Thursday, November 6, 2008

Home Remedies

Since this is the cold and flu season– and since I just got over a cold– I figured that I should reveal some of my techniques for fighting a cold. I must admit that I am extremely aggressive when it comes to my own prescriptions, and many times I may not always stick to my regimen as faithfully as I describe. Because of this, do not think that these are tried and true methods. They are, however, methods that I have found work best for myself whenever I get sick.

  • Drink lots of liquids. Try to avoid diuretics such as coffee that contain caffeine as it will pull out more liquids than you put in (you don't want that). I do find that tea is a good exception because most of the time it does not have as much caffeine as coffe, and I can put a cough drop in it– especially if the cough drop contains menthol (helps the nose).
  • Have a regimen of medicine that you take on a routine basis. I typically take an antihistamine during the day as it does not make me sleepy– then take a decongestant in the evenings so that I don't have to worry about things dripping down my throat when I sleep. If I have a cough, I will take an expectorant during the day so I can clear out my lungs– then take a suppressant during the evening so that I do not have coughing fits that keep me up all night.
  • Suck on a cough drop and candy. Many times either my nose is stuffed up, or I have a cough, so sucking on a cough drop helps. I have found that after many cough drops my mouth is either dry, or it tastes funny… so I switch from time to time to a hard candy such as a watermellon Jolly Rancher.
  • Gargle, brush gargle. There are two types of gargling that I do nasal and throat. Mix up your warm salt water in a cup. For the nasal gargle, take a straw and cyphon some into it and drain it into your nose. Don't swallow the salt water, but try and keep it in your nasal cavety. Blow your nose when you are finished. Then do the throat gargle as you normally do. Once you are done gargleing, brush your teeth. When rinsing after brushing, swish some salt water in your mouth. Repeat the throat gargle to complete.
  • Take vitamin A. This is good for the mucus membranes. Don't take too much as this vitamin is fat soluble.
  • Eat fruit. This gives you vitamin C as well as puts something other than liquid in your belly.
  • Take a hot bath. I always say: "Feed a fever and Kill a cold"… so raising your temperature actually helps (me anyway). After your bath, wrap yourself up to stay warm (you don't want a chill).
  • Drink Soup. This adds the necessary salt to your system as well as keeps you warm.
  • Keep a positive attitude. It is said that if you are not emotionally well, it is harder to get physically well. So, be positive you'll get better soon.

My colds typically last about five days (though this last one lasted twice as long). Day one is when I notice I have a cold. Day two is when I have a stuffy nose. Day three is when I have a cough. Day four is when I am finally clearing my lungs and nose. And day five I am just exhausted from the ordeal. Since I have not really neglected my own home remedies, I never know if what I do makes my colds shorter or longer in length.


Whitney R said...

This is a great list!

Thanks for letting me know about it.

I feel a bit better. :)

I find that Claritin-D works great for keeping me unstuffed during the day. I take the 12 hour so I can take some sleepy helping stuff at nights.

I'm going to try a few things on the list. :)

Cajoh said...

Glad to know your feeling better. Let me know if anything helps.

Llama Wanderings said...

Have you ever heard of a neti pot? This little thing has gotten me over so many colds SO quickly! It clears out your sinuses better than anything I have ever tried. I do it a couple times a week even when I do not have a cold to work on preventing them.

I will admit that it feels a little weird, but it does work.

Daisy said...

Great list! I made a crockpot full of chicken soup from scratch as soon as I started feeling sick. I'll eat it every day until I get better or it's gone. I like Airborne, too. I take the kind that mixes into a water bottle to keep the fluids pouring.

KatBouska said...

I think I'm on the right hot baths yet, but it sure sounds nice.

I might add that sleep aids, such as Nyquil and Tylenol PM are MIRACLE drugs. Very very nice. :)

Cat said...

I never thought about taking Vit A! Thanks for the great tips!

Daisy said...

Me again - good tips. As for gargle, I invested in a Neti Pot last winter, and it's been a great help. I haven't had a sinus infection since.

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