It’s inevitable – as soon as September rolls around, the coughs and sniffles surround the sounds of the office, the playground, and often the home. If you can’t avoid getting a cold (hey, it happens) then at least take a few tips from us on how to get rid of it FAST!
Here are some of our top items that are absolute MUSTS to fight a cold quickly:
- Elderberry Syrup
- Raw Garlic
- Eucalyptus steam
- Vitamin C
- Bone Broth
- Medicinal Mushrooms
There’s a long list of immune supplements to help with the common cold but let’s start with the traditional way of thinking. Honey has been used for centuries for everything from wound healing to aiding the common cold. Honey is natural, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial, so a spoonful a day really does help the medicine go down! Honey as an immune support comes in many forms – there’s raw, unpasteurized honey that you can add to hot water or eat by the spoonful (in moderation), but one you may not know about is propolis. Propolis is the sticky resin found at the bottom of the hive that is produced by worker bees. It has incredible anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and studies have shown it to reduce bacterial activity. Propolis throat spray, like Bee Happy, is an excellent way to get rid of a tickle in your throat, plus it tastes delicious.
You’ve likely seen elderberry showing up on your Facebook feed. It has become quite popular recently but this ancient ingredient has been natural remedy for colds that dates back to Ancient Egypt. While elderberry has many benefits the most important one (at least for this article) is that taking it within the first 48 hours of feeling a cold can significantly reduce the length of time the cold lasts and may reduce symptom severity. Creating an elderberry syrup & combining it with honey (as seen above) makes for an excellent cough syrup to kick a cold quick. You can make your own cough syrup with this recipe.
Garlic has some AMAZING anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. In fact, fresh crushed garlic can be equivalent to some conventional antibiotics! In addition to garlic being great for cold prevention, it has also been shown to reduce the severity of cold symptoms. To get the most out of garlic, crush it and let it sit for 10 minutes before consuming it. When crushed, it releases a compound called allicin which is known to be a immunity booster. If you can’t bear to chew on raw garlic, you can also find it in the supplement aisle either in capsules or as extract. Because of its strong anti-bacterial properties, once your cold is gone, be sure to follow up the garlic with a probiotics to re-populate your microbiome and rebuild your immune system.
If you want to feel like you’re at your own personal Nordic Spa then you definitely want to add a eucalyptus steam to your cold remedy regime. The hot steam helps clear up your sinuses, and the eucalyptus contains an antiseptic component called cineole which help improve respiratory conditions. It also has calming properties so it will help you sleep at night.
Vitamin C offer support to the immune system. We get Vitamin C naturally from fruits and vegetables, but when cold season hits, a higher dose of vitamin C can help. Taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms and it may provide benefit for people at high risk of colds due to frequent exposure — for example, children who attend group child care during the winter. Community Natural Foods carries a variety of vitamin C supplements. Another go-to for vitamin C is acerola juice. Acerola is one the fruits with the highest vitamin C levels in the world, it contains 30 times more vitamin C than lemons.
There’s a reason why chicken soup has been a highly touted cold remedy, and this stems from the use of bone broth as the base for chicken soup. Bone broth has so many powerful benefits, including helping with leaky gut and digestive concerns, which has a link to our overall immune system since that is where we absorb our nutrients. Bone broth supports our immune cells and can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Make your own bone broth here.
Similar to the other cold-fighters discussed, medicinal mushrooms – in particular cordyceps, reishi and turkey tail – have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, and some have been shown to stimulate your natural kill cells, that fight off infection and disease. Incorporate them into warm soups and stews but also take in capsule, tea or tincture to give yourself extra protection during cold and flu season.