triathlon_article_Natural_Cold_Remedies_From_Your_Kitchen_Cabinet

Natural Cold Remedies From Your Kitchen Cabinet

Article written by Daniel Max, Holistic Health Counselor, Yoga Instructor, Shiatsu Practitioner, owner of Sense of Self

Triathlon Nutrition  During the winter season many of us are either experiencing, fearing or recovering from the common cold. While there is no cure, there are many remedies to maintain health or speed up recovery.

The suggestions bellow are not meant to be taken simultaneously. Pick two or three to try at a time.

Simple Kitchen Herbs

During a Cold or For Winter Health Maintenance:

  • Boil a pot of water with ginger, cinnamon, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of chili flakes or cayenne, and honey. Keep refilling your cup and enjoy several times a day until you feel well.
  • Other ginger and cinnamon tea options could consist of lemongrass or a pinch of cardamom.
  • Tulsi (holy basil) can be purchased in tea bags and is a great winter tea to prevent and recover from a cold or flu.
  • Garlic: chop a clove of garlic into small pieces and swallow like a pill with water. Garlic helps fight bacterial and viral infections. You can do this every morning and will not experience garlic breath.

Cold Remedies:

  • In a jar mix honey with chopped onion and garlic. You can also add chili flakes, black pepper or a pinch of cayenne to the mix. Let sit for a couple of hours until the honey has liquefied. This concoction is highly effective as an antibacterial and for breaking up accumulated mucus. Take 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid solution daily.
  • For colds with a cough and congestion: Mix half a teaspoon of cinnamon with one teaspoon of honey. Take 2-3 times a day.
  • For a cough with mucus or sinus congestion: Mix a quarter of a teaspoon of black pepper with one teaspoon of honey. Take after a meal.
  • For a dry cough: Mix half a teaspoon of ginger with one teaspoon of ghee.
  • For a sore throat: Mix one teaspoon of whole cloves, half a teaspoon of celery seeds, half a teaspoon turmeric, quarter teaspoon of ginger powder, one teaspoon ghee, and half teaspoon of honey. Take half a teaspoon of this mixture several times a day.
  • For sore throat: Chew on one whole clove followed by the black inner seeds of a cardamom pod. Spit out the remainder of each when done chewing.
  • For sore throat: Mix half teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of salt in one cup of hot water. Gargle it in the morning and evening or up to five times a day.
  • For Nighttime coughing: Take two teaspoons of honey at bed time to reduce nighttime coughing. Honey is also known for soothing a sore throat when taken with warm water and lemon.

Morning or Evening Routines For Winter Health

  • Neti Pot:

The regular use of a neti pot can be more effective than many over-the-counter medications for cold or allergy related nasal and sinus congestion. First fill the neti pot with warm salt water. Tilt your head over a sink and place the spout of the neti pot in the upper nostril. Allow the water to flow through your nasal cavity, coming out the lower nostril. This will flush out excess mucus. Blow your nose (preferably not squeezing the nostrils shut) and repeat on the other side.

Ceramic neti pots are available at most pharmacies and health product stores. Costing about $15, they can last a lifetime.

  • Sesame Oil Rub:

Using sesame oil (preferably cold-pressed and organic), warm the oil and apply topically all over the body. Daily self-massage (called abhyanga in Ayurveda) will hydrate dry skin, move lymph, enhance circulation and boost immunity. The hydration of the skin will also prevent the lips from cracking.

When applying, use circular motions around joints and long strokes up and down on limbs. When oiling the belly, it is recommended to rub up the right side and down the left to flow with the direction of the digestive tract.

A daily routine of self-massage will calm the mind and sooth the nervous system. These are the qualities that keep us in balance during the winter months.

Heal Your Cold Through Diet

  • Mom’s infamous chicken soup: For generations people have been using this remedy during a cold for its anti-inflammatory and anti-congestive benefits.
  • Hydration! Room temperature or warmer water, clear broth, or water with lemon are vital for cold prevention and recovery. Drinking hot water several times a day is effective in removing toxins and recovering from a cold.
  • Avoid drinking sodas and coffee when sick. Not only are they dehydrating but their stimulating effect on the nervous system robs the body of its healing capabilities.
  • If congested with mucus, avoid dairy products.

Rest And Exercise When Sick

Mild to moderate exercise can be helpful in relieving a cold if you are not running a fever and all your symptoms are upper respiratory (runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat). If symptoms are felt below the neck (chest congestion, hacking cough, upset stomach, widespread muscle ache), it is best to postpone exercising. Keep your exercise gentle. Vigorous practices can move the cold to the chest.

Inversions such as shoulder-stand or headstand as well as forward bends can help prevent postnasal drip and drain mucus through the nose.

Breathing Exercises For Winter Balance

  • “Breath of fire”: Kapālabhāti Pranayama

This is a vigorous breathing technique, stop before the muscles and lungs become fatigued.

Gently exhale all of the air from the lungs then inhale a little. Exhale rapidly like a gentle sneeze though keep the mouth closed. Then inhale rapidly and begin to exhale and inhale in quick rhythm through the nose. Use the diaphragm to create the force required for quick inhalation and exhalation. Adding a little more force to the exhalation, the inhale will be quick and automatic.

Start with 8- 12 rounds of inhalations and exhalations. Gradually build up the number of Kapālabhāti breaths taken each time. Stop if the chest fatigues.

This breath burns the cold.

  • Alternate Nostril Breathing: NādÄ«Åšodhana

Alternate nostril breathing will balance the nervous system and relieve congestion. The term NādīŚodhana refers to cleansing the Nādīs (energy lines that carry prana, vital energy and life force) and nerves.

Perform NādīŚodhana by Inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the opposite nostril . Then inhaling through the same nostril that was used in exhalation and switching nostrils after each inhalation.

Bend one arm and pinch the nose with the thumb and a finger of your choice. Breathe in through the right nostril. Exhale through the left nostril. Inhale through the left nostril. Exhale through the right nostril. Keep this flow going, trying to pause at the top of each inhalation, effortlessly retaining the breath, before naturally exhaling.

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