Relieve Cold and Sinus Infection Symptoms with Homemade Remedies
I’ve been battling a sinus infection for the past 5 days or so, and I think having a cold in the summertime when the temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit is even more of a nuisance. However, the heat does help the congestion. Now that I’ve recognized the 4 stages of my seasonal sinus infection, I thought I’d share how I am able to combat the recognizable symptoms during each stage the natural way. This is the first part in a series of 4 blog posts about curing a cold naturally.
Stage 1: Soothing a Sore Throat
One day I’m feeling fine, and then I wake it up to the first scratchy swallow in my throat…ohhh..ugh. I’m not a smoker and I’m not around people who smoke, so I know this is the case of inhaling carcinogens. It’s the first sign that the common cold or a sinus infection is coming, just like the calm before a storm.
Hot Liquids – Green tea or specialty teas like Throat Coat with slippery elm bark and Echinecea really help soothe a sore throat. Steep the tea bag for 3-5 minutes and sip slowly allowing the slippery elm to coat your throat. Avoid coffee as coffee tends to dry out your throat as well as hot chocolate.
Cold liquids – Ice water and lots of it! Alternate between hot and cold liquids to soothe a sore throat naturally without the aid of prescriptions. My physicians have always told me to drink more cold liquids to flush out the toxins. Suck on ice cubes too or homemade Popsicles, Slushies and smoothies also soothe a sore throat.
Cough Drops – Honey, cherry, lemon, orange, strawberry or menthol – whatever flavor you like works well on soothing a sore throat. I loved Luden’s cherry cough drops as a child, but I have a habit of eating them instead of sucking on them. Hall’s with Vitamin C seems to last the longest, they are a little more expensive, so if you can find them on sale or buy a bigger bag, it’s worth it. I tuck a few in my purse, my pocket and my car so I always have them. Cough drops also alleviate a dry throat.
Warm Gargle Washes – Salt water gargle washes really help alleviate a sore or scratchy throat. I use about a teaspoon of table salt or sea salt to a cup of warm tap water. Stir until the salt is dissolved, then take a sip and gargle for a few seconds, spit it out and repeat. The salt water coats your throat and soothes it instantly. Do a saltwater gargle a couple times a day until it’s no longer sore.
Chest Rub Ointment – Well, you’re using it for your sore throat, so I guess it’s called a throat rub. Anything that has menthol in it is good like Vick’s, but several years ago my mom had me try something that had natural oils in it and it works for a variety of ailments including chest congestion, sore throats, colds, bruises, poison ivy, headaches and more; you may find it in specialty drug stores or you can buy it in multiple quantities from the company. Skinner’s Vaporizing Salve – rub it on your neck, throat, chest and behind your ears before bed. Be sure to wear an old shirt because the salve is greasy and it could stain your sheets (oily stain only). My great aunt even advises to put Skinner’s on the soles of your feet and then wear a heavy cotton socks, my son’s athletic socks work great. There is scientific truth behind the salve on your soles too. Vick’s Vapor Rub works too, I just have had better luck with Skinner’s.
Vitamins – When you’re sick and your antibody count is down, a natural health book I have and through the work of Dr. Linus Pauling, advises to take as much as 12,000 mg of Vitamin C a day. Yes, that much! That’s 1,000 mg an hour for 12 hours. Vitamin C is a natural antibiotic and the body doesn’t create resistance to it like synthetic antibiotics. I firmly believe this is why I can knock out a cold or sinus infection in just a few days. If I’m consistent with it, taking 2-500mg tablets every hour for 12 hours, I’ll feel much better every day. I usually buy a 100 or 200 count bottle of 500mg Vitamin C and have it with me at work and at home. I start it at 7am before I leave for work and continue it religiously throughout the day, and will even set a timer to remind me if needed. (Oh, I see it’s time to take 2 more now!) 2 other helpful vitamins are Vitamin A and E, just remember one way to knock out a cold or sinus infection is to ACE it! (aka Vitamin A, C, and E.) Whatever the recommended dosage is on the bottle for Vitamin A and E, I double it when my body is fighting a virus.
Rest – This is what the doctor orders, and if you follow it your body will thank you for it by getting better in less time. I take frequent naps when I’m not feeling well. This is the best natural way to cure a cold, your body’s defenses are down and you need rest. Even if you’re lying on the couch with your hot tea and a good movie on the tube, you’re better off. And if you must work during a sinus infection, then take 15 minutes of your lunch and find a comfy chair or couch and take a short snooze. Some office buildings have couches in their restrooms, what a nice place to lay your head and prop up your feet!
Look forward to the next post: Stage 2 – Sinus congestion and how to clear your head naturally.