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With the winter months nearly upon us, it’s easy to dread the upcoming cold many of us will catch. Sore throats, stuffy noses and blocked sinuses are certainly not our idea of a good time, but the good news is, there are natural remedies you can use to help tackle the common cold this winter. Being a natural-made product ourselves, we love the idea of using natural substances to get the body feeling good again. Here are some ways to start:
A Classic Cure
Having been around for generations, this recipe is all about simplicity and highlights three familiar ingredients: garlic, lemon and honey. If your cold includes a sore throat and dry cough, this one is definitely worth a try.
What you need: 1 medium garlic clove, 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of honey, warm water
What to do: Crush the garlic clove and put it and the juice from the lemon in a glass. Add honey (amount based on your taste) and then top it off with warm water. Stir it and then drink entirely. Repeat two or three teams daily as long as your symptoms last.
Especially great for kids who are more likely to want a syrup than bitter tea, syrups are easy to make and take, even when your throat aches and you don’t feel like eating anything. Licorice root and marshmallow root, which are in this recipe, are fantastic for soothing coughs and sore throats. Cinnamon and ginger are other adds that help with congestion, pain relief and taste.
What you need: 1 tablespoon licorice root, 1 tablespoon marshmallow root, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (or 6 cinnamon sticks), 1 tablespoon chopped ginger, 4 cups cold water, 1 cup organic raw honey, strainer, glass jar with tightly sealed lid
What to do: Mix together the licorice and marshmallow roots, cinnamon, and ginger, then add it to a saucepan along with the water. Simmer the mixture over low heat until it has been reduced by half. Strain the herbs and then pour the liquid back into the pot. On the lowest heat level, stir in honey before letting it sit (gently bubbling) for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and bottle, labeling the date of the batch. Take no more than 1-2 tablespoons three times a day (it will last 2-4 weeks in the refrigerator).
For those who love using essential oils, this is a simple way to help with a stuffy nose. Steam is fantastic for loosing congestion, and you can get its benefits by breathing it from a glass hot tea, taking a hot shower, or filling a bowl with hot water and drops of a strong essential oil.
What you need: 5-10 drops of eucalyptus oil (or tea tree oil or a combination), a heatproof bowl, boiling water, towel
What to do: Put the essential oil(s) in the bottom of the bowl and pour in several cups of boiling water. Put your face at a comfortable distance over the bowl and drape the towel over your head to trap the steam, taking deep breaths. Resurface to cool off as needed, and have tissues at hand to blow your nose. Repeat two or three times each day, adjusting the amount of essential oil based on your preference (starting with less is best).
If you want to make your own vapor rub, this simple blend is perfect when you’re low on time, energy or ingredients. The menthol in the essential oil creates a cooling sensation that can help you breathe more easily when you’re stuffed up.
What you need: ½ cup coconut oil, 15 drops peppermint essential oil, a heat-safe container
What to do: Melt down the coconut oil using a double boiler, then remove it from the heat and pour into your airtight container. Add the essential oil, stir and then seal as it cools. Once it’s completely cooled, rub a small amount on your chest or under your nose, being careful to avoid contact with your eyes. Store the salve in a cool, dark place and use up to three years.
Don’t you just love having these on hand? For more natural cold remedies, read this fantastic blog post and get inspired to keep you and your family healthy this winter.