Winter Tips: How To Get Rid Of Cold & Sore Throat

Gunjan Lal
September 13, 2016
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Winter Tips: How To Get Rid Of Cold & Sore Throat

Colds and Sore throats are fairly common in winters and are almost always caused due to viral infections. Sometimes changes in temperature, for instance, going from a warm room or a centrally heated hall to the icy outdoors could also affect your throat and cause cold.

You can help ward off colds by regularly washing or sanitizing your hands. This will help in destroying any bugs that you might have picked up while touching common surfaces used by many people, such as railings, light switches, and chairs & door handles.

It is also good to keep your house and household items such as glasses, cups, and towels clean, especially if there's someone who is ill in your house.

Drink!

Consume plenty of fluids. It assists in breaking up your congestion, keeps your throat moist, and most importantly - keeps you hydrated.

If you thought keeping yourself properly hydrated was only necessary for summers you couldn't be more wrong. You need to drink at least 7 to 8 glasses of fluids even during winters. You have to keep yourself hydrated no matter what the weather is.

Drink anything, be it water, herbal teas, sports drinks, fruit drinks, soups, or ginger ale. And try to avoid the sort of drinks that might dehydrate you later on.

Make Your Winters Steamy

Make Your Winters Steamy

Loosen up your stuffy nose by inhaling some steam. Pour some boiling water in a pot and hold your head (cover it with a towel) over it and breathe in the steam very carefully (don't let the steam burn your nose) through your nose.

If you have peppermint oil or tea tree oil then awesome, drop two to three drops of any one of these essential oils in the water before you take in the steam.

Keeping a humidifier in your room might help too. Try to take in some moisture through a steaming hot shower.

Blow Your Nose

Blowing your nose is far better than sniffling back mucus into your head. But it's important for you to blow your nose the right way. If you blow too hard, you'll send back germ carrying phlegm into your ear passages. This can cause you to have an earache and earaches are awful!

The best way to blow your nose is to press a finger over one nostril while you gently blow to clear the other.

Salt-Water Rinse or Saline Spray

Both can be beneficial in breaking up the congestion in your nose.

If you go the rinsing route, try this - Mix three teaspoons of salt (iodide-free) and one teaspoon baking soda and place it in an airtight container. Now add one teaspoon of this mixture to one cup of lukewarm, boiled or distilled water.

Now fill a dropper with this solution, lean your head over a basin and carefully squirt the salt water into your nose. Close one of your nostrils by putting light finger pressure while squirting the mix into the other nostril and then let it drain. Treat both nostrils the same way.

Keep in mind to always use distilled, or previously boiled water when you make this solution. Not doing so may lead you to an infection.

Stay Warm and Rested

Keeping warm and resting are two things I would love to do entire winters!

It is very important to get proper rest when you first come down with a cold. Resting helps your body to direct its energy straight to fighting off your infection. This battle takes a considerable toll on your body. So give your body a little help by lying down under a blanket and staying warm.

Gargle With Warm Salt Water

Gargle With Warm Salt Water

I'm pretty sure you know this one or someone must have recommended it to you.

Gargling with warm salt water moistens your scratchy or a sore throat and provides instant temporary relief. Mix a half teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water and gargle at least four times a day.

To get respite from the tickle in your throat, go for a gargle made from tea or go for one with honey mixed in it.

Drink Hot Liquids

I don't think you'd need a reason to drink hot liquids in winters! But still, here they are - hot liquids help in relieving your congestion and soothing the inflamed lining of your throat and nose.

You can go for a mild ginger or cinnamon or peppermint tea. Even a cup of hot chocolate would do!

Use Mentholated Balm

Try a small dab of Vicks, or anything that has menthol as an ingredient under your nose. It helps in opening up your breathing passages.

Menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus all have mild numbing qualities that can help in relieving the pain in your nose which is sometimes caused by cold.

Put Hot Packs on Your Sinuses

You can either buy the reusable ones from a medical store or make your own at home.

Take a damp washcloth and heat it in the microwave for about thirty seconds. Make sure to test the temperature first, to know if it's right for you.

Put an Extra Pillow Under Your Head

Put an extra pillow under your head at night before you sleep. It will help you to relieve congested nasal passages and breathe a little easily. If you find the angle too awkward then place another pillow under your shoulders in order to create a sort of slope so that you won't wake up with a neck ache in the morning.

Hot Lemonade

Hot Lemonade

It's an amazing portion for a sore throat. Take four lemons, several slices of ginger root and honey to taste. Juice the lemons and scrub the peel well, and add to the juice. For an added boost of benefits, add slices of ginger root. Pour plenty of boiling water on it, put a lid covering it, and let it steep until cool.

