my health><<>i bet it is nothing i have done, but just the loard blessing me><<><>i really do feel blessed

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thank you dear Lucy, for your very kind and caring words about dear Betty.....Everyone is devistated and none of us know how we are going ro get through this loss. Betty was such a Unique person---in every way...It is hard to fathom her light going out---She was such a Life-Force.

 
At 2:59 AM, Blogger Merle said...

Hi Lucy ~~ Some good natural cures
there and they often work better and quicker that doctor's medicine.

I would like to wish you a very Happy
Birthday for tomorrow the 16th Feb.
I hope you have a wonderful day with
some nice surprises my friend.
Take care, Love, Merle.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thanks so much Lucy for your very kind and caring words....Life will never be the same, I'm afraid, and that is how these hard losses go, I'm sorry to say---at least, that has been my experience in all the years of living and losing loved ones that I continue to endure--if anything, they get harder as one hets older.

Good advice on Natural products to use....well taken.

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Cliff said...

Thanks for the ideas. Some of these 'sound' like I might be arrested if I were in possession but we do have gingeroot.

 
At 9:49 AM, Anonymous John said...

I agree with Merle I always try home remedies first before going to my local doctor or pharmacy and thanks for the nice info.

 

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