This week has been a rough week for our family. My husband started to get sick at the beginning of the week and by the middle of the week my 2 year old had the same cold. As of writing this post I am not yet sick, but I can feel it coming on and I know it’s just a matter of time before I get sick. I mean when you have a 2 year old that is sick and wants to cuddle all day it’s nearly impossible to keep from getting sick.
I hate being sick and I hate the way it makes you feel. What’s worse is I hate taking cold medication because it usually knocks you out, which is nice if you want to sleep, but with a young child at home I really don’t want to be completely out of it incase she needs something. This is where I am glad to have some natural cold remedies up my sleeve, not only for me and my husband, but for my daughter as well.
The first thing you want to keep in mind is that you don’t want to get rid of all the symptoms. Fevers are your body’s way of fighting off the infection, so if you are able to stand it try not to treat fevers. If you are extremely uncomfortable or have a very high fever over 102 you may want to treat it just so you can be a little more comfortable. The same is true for children, there is no need to treat a fever, but if they are fussy and uncomfortable getting a fever down may help. Try not to treat anything under 101 though. Coughs are also something you don’t want to suppress. You can buy over the counter cough medicine, but coughs are actually your body’s way of getting rid of thick mucus out of your airways and protecting your lungs.
Blow your nose and use saline water to help with congestion. Sniffling mucus back can make things worse by causing infection to get into your lungs, giving you a headache, and making it harder to breathe. Because of this you want to make sure that you are blowing your nose. Saline water or saline sprays can also be a great way to help clear out your nasal passageways.
One of the hardest things to do when you are sick is to stay warm and rested, but this is one of the most important things you can do. When you are sick your body uses more energy to fight off the infection, so resting helps your body use it’s energy where it is needed. It is also important to stay warm because you don’t want your body to use extra energy to keep you warm.
Gargling with salt water can help when you have a sore throat. Just a little bit of salt in some warm water is all it takes. Gargle with it a few times a day.
One way to stay hydrated and warm is to drink hot fluids. Hot fluids can help to relieve nasal congestion and keep you drinking to prevent dehydration. Hot tea with honey can help with coughing, and if you are so congested you can’t sleep at night you can add a shot of whisky to it to help open up your nasal passages.
Steam can help open up your nasal passageways as well as keep them moist. The best way to do this is to run hot water and let the bathroom steam up while you sit there and relax. You can also try a humidifier.
Runny noses are the worst and after about a day your nose is raw. Putting something like vaseline or aquaphor under your nose can help prevent and relieve any irritation. You can also put something like Vicks Vaporub under your nose to make it a little easier to breathe.
Hot or cold packs around your sinuses can help open up airways and relieve pressure. Either temperature works, just find what you are most comfortable with.
Elevate your head when sleeping to help reduce the swelling in your sinuses. Sometimes the pressure makes it hard to sleep and you have a hard time breathing, but elevating your head with an extra pillow can help.
When you are sick chances are you don’t have much of an appetite, but if you do find it in you to eat, try to stick to healthy infection fighting foods. Bananas and plain toast are great for upset stomachs and diarrhea. Cranberries can help prevent and treat bladder infections. Foods high in vitamin C are great for helping your immune system fight off infections.
The unfortunate part is that colds will last 10-14 days no matter what you do, this is all just an effort to make it a little more comfortable for you make it through. If your symptoms last for more than 14 days or continue to get worse you need to see your doctor though because it could be something more serious.
What do you do when you have a cold? Are there any natural remedies for colds that you swear by?