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As Winter takes hold so unfortunately do the coughs, colds and sneezes, but strange as it sounds having a cold from time to time is actually a healthy thing!  Let me explain ….

The symptoms that you get with a cold, whilst a little unpleasant at times, are actually just your body’s own defence mechanisms at work – your system produces mucus (a runny or blocked nose) to capture and expel the bacteria and viruses that are attacking, for instance, whilst the raised temperature creates an environment that is too hot for them to survive in.  So the fact that these processes kick in and ‘do their thing’, so to speak, is a really good sign that your immune system is working well, which is precisely what we want it to do. After all, a strong immune system is the best basis for good health there is!

But yes – I hear what you’re saying! 

Whilst having a cold may be a healthy thing (though, of course, constantly getting colds is not and is often a sign of a deeper disturbance that should be investigated), when you’ve got a life to live and things to do those symptoms can be a nuisance, so anything you can do to relieve them would be helpful.

Many over the counter remedies for colds simply suppress the symptoms. 

Whilst this helps in the short term, long term this approach prevents the immune system from working properly with all the range of problems this then brings.  Consequently what you do to help yourself feel better should aim to support your body through the cold, allowing it to continue with all its good work while reducing the impact of those irritating symptoms, and you’ve guessed it – natural remedies are the best for this.

So here are a few of my suggestions to try the next time a cold strikes:

  • Tackle a cold through diet.  Avoid mucus producing foods as much as possible including dairy, eggs, meat and soya – your system is producing enough mucus already without encouraging more!
  • Increase your Vitamin C intake, especially useful at the onset of a cold, to help your immune system.
  • If you are suffering with a blocked nose try Eucalyptus essential oil or to fight infection try Tea Tree.  Add a few drops to some hot water and breathe in the steam.
  • If you have ear ache with your cold try a few drops of Lavender oil on some cotton wool placed in the outer ear (do be careful not to push it into the ear) or try as a compress over the ear.  If symptoms have suddenly appeared then the homeopathic remedy Belladonna may be useful.  Again avoid mucus producing foods.
  • For sore throats again Lavender essential oil is good.  This time add a few drops to hot water and inhale the stream. Taking the homeopathic remedy Aconite at the start of a sore throat can often stop it in its tracks whilst Echinacea as a throat spray can help if it’s more advanced.
  • And don’t forget Echinacea – take throughout Winter to ward off colds and increase the dose if you feel one coming on.

Whilst it is always good to treat minor aliments as naturally as possible, remember that if symptoms persist, suddenly worsen or you are concerned in any way then seek medical assistance immediately.

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