Strain off the liquid and add honey and add more water if you like, to taste. Drink while it's hot.

Honey

Honey is a miraculous thing - it has a great number of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Drinking lemon tea with honey can provide relief to the pain caused by a sore throat.

According to a research it was found that honey is an effective cough suppressant. As per a study published it was revealed that a spoonful of honey, when given at bedtime, can reduce the severity of a cough in children. In addition to that, it was also reported that the children slept more soundly, which helps in reducing the symptoms of cold.

Keep in mind if your child is younger than one-year-old then you should not give her or him honey as honey contains botulinum spores. Which are usually harmless for older children and adults but newborn babies' immune systems are generally not able to fight them off.

Garlic

Garlic contains a compound known as allicin, which is believed to possess antimicrobial properties. Therefore, if you add a garlic supplement to your diet, it might reduce the severity of your cold. If you consume garlic on a regular base, it might even help your immune system and ward off falling sick in the first place.

According to a research review - in a study of 146 participants, it was found that people who took garlic supplements reported lesser cases of the common cold than the people who didn't take garlic supplements.

Although, more research is needed in order to prove the potential cold-fighting benefits of garlic. But till that time adding some more garlic to your daily diet definitely, won't hurt.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Limes, lemons, oranges, leafy greens, grapefruits, and many other fruits and vegetables, are good sources of vitamin C. This particular vitamin plays a highly important role in your body and has plenty of health benefits. You must have already noticed that I suggested hot lemonade as a remedy for a cold as well as lemon tea with honey - it is because fresh lemon juice helps to reduce phlegm when you're sick.

Do keep in mind that these drinks only assist in making you feel better and may not truly clear up all your cold but they sure will help you get the vitamin C that your immune system requires.

As per a research getting enough vitamin C could help you with upper respiratory tract infections as well as other illnesses. So you better get a lot of vitamin C though your diet in winters!

Probiotics

Probiotics basically are the friendly bacteria and yeast which are found in your body, some foods, and of course - supplements. Probiotics can help keep your immune system and gut healthy. For instance, a study'sresults suggested that taking probiotics may help diminish your chances of being prone to an upper respiratory infection.

For an amazingly nutritious and delicious source of these helpful bacteria, you can include probiotic yogurt in your diet. Apart from its huge benefits for your immune system, yogurt is also a healthy snack that provides plenty of calcium and protein.

Vapor Rubs

You may not like the strong smell, but certain old-fashioned topical ointments such as vapor rub, are really effective in reducing cold symptoms in young children (older than 2 years), according to a published study mere one or two applications before bed can give assistance in opening air passages to combat congestion, reduce coughing, as well as improve sleep.

Vapor rubs are gaining popularity among some doctors who encourage parents to avoid consuming over the counter cold medications to young children because of unwanted side effects.

Some Herbal Teas That You Should Try

Basil Tea or Tulsi Tea

Basil is considered to be the most important herb, often called as 'the queen of herbs'. It is rightly named so because it is tremendously good for your health. It has been used as a medicinal herb by Indians for centuries. Modern research also came to the conclusion that tulsi has many constituents, including those with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Basil has been used traditionally to treat various respiratory problems such as bronchitis, cough, and cold. Other diseases commonly treated with basil tea include inflammation, fever, heart disease, poisoning, stomach complaints, and malaria.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea possesses antibacterial properties, that means it can help you fight bacterial illnesses, including coughs, and cold and fevers. Not only can it help you fight these illnesses but it can also prevent them. It also has traces of potassium, vitamin B, antioxidants and calcium. These help your body uptake nutrients which help fight off illness and perform necessary functions to keep your body healthy. Additionally, it's great for your stomach too. Peppermint tea and peppermint oil have been in use since thousands of years to treat a variety of gastrointestinal conditions and digestive disorders.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea (or Camomile tea) is one of the oldest herbs to be used medicinally for conditions such as sore throats and it is naturally soothing! It's most often used for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. This herbal tea has acquired for itself the name 'night-time' tea. It acts as a mild sedative and helps relieve insomnia so a comfy and hot cup of chamomile tea before bed can help you fall asleep peacefully.

By simply inhaling chamomile steam can help in relieving symptoms of cold and sore throat. Drinking chamomile tea will offer the same benefits. It can also stimulate your immune system, assisting your body in fighting off whatever caused your sore throat in the first place.

Gunjan Lal

Gunjan Lal

Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.

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