Treating a common cold can be extremely difficult, especially if you have small children. Your family could spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year on doctor’s visits and cold medications, but the fact of the matter is there is no scientific cure for a common cold.
Some experts believe that over-the-counter medications can be dangerous when given to children, especially if they are under the age of two, and some popular commercial medications like Tylenol contain acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage or failure if taken in high doses. (In fact, as of January 2008 the US Food and Drug Administration warned parents about the dangers of giving over-the-counter cold and cough medications to young children).
Because there are numerous natural treatments that can be just as effective as treating the common cold, with the proper tools and remedies you could not only reduce the life span of a cold, you can also prevent your children from catching a cold in the future as well.
Here are ten natural home remedies that are known to be just as effective in treating the common cold:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most effective natural remedies in treating a cold because it increases the production of white blood cells, and can also help prevent the multiplication of viruses while reducing mucus and inflammation in the nasal passageways.
You can take vitamin C in a pill form, but other foods that are surprisingly packed full of vitamin C include oranges, cauliflower, lemons, broccoli, strawberries, cabbage, peaches, kiwi, tomatoes, and parsley.
As many mothers probably already know, the key to curing any type of cold is to drink lots of fluid. Of course this can come in the form of water or juice, but tea is a hot liquid that can help prevent the drying of your child’s throat and nose. Drinking tea is also another popular, natural home remedy for treating flus because it can help prevent dehydration as well.
Chamomile and green tea specifically can be extremely effective in treating a cold because like other teas they act as an antioxidant which can help remove any toxins in the body as well as bacterial infections.
Garlic contains antiseptic properties that could help protect the immune system against a common cold, and scientific studies have shown that the allocine contained in garlic can also act as a stimulator of white blood cells. The oil in garlic also helps open up the respiratory passages, and if taken in soup form it can help flush out all the toxins in your child’s system and also bring down a fever as well.
Boil three to six cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water, and have your child drink the liquid in a soup form and drink it two to three times a day. (If your child isn’t a fan of garlic soup you could even try dropping three to five drops of garlic oil into their food or drink).
4. Salt water gargle
Forcing your child to gargle with warm salt water may be a daunting task, but it can actually help remove any bacteria from your child’s mouth and throat. Mix about ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon of salt into an 8-ounce glass of warm water, and stir until all of the salt is dissolved before gargling.
If your child has a runny or stuffed up nose, eating pepper with a meal, gargling pepper in hot water, or even simply smelling pepper can help break apart any congestion in your child’s lungs or sinuses. Pepper can help break up congestion effectively thanks to its capsaicin components which are known to thin mucus, and they are also effective in helping getting rid of the germs in the nasal passages as well.
Eating ginger raw or drinking ginger tea are both popular natural home remedies that are known to help treat the symptoms of a common cold. Take about ten grams of ginger and cut it up into small pieces before boiling it in a cup of water, and then have your child drink the mixture at least two times a day.
Because honey has been used as a cold fighter for years, it may not come as a surprise to some that honey can be effective in shortening the lifespan of a cold. Experts have found that buckwheat honey can help treat a cough because it coats and soothes an irritated throat, and other researchers have found that it can also help sick children sleep better at night as well. However, if you have a child who is under the age of one do not give them any honey as it could lead to botulism.
Cinnamon is known to help ease the pain of a dry or sore throat, and it is praised by “naturalists” because of its effective healing properties. You can try boiling one teaspoon of powdered cinnamon in a glass of water, and then mixing it with some pepper powder and honey for extra effect. Or you can also give your child two to three drops of cinnamon oil by applying it to their food or drink.
9. Chicken soup
Chicken soup is packed full of nutrients and vitamins that are essential when treating a common cold. Scientific studies have shown that it can actually thin mucus secretions, and the carbohydrates from the broth and noodles can help maintain your child’s energy level as well.
10. Aromatherapy Soaks
Eucalyptus Essential Oil is commonly used in aromatherapy due to its antiseptic properties (it has been shown to kill bacteria). When inhaled, it also acts as an expectorant to loosen phlegm that typically accompanies the cold and flu. It is also used in pain relief, so it makes a great bath oil to relieve cold or flu body aches. The 100% Pure Eucalyptus Cold & Flu Relief Vapor Bath is an ideal natural cold and flu remedy. It comes in a 4 ounce amber glass bottle. A little goes a long way, so one bottle will last you for quite some time.
Today’s guest post was contributed by Alexis Bonari, a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching grants for art students as well as scholarships for military students. Whenever this WAHM gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare and practicing the art of coupon clipping.