It's that time of year. It seems like everyone's experiencing the sniffling, sneezing, run-down feeling of the common cold. While science hasn't perfected a way to cure this perennial ailment, there are a few natural ways you can shorten its stay and significantly improve the symptoms. Ready to try?
Turn Up the Heat
If you're lucky enough to have access to an infrared sauna, now's the time to pop in for a bit of R&R. Saunas can cut down on the amount of time you have a cold by increasing white blood cell activity, thereby stimulating immunity. Plus, nothing feels better than a little spa treatment when you're feeling under the weather. I do own a sauna, and I stay relatively cold-free. Science backs this: a study showed that sauna users had 50% less colds than their non-sauna-using counterparts!
Get the NAC
Okay, okay. Not everyone has a sauna. Not to worry! Here are four great and easy ways to knock that common cold right out of your system. No, not the 80s rock group. The amino acid N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) can help you power through your cold by controlling symptoms by as much as half. This hard-hitting supplement can help by thinning mucus to ease congestion and sniffles and by increasing the numbers of virus-fighting cells.
Take Turmeric Turmeric's a known immune booster, but it doesn't absorb well without fat, so it needs to be made into a drink with milk or coconut/nut milks for best results. For a quick and yummy cup, heat 1 cup of milk and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, cinnamon, and honey. It can reduce the duration of your cold by a few days, at least. And please don't doubt the efficacy of this simple drink; studies recently showed turmeric to be surprising effective at fighting off diseases, even drug-resistant tuberculosis!
Don't Skip the C
Vitamin C is a heavy hitter when it comes to fighting common cold symptoms. In fact, one study showed that people who took mega-doses of Vitamin C while they had a cold decreased their symptoms by 85%! Now that's what I call a result! The study group got doses of 1000 mg per hour for the first 6 hours, then 1000 mg three times daily thereafter. I like this liposomal Vitamin C, because I have poor gut absorption, but you can take other supplements as well. Also, make sure you get some whole food sources in your daily diet: red grapefruit is particularly potent.
Ginger for What Ails You
Ginger has been widely studied and has many beneficial and restorative properties. Just a little bit of ginger each day when you're feeling under the weather can aid in recovery. Try three slices of candied ginger per day or put fresh ginger slices in hot water with a bit of honey to make a throat-soothing tonic drink.
While there's still no real cure for the common cold, adding these four (or five, if you have that sauna!) simple steps into your cold-fighting arsenal can help you rest easier and recover faster than you ever have before. So then next time you feel a cold coming on, mobilize these natural immune boosters and get back to normal!
** Remember, always check with your physician before trying any remedies, natural or otherwise, recommended here or anywhere online!