Natural Remedies for a Cold – Don’t Forget Bed Rest

Natural Remedies for a Cold – Don’t Forget Bed Rest

If you’re looking for a natural remedy to combat a winter cold or the flu, you might want to think this through a little first. It is easy to assume there is something inherently better about a remedy found in nature, as opposed to one found in a pharmacy, but health professionals don’t look at you getting better as a competition. They look for effective remedies – regardless of where they came from. Furthermore, there is no magic formula for treating a cold or flu, whether it comes from a pharmacy or your backyard. Honey soothes your throat if you have a cold, but it isn’t magic. There’s some science behind that. And there are natural principles at play when you buy a chemical at the drug store, even if the packaging was made out of plastic.

That said, patients should also be aware that natural remedies are not always risk-free, always consult a medical professional by calling 619-333-8114.

Honey soothes your throat, but it is highly advised that honey not be given to any child under one year of age due to the risk of botulism, which can be deadly. American ginseng is known to reduce the duration of a cold, but studies show that it has to be taken for long periods of time first. A cold is generally gone in 10 days, long before the ginseng will take effect. In addition, ginseng can interfere with blood thinners, making it an unadvised risk for some cold sufferers.

In seeking out natural remedies, many people forget the basic home remedies of getting some extra sleep and taking a hot bath or shower to let the steam work out your congestion. Here’s a natural remedy: Blow your nose frequently. Your body is already advising you to do this when you are stuffed up. There’s no more natural way to rid your body of infectious agents than to sneeze, cough, or blow your nose.

Here are a few great natural remedies for you to try. However, it is always advised to see a doctor within 48 hours if you have the flu, which is no joke. According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu, officially called influenza, affects between 9 million and 45 million people each year, causing anywhere between a low of 12,000 to a high of 61,000 deaths, according to current statistics.

For natural remedies, there are some sensible recommendations. Some of these are:

Tough it out

Don’t tough it out if pain, discomfort, or risks of other health issues complicate matters, but the plain truth is, according to the Mayo Clinic, that a fever is the body’s way of overheating, bringing temperatures high enough to kill the invasive bacteria in your system. If you aggressively combat the high temperatures with various medicines, you could be prolonging your cold, because you are forcing your body to stay at a bacteria-friendly temperature.

Call it the cough-sneeze-wheeze-tough-out approach to combating the flu. Let your body perform as it is intended to. It’s a very natural response.

Bed rest

The flu makes your temperature rise, which makes you sweat, which then quickly and uncomfortably cools you down. With this in mind, the best advice is to stay warm and get plenty of rest. Your body is also working overtime to combat the germs in your system. This tires people out. Go to bed early, sleep late, take lots of naps.


Saltwater is useful for clearing out mucus and for reducing soreness in your throat. Try using a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water. This can be used to clear out your nasal passages by gently using a syringe to direct the water into each side of your nose.

Saltwater is also effective for gargling. Gargle with a half-teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water four times a day. You can also add honey or apple cider vinegar to the solution. Some also add raspberry leaf tea or a drop or two of lemon juice.

Drink plenty of fluids

Hot tea is a universally used natural remedy for colds and flu, because of the up and down swings of your body temperature. Hot tea warms your core pretty well. Herbal tea with honey and a small amount of bourbon or whiskey is recommended. Too much alcohol, however, does not help, as it inflames your sinus membranes.

For an appointment

For an appointment, call Pacific Medical Care at 619-333-8114. We are located in downtown San Diego


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