How to Cure a Cold Naturally
With fall comes many shifts and transformations. Nature’s hues have transitioned from vibrant greens to warm yellows and rich reds. The heat that once lingered into the evenings is replaced by dry winds and brisk evenings. We have settled from the stir of summer into a time of gentle focus. And with all of these changes outside of us, it is almost inevitable that we will encounter some changes inside of us as well. One of the most prevalent? The common cold and the flu.
We’ve all had one or the other at some point on our lives. And even though sometimes we pray to get sick just to get some peace and quiet (or to play hooky from work and school), when it actually hits us, it’s pretty much the worst.
It's been quite some time since I’ve been sick. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I was out of commission due to an illness. Of course there have been times when I’ve started to get sick or even had those initial symptoms. But I’ve learned a few things that have made it possible to completely avoid any of those mystery, chemical-filled medicines and antibiotics. I know some of you are thinking Yeah, yeah, whatever. Your little home remedies aren’t a match for what I can get at a pharmacy. "Well," I reply ever so humbly, "that’s where you’re wrong!" In fact store-bought medicines are just cheap chemical knockoffs of what is found in nature. So why not get back to the source?
Allow me to show you that you can indeed cure a cold naturally with a quick trip to the grocery store and few clicks on Amazon.
Step 1: Hit the Grocery Store
Go to your local market and go straight to the produce area. The most powerful antivirals are right there. Grab fresh, organic foods, herbs and spices. These will include things like ginger, lemon, limes, turmeric, oranges, pineapple, cayenne, black pepper, garlic and apple cider vinegar. All of these can be added into your daily meals or drinks some way or another, though be sure that these meals are extra wholesome while you aren’t at your strongest. In this post, however, I will be focusing on power packed drink combinations that will annihilate the beast that has taken over your immune system.
Once you’re finished in with produce, go on over to the supplement section. I prefer to order these on Amazon to save some money but that’s just me. Pick up immune function herbs such as echinacea, rhodiola rosea, astragalus supreme, ashwagandha, cat’s claw, elderberry, etc. These are all powerful antivirals and will boost your immune system as well as lessen the effects of stress on your body. And don’t forget the herbal oils! Oregano oil, peppermint oil, and lavender are my go-to’s when I'm under the weather.
Now that we have everything we need, it’s time to put them all together.
Step 2: Preparations
The type of sickness you have will determine the type of drink you make. In Ayurveda, we follow a system of “like increases like.” So if you have a mucousy, heavy cold, what will happen if you eat heavy, fatty foods? If you said that the cold will worsen, you are correct. That’s why we use counterbalances as a method for balance restoration. A dry cold will need soothing measures and a heavy cold will need clearing, drying measures. But what about a new cold? Lets start there.
For a new cold, we will be making a vitamin C drink. This is perfect for those times where you know you can beat the cold if you get proactive quickly. The ingredients in a vitamin C drink are as follow:
Base of fresh squeezed orange or pineapple juice (this should be most of the glass)
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp of camu camu powder
Drink this with fresh strawberries or mango to get that extra pack of VC!
Now for a little balance restoration. For a dry cold (runny nose, dry cough, scratchy throat), a little soothing action is just what the naturopath ordered. I like to make a nice Golden Milk. It’s warm, coats the throat and it’s seriously yummy. Take a look at this recipe by The Minimalist Baker, it’s my fave and so easy to make! The star of the show in this recipe is turmeric, a spice I'm sure we all know and love. But did you know that turmeric is best absorbed in a fat medium (milk/nut milk base)? And that turmeric becomes 5000 times more potent when paired with black pepper? That's why the golden milk is so amazing!
And last but not least, the worst of them all— the heavy, wet cold or flu. This needs to be dried and cleared out. Here is my go to drink that will make you feel like you can breathe again. For a wet cold, combine the following in a large shot glass:
Base of Apple Cider Vinegar (who’s down with ACV, yeah you know me!)
Fresh squeezed ginger (gently boil then juice)
This doesn’t have an exact measurement because I tend to make mine very strong and most people are not as masochistic as I am (ugh it burns so good). So just play around with the measurements of your liking. You can also boil a little garlic and squeeze the juice of that into your shot. This is also great for keeping the vampires away, and, well, people in general.
Now that you know what to do, its time to make a daily routine!
For any cold, start the day with warm lemon water or dandelion root tea and drink warm water and tea throughout the day. Add lemon and ginger to your drinks as often as you can.
For new cold, drink the Vitamin C shot 2-3 times per day before your meals.
For dry cold, drink Golden Milk in the morning (right before breakfast or as your breakfast) and at night (at least one hour after dinner) and have one Vitamin C shot in the middle of the day. Eat hearty, nourishing, well-cooked foods.
For a heavy, wet cold, drink Vitamin C shot in the morning, drink the astringent combination 3 times per day (directly before or after meals), and have a small cup of Golden Milk before bed. This will ensure that you aren’t over-drying your system. Eat light, cooked foods and make sure your meals are warm.
Eat whole foods, no processed sugars, no fried foods, etc.
Take your supplements everyday. Earlier in the day is best but just taking them at all is good enough!
Light exercise such as nature walks and easy stretches are encouraged if you are feeling well enough.
Make your space sacred. Light candles, clean up, get flowers, watch and read uplifting material. A nice clean space will help you feel relaxed and will allow you to rest better.
Put some diluted peppermint oil on your nostrils and chest to ease your breathing.
Sleep well. Lavender spray on your pillow or essential oil drops massaged on your feet can help if you're finding it difficult.
Do all of this for at least 1 week! It doesn't happen overnight, but with repeated use, these measures will have you feeling better within a couple of days.
You can also use these remedies in every day life to boost your immune system and avoid getting sick at all! I suggest each one 1-3 times per week.
The last step in curing your cold naturally is to avoid irritants! Although these should be avoided at all times, they should really be eliminated during this time of restoration. Some irritants include:
Cold drinks. No ice water, no frozen smoothies. Cold drinks are constricting and will further irritate that scratchy throat or the mucous build up in your body. Opt for room temperature or warmer. The warmer the better!
Cigarettes. I mean… this one is self-explanatory.
Overly strenuous activities. Exercise, sex, and activities that require a lot of brain power should all be avoided. Don’t feel guilty about skipping the gym for the week. Email your teachers or boss and tell them that you’ll catch up with your work soon. And honestly, I’m sure your significant other will gladly avoid close contact for a few days.
Stress. Easier said than done I’m sure but remember this is your body’s way of telling you that you need time to recharge. So do only what absolutely needs to be done and spend the rest of your time in bed binging on TV shows and books you’ve been dying to read.
We can’t always avoid getting sick in the world we live in today. But we can decide to do the absolute best thing possible for our bodies in the situation by choosing natural alternative to medicine. Nature provides us with everything that we need. By utilizing the gift of Mother Earth, not only can we avoid a cold but we can live our best and healthiest lives each and every day. Wishing everyone light, love, health, and happiness always.