‘Tis the season where sneezing, coughing, and runny noses rock our worlds. Living in New York City, it’s hard to get away from germs considering you’re always rubbing elbows with strangers, but I have found a handful of holistic cold remedies especially effective in stopping sniffles in their tracks. Here are some of my top all-natural ways to fight colds head on this season.
1. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Since I’ve gotten into the routine of drinking warm lemon water every morning and I was recently battling a cold, I thought it would be the perfect time to try to add in this trendy wellness beverage. I had about three mugs of lemon water and acv when I was up against the worst day of my cold and I was considering caving and going to the doctor. I decided to sleep it off and no joke, all of my cold symptoms (congestion, drainage, coughing, fatigue etc.) had disappeared — I was a brand new woman! Cue me slugging back a mug of this OG cure-for-all every morning like it’s water. I typically add a 1/2 to 1 shot to my lemon water ritual. Beyond its antibacterial and pathogen killing properties it boosts energy, helps with digest, reduces risk of heart disease, and (drum roll please) may help fight cancer. ACV #FTW!
2. LED Light Therapy
I first became intrigued with infra-red saunas at Higher Dose during radiation because the sessions help remove radiation from the body as well as having a myriad of other benefits. I was going so frequently that it I thought it would be more financial sustainable long-term to buy my own (no sauna, unfortunately). There are so many benefits and different kinds of lights, but I personally use the body pad, local pad and eye mask from In Light Medical systems which incorporate blue, red, and infrared lights. In regards to colds and viruses specifically, these lights aid to eradicate MRSA bacteria and certain forms of strep and staph, restore your sleep cycle, increase removal of pathogens and cell debris, relive pain, enhance your immune system, and *so* much more. I can’t rave enough about these lights — I’m doing a full article on them soon so stay tuned! At the very least, I see a significant change in my mood when I use them and they have been a total game-changer for my scar recovery. To learn more email firstname.lastname@example.org and use my name as a referral!
Yup, this flowering root does way more than adding a tinge of sweet flavor to your sushi. It aids to fight nausea, soreness, inflammation, indigestion, and *also* has cancer-fighting benefits. I add ginger juice to my green smoothies in the morning, but when I’m feeling under-the-weather, I buy up the real deal — the actual root that is. Grate the root and boil it with water to whip up a warm, decongesting tea that your nose will surely thank you for. Pro tip : add the apple cider vinegar to amp up your cold-busting concoction.
All hail the mighty vitamin, Quercitin, a natural antioxidant found in superfoods that is proven to benefit immunity, heart health, and inflammation. According to the Department of Pathology and Diagnostics at the University of Verona in Italy, it’s also “anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic.” Oh and what do you know, it’s has cancer-fighting properties as well!
If you have explored my site and Instagram, you know that I’m a huge fan of Sun Potion medicinal mushrooms. Astragalus is an ancient Chinese herb root that is known for its immune system boosting qualities. Other properties range from slowing tumor growth to inhibiting any volatile physical and mental stressors.
6. STEAM AND DIFFUSE
According to the New York Times, inhaling steam or humidified air, “clears congestion, improves breathing and kills off cold viruses, which are sensitive to heat.” I have found that this is more of an instant cure, not long-term or sustainable. However, it does have other relaxing mental and de-stressing benefits. As the seasons shift to colder weather, it’s also wise to pick up a diffuser so you can infuse the air in your home with soothing essential oils. Tea tree oil has various antibacterial properties and eucalyptus can act as an antiviral and decongestant.
It’s so easy, yet so hard! But why?! If you’re feeling under the weather, do all of us a favor and create some white space for yourself. If you continue to struggle on while you have a cold, it can easily linger on for twice maybe even three times as long as it should — with the possibility of evolving into something worse because your immune system is already shot. Not to mention, you have a greater potential of infecting others. When in doubt, just stay in bed, read a good book, or indulge in some Netflix-and-chill. Check out my favorite sleepy time lotion, echinacea tea (organic honey is great too, but I’m sugar-free!), and essential oil to help you get in the zone.
8. DRINK WATER
When you’re under the weather, you tend to loose your appetite and drinking water goes out the window. If still water doesn’t sound appealing, load up on flavored hot tea or seltzer to simply ensure your body is staying hydrated. This allows your heart to work at maximum efficiency so your body can work more on fighting off infection rather covering the basics. Shop my favorite water bottle here — the bigger the better!