Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Guest Post: Natural Remedies for a Summer Cold

Summer colds are strange things. It feels like getting a “cold” shouldn’t even be able to happen when it’s so hot outside, yet colds in the summer months exist nonetheless.

Often times, summer colds are mistaken for allergies, as symptoms like running nose, congestion and even a sore throat can often cross paths with both conditions. It’s entirely possible that a summer cold could also be a combination of the two problems.

The difference between the two might be distinguishable in your energy level. Typically, allergies will cause annoying symptoms, but you won’t feel “sick” or tired to the point where you have to rest throughout the day.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay
With the common cold, your strength and energy level should take a pretty significant hit-- at least enough to make you want to rest instead of go about your day.

The main reason for this is that a cold is going to make your immune system work harder.
If that’s the case, treating a summer cold means keeping hydrated and helping out your immune system. Here are a few ways to do it:

1. Vitamin C -- A steady dose of vitamin C won’t stop a cold from happening, but it can help you significantly once you get one by reducing the symptoms and speeding up your rate of recovery. You also get the benefit of healthy antioxidants that destroy free-radicals in your body.

You can get plenty of vitamin C by eating fruit and drinking orange juice throughout the day; however, if you still don’t think that’s enough, an over-the-counter vitamin C supplement will work just the same.

2. No caffeine -- Caffeine in large doses will actually dehydrate your body and make it more difficult for you to retain enough fluid in your system. If your throat hurts and you want to have a cup of tea, that’s fine, since most teas are contain a small dose of caffeine, but try and stay away from highly-caffeinated beverages, like coffee and soda.

3. Ginger Root -- You can get ginger in the form of a supplement or a tea that you can drink. You can even just buy plain ginger root and add it to hot water.

Ginger is a natural antiviral that will help to control your symptoms while also fighting the base cause. Sip on some hot water with ginger to reduce inflammation and reduce nasal congestion throughout the day.

4. Using a Vaporizer -- If you’re lucky enough to have a vaporizer in your home, you’d do well to have it running during the times when you have a summer cold. Vaporizers will clean the air, cool it down and make it more breathable, while also reducing airborne allergens, like pollen and ragweed.

If you’re staying inside and trying to recover, just keep a vaporizer running in the room where you’re spending most of your time. If nothing else, it will take the allergy component totally out of the equation.

5. Echinacea Complex -- Echinacea is readily available in a supplement form as it has become one of the best-selling health food products in the country.

Its benefit is simple in that it boosts your immune response, but in a situation where you’re trying to shake a pesky cold, that’s all you really need. Try taking it in conjunction with vitamin C or ginger root.

Sticking with Natural Remedies

If you employ some (or all) of these tactics in conjunction with drinking plenty of water and resting up, you should be able to get over your cold without the need for any heavy medication. Take Tylenol if you have to, but beyond that, consider trying these remedies before you go and beg your doctor for antibiotics.

It’s all about making it easy for our bodies to do what they do best, so try that before seeking more aggressive treatment.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles whose writing covers a wide range of topics, including health and fitness, technology and marketing. She is also the founder of Gryffin Media. She maintains her health during the summer months by making sure to take the essential vitamins her body needs to avoid sickness. 

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