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10 remedies for coughs and colds

Make runny noses, sneezing, sniffing and sore throats a thing of the past

Winter’s a time for family, festivities and relaxing by fires. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when many of us fall foul to pesky sneezes and sniffles. It can seem like you’re always on the verge of battling a cough and a cold.

But, there are loads of things you can do to make sure you get well and stay well when those tell-tale signs show up.

1. Take Vitamin C straightaway

Vitamin C is an old favourite for tackling colds, as it provides a boost to your immune system.When you feel the symptoms coming on, don’t just think you can shake it off. Get on the front foot with Vitamin C, on the very first day the symptoms appear.Taking a Vitamin C supplement straightaway has been shown to be the most likely way to reduce the length of your cold.

2.  Get plenty of essential Vitamin D

Vitamin D can trigger your body’s T-cells, which fight infections. If you don’t get enough Vitamin D these cells lie dormant and can’t tackle the bug. During winter, the sun’s rays aren’t powerful enough to give us the Vitamin D we need. Make sure you keep your levels topped up with a supplement.

3. Drink up

Getting plenty of fluids is one of the best ways to combat a cold. If you’re dehydrated this can slow mucus production, making it harder to clear viruses. While drinking cold water in winter isn’t always that appealing, you can stay on top of your fluid intake with herbal teas, fruit drinks or sports drinks.

4. Increase the family’s honey intake

Drinking hot honey and lemon is a classic way to soothe a sore throat. It’s also thought to be a great remedy for children’s coughs when used on its own. Try a couple of teaspoons of honey for the kids just before bedtime.

5. Top up on zinc

Increasing the levels of zinc in your diet may help you get over a cold quicker as it assists with keeping your immune system functioning. You can get this through daily supplements and certain foods.

Oysters are actually a great natural source of zinc and contain more per serving than any other food. So why not make the seafood platter your top choice this winter.

6. Blow your nose

It sounds obvious but sniffing mucus back in isn’t going to help you get rid of that infection. Always make sure you blow your nose instead. There is a knack to it though.

Blowing too hard can send germs back into your ear passages causing earache. Simply hold a finger over one nostril while you blow the other gently. Remember, no sniffing.

7. Try herbal medicines

Flowers themselves won’t be thriving in winter, but you can harness some flower power of your own to make sure you thrive in cold season.

The geranium-like plant Pelargonium is a herbal medicine used for colds, coughs, runny or blocked noses and sore throats. Try bringing some into your daily cold-battling routine.

8. Take Echinacea

It’s recommended you take echinacea throughout cold season for at least 10 days. This is a top way to stay on top of your winter health and help prevent you getting a cold in the first place. However, if you do eventually succumb it can help reduce the severity.

Handpicked article: How do I prevent getting a cold?

9. Rest up

It might feel like you’ve got a million things to do as you get prepped for Christmas, cope with a manic end to year at work and rush to the kid’s nativity, but if you get a cold you must rest and keep warm.

You might have loads going on, but your body needs to concentrate on fighting the infection. Take a load off under a blanket and keep hydrated with a warming herbal tea.

10. Clear your breathing

Open your airways with the decongestant Olbas Oil. Try a small dab on a handkerchief to help during the day and a little on your pillow at night.

Getting a cold doesn’t have to ruin your winter. It’s time to stay on top of any coughs, sore throats and sniffles making sure you get well quickly to enjoy the best of the season.

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