How to ease cold symptoms naturally March 21, 2017 14:55

The recent bout of colds in the family brought us to the paediatrician, where it sure seemed like cold season with kids all sniffly and accompanying adults surreptitiously swiping at their own noses too.  Inspiration for the blog thus - how to ease cold symptoms naturally, especially if you are looking to reduce the chemical load on your child and yourself!

1. Rub on some peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil, diluted with a carrier oil (like jojoba or coconut), works great rubbed thickly onto the throat & chest and dabbed under the nose, up to 3 times a day.  Peppermint essential oil works topically to help relieve cold symptoms - and, to be honest, the incredible scent just makes you feel much better!

2. Gargle with saltwater

A saltwater gargle, made by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in a small glass of warm water, can give some relief to a sore or scratchy throat.  Little ones under 6 may not be able to gargle successfully though.

3. Trust the ol' trusty honey lemon

Warm lemon water mixed with honey is not only soothing but also healing, helping to clear up congestion.  Upgrade that honey to Manuka honey for its remarkable antibiotic and antibacterial properties!

Or try this super-powered cold-buster tea adapted from Yuri Elkaim's Feel Better Tea here - 

  • Green tea (however prepared, in loose-leaf form or a tea-bag)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (the more potent type with ‘the mother’)
  • 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Manuka honey

Steep the green tea for 1 minute, before adding the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and honey.  Enjoy immediately! 

Feel Better Tea

4. Take ginger water

Ginger water, made by boiling ginger slices in water, can help soothe inflammation and relieve that throat pain. 

If you are feeling lazy with the cold and all, simply get a cup of teh halia or halia from an Indian food stall!  [Halia is plain ginger water (served with milk and sugar, unless you request otherwise), with the addition of black tea.]

Ginger is a strong anti-inflammatory, which comes with impressive immunity-boosting powers.

5. Do a little massage at the sinus area

A little self-massage on your sinuses can help clear congestion in the area!  

To figure out where the pressure points are, draw two imaginary vertical lines (parallel) from the inner corners of your eyes down to the corresponding outer corners of your nose.  Imagine placing 4 dots along each vertical line, at evenly-spaced intervals - the topmost point being at the corner of your eyes, and the bottommost point just outside of the corner of your nose.  The 3 lower spots on each vertical line (ie. all save for the spots at your eyes) are your target pressure points.  Now, you are ready to perform the massage.

Using the index finger of each hand, and moving from the highest point down to the lowest point, put firm pressure on each of those spots in small circular movements.  10 seconds on each point works well.

This nifty acupressure trick was taught to me by Dr Vivien Chong! 

6. Eat to boost your immunity

Fuel up on Vitamins A and C to strengthen your body's defences!

Vit A supports healthy tissue and cell membranes, as well as mucous membranes (like those in your mouth and nose), which reduces your vulnerability to infectious organisms.  Vit A also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Foods rich in Vit A include animal foods like eggs, fish oil, butter, and liver.

Vit C supports infection-fighting T and B cell function, and phagocytes (which gobble up harmful bacteria).  Foods rich in Vit C include kiwis, citrus fruits, berries and peppers. 

7. Stay warm, rested and hydrated

Fighting the immunity battle is tough on your body, so make it easy for your body to focus its attentions on the battle!  

Now, with these effective natural treatment tips and remedies, you should be well on your way to recovery.  But do listen to your body - if symptoms persist, go see a doc!

And while the family is stuck home battling the cold, here are some great DIY ideas to entertain the little ones!