So you’ve got cold. Of course you do, it’s wintertime and it’s nearly impossible to avoid the sniffles from November-March (or September-June if you live in New England…). You stock up on vitamins, eat clean, and steer clear of the coughing lady in Walmart, but you still find yourself succumbing to the sore throat/icky chills combo.
No to mention, if you have a kiddo or two (or more), you’ve instantly extended your sick-time by at least 3 days. Lack of sleep and rest will keep your body losing the fight against your cold for much longer than is necessary, and most cold & flu medications prolong the healing process, aren’t safe for nursing moms, and never fully relieve all symptoms. Which is why, when I caught myself falling prey to the ‘my head is 15 times bigger than it used to be’ swelling and headache, I panicked. Thankfully, there are several easy, kid-friendly remedies to help kick your cold that are also safe for breastfeeding moms – and all it takes is a quick trip to the grocery store. (Don’t have time for the reasons and just want the cure? Click here for the shopping list!)
Cough & Sore Throat
Nothing soothes a sore and scratchy throat like a big spoonful of honey. What I didn’t know was that combined with lemon and cinnamon, honey also works as a major cold-fighter! Put a teaspoon or two of lemon juice (or use herbal lemon tea) in hot water with a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey for a soothing quick-fix for your cold! Completely natural and safe for you (and your baby if you’re breastfeeding), you can have as many cups of this liquid magic as you need to get back on your feet. A note about honey… when buying honey make sure you go the extra mile and purchase local honey from your area. This honey is not only chalk full of good things for you, but it’s also holding precious immunities from local pollination! I’m not going to pretend to understand it all, but I do know it’s better, so buy local. Local = better.
I also use the Traditional Medicinals teas. They are fantastic! They have a variety of blends: Gypsy Cold Care, Cold Care PM, Sore Throat Coat, Immunity Tea, and many others. Find them at any grocery store or at your local health food store.
For relief throughout the day, I use Ricola Natural Herb Cough Drops. Safe and effective, these can take the edge off your sore throat and reduce coughing significantly.
I also stock up on Vitamin C. There are many conflicting views on the use of Vitamin C and whether it is really effective or not, but in my own personal experience I have found it to be invaluable. Just keep in mind when taking it that when you’re sick, normal doses will be used up so quickly that you probably won’t notice a difference. To combat in stead of simply maintain your condition, consider using high doses of Vitamin C (3 or 4 times as much as you would normally take) for a day or so until you start seeing signs that you’ve reached your limit and should start backing off (craps, bright urine, diarrhea). Just make sure when you purchase them that the kind you’re getting doesn’t have a high sugar content. Most gummies and chewable Vitamin C supplements contain high levels of sugar to make them taste better. To avoid this get capsules or swallowables. You can also get it in a more direct, effective way by using LypoSpheric Vitamin C. These little packets are power-bombs to your immune system, helping you get back on your feet in half the time! You can find them online – I’ve never seen them in a health food store.
Nasal & Head Congestion
There’s nothing worse than that feeling you can’t breathe! Unfortunately there is no magical long-term fix for this ailment, but there are several things you can do to ease the discomfort. The use of a humidifier or vaporizer (two different things – do a little research to see which one suits your needs best) throughout the night and day is extremely helpful for nasal congestion. Especially in the winter months with the cold air, or if you heat with wood, putting warm moisture in the air helps to clear your nasal passages without taking medication.
Hot, steamy showers also provide a temporary fix. There are also many essential oils you can use (in a diffuser or just sniffing out of the bottle). Our family staple is Breathe by DoTerra – it has literally been a lifesaver for us! We also love the Lemon and Eucalyptus oils in relieving congestion. Here’s an article on how it works. If you want more information about the DoTerra oils, find a consultant here.
Another hack I learned this cold season was what things to eat (and not to eat) when relieving head congestion. (For instance, just FIY…. ice-cream may sound good for your sore throat, but it does NOT help your congestion. Genius, I know….) At one point during this seemingly endless cold, I flew through my kitchen looking for something – anything – spicy enough to clear my head but wouldn’t make my breastfeeding-baby’s digestive system upset. I experimented with different kinds of hot sauce which worked well, but I didn’t dare have too much for fear I’d be passing along tummy pains to my Little Man. That’s when my MIL (mother-in-love) came to the rescue with a bag of Wasabi peas! I’m telling you, these little gems were my cure! They’ve got a spicy kick that clears you out in seconds but doesn’t linger making you run to get water. I also didn’t notice my baby having any discomfort at all, although every baby is different and you should definitely try this remedy cautiously until you know how it affects your nursing little one. You can find these at your local health food store usually in the bulk section.
Last but not least, I was clued in to this little goldmine by my mom who claims they are the ultimate cure to every head congestion, equilibrium, or vertigo woes: ear candling. The heat draws out excess wax and restores balance and comfort in the area behind your ears which typically feels swollen and ‘heavy’ when you are battling congestion. Use with caution and follow directions – you can find them at a drug store or health food store.
So now that you know how to get rid of one, how do you stay clear altogether? There’s no guarenteed immunity, but taking these easy steps every day will definitely help fortify your immune system and give you the best shot at resisting the bug in the first place.
- Take Vitamin C & Echinacea – these two supplements combined with healthy eating and good rest will make your immune system much harder to penetrate!
- Drink Water – I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but drinking lots of water throughout the day keeps you hydrated which helps your body function at it’s best. This is an effortless way to keep your body healthy, it just needs to be a priority.
- Consider using essential oil blends to fight off bacteria like DoTerra’s OnGuard. For more information click here.
- Drink hot lemon water with cinnamon and honey every morning. The combination of these elements helps fortify your body against illness, as well as jump-starts your metabolism! Win-win!
Cold Fighting & Quick Healing Shopping List
I hope you’ve found this helpful! I know these tips certainly helped me beat my cold and get back to myself faster so I could take care of my family better. Do you have some good tips and tricks? Comment and share! We’d love to hear from you.