10 Home Remedies for Spring Colds

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Nettle Leaf Spring Colds

Suffering from a cold in the spring can be a miserable experience. Just when you’re most eager to shake off winter and get outside, you find yourself congested, achey, and stuck in bed. And since most colds are viral, it can seem like there’s nothing to be done but wait the infection out.

Luckily, that’s not entirely true. Though you can’t take antibiotics for most colds, there are several natural remedies you can use to improve your symptoms, boost your immune system, and reduce the number of days you are sick.

1. Zinc

Zinc, whether taken as a lozenge or a supplement, helps support the immune system and improve your body’s ability to fight off a viral infection. Some studies show that taking lozenges could reduce the duration of a cold from 7.6 days to 4.4 days. [1] If you do take zinc to help a cold, don’t do so for more than 5 days. Otherwise, you may experience an odd taste in your mouth or stomach upset.

2. Ginseng

As an herbal remedy, ginseng is typically used to increase energy and stamina. However, it also has immune system-boosting properties. A recent Canadian study showed that taking ginseng not only helped reduce the severity of cold symptoms, it also worked to prevent further infections. [2]

3. Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf can help improve symptoms of most infections, not just colds. It helps contains vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy immune system and helps the body process toxins. When taken as a tea, it can help you stay hydrated and support the immune function necessary for beating your cold.

4. Echinacea

Echinacea is one of the best known herbal remedies for colds and general immune health. It is generally taken to reduce both the length of time that a cold lasts and the severity of the symptoms. Echinacea has been shown to boost the strength and numbers of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections.

5. Ginger

Ginger, which is available fresh, dried, in tea, or as supplements, is one of the most effective treatments for colds. In nearly all its forms, ginger can reduce nausea, vomiting, headache, congestion, and fevers, making it a powerful way to fight off cold symptoms. It naturally boosts your immune system, helping you recover from your cold more quickly. [3]

6. Blueberries & Cranberries

The chemical properties of blueberries and cranberries make them both an excellent (and delicious) remedy for cold symptoms. Blueberries are high in natural aspirin, which can combat headaches, muscles aches, and other cold-induced pains. They can also reduce uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea. Cranberries help prevent bacteria from lodging in the bladder and urinary tract, reducing the likelihood that you will develop a secondary infection along with your cold.

7. Hot Tea

A cup of hot tea isn’t just comforting when you’re sick; it can also reduce your symptoms and boost your immune system. Both black and green tea contain catechin, a chemical that works as a natural antibiotic and helps your body fight off colds, the flu, and other infections. [4]

 

Sources:
[1] http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=709805
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1266327/?tool=pubmed
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049752/

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