If you are anything like me, when those cold symptoms start to creep through your body, your internal dialogue probably goes something along the lines of, “Not now! I really don’t have time to be sick, arghhh! OK, so exactly how much Aspirin and Ibuprofen can I safely take to make me feel vaguely human?”
Does that sound familiar? What if we turn this ‘solution’ on its head and instead tackle the common cold naturally?
If we think about the basic idea of taking drugs to suppress symptoms so we can battle on with our day, it makes sense that all we are really doing is pushing the pathogen that is trapped in our body deeper into our system while it is, in fact, trying desperately to get out and escape. Symptoms of a cold and flu, like a runny nose, hacking cough, sneezing, all get trapped inside – when rather, its all about expelling mucus.
Please note that if you have a medical condition, your symptoms persist, or you have trouble breathing, please seek medical attention from your Doctor immediately.
Chinese Medicine for the Common Cold
The ancient Chinese remedies for colds, to my mind, make much more sense. According to TCM, it's believed that 'treatment' is all about releasing the pathogen, and therefore liberating the body.
In Chinese Medicine, 'cold' symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose with clear or white phlegm, an itchy throat, coughing up clear or white mucus, and an achy body – what Chinese Medicine refers the pathogen as, 'wind-cold'.
On the other hand, 'hot' symptoms include sore throat, more fever than chills, thirst, nasal congestion with yellow phlegm, and coughing up yellow mucus. In Chinese Medicine, these symptoms mean the pathogen is, 'wind-heat'. This knowledge will help you to know how to proceed with foods and herbs.
Always consult your Doctor as well as a verified Chinese Medicine practitioner in order to understand more about herbs and foods that can help.
However, using this ancient wisdom from China, here are indispensable, natural (*and inexpensive) home remedies you can try today to relieve yourself of the pain and discomfort of being sick and having a cold.
All-natural home remedies for fast cold-relief
1. Ginger soup
To make this delicious soup, first cut up or grate ginger and put in a pan of simmering water. Keep on a gentle boil for 20 minutes Add some organic orange peel to the ginger and water and keep on the boil for 10 more minutes. Take off the heat, add honey to taste and drink it.
2. Epsom salt bath
Chinese medicine is all about going with the seasons. So if your body is fighting the common cold, indulge in some self-care by taking a hot bath. Epsom salts are packed full f magnesium which helps to relieve the body of stress, relaxes your muscles, and opens up your nasal passages. Run a hot bath and pour at least two cups of Epsom salts.
Also, be sure to stay physically warm and wrapped up all winter long. You can even try going to bed with a hot water bottle and add extra blankets ready to sweat it all out!
3. Raw garlic and onion foot ‘compress’
Disgusting, right? But it does work!
In the same vein as the hot ginger soup, the garlic and onion are believed to draw out the pathogen through the soles of your feet.
Before bed, cut up slices of raw onion and garlic, then massage your feet with olive oil and place the onion and garlic over the soles of the feet. Secure in place by wrapping your feet in cling film (plastic wrap) and wear big socks over them.
Leave them on your feet for the whole night, and while you might smell in the morning, you might feel much better!
Along with these remedies, rest is also essential to allow your body to recover quickly. Sometimes that may mean putting your self-care first and taking a day off of work, which in the modern world will probably be the least palatable part of these ancient remedies.
Which one will you try?