There are only three ways to get rid of a cold or flu: do absolutely nothing, take a range of different medications or try grandma’s recipes for a cold. Doing nothing may work, but it’s not particularly pleasant. Also, most people try to shy away from taking meds, as they don’t want to pump their bodies full of unknown chemicals. So, the only thing that is really left is to opt for one of grandma’s recipes, such as Echinacea, chicken soup, sweating and vitamin C. Let’s take a look at some of these remedies and how they are supposed to work.
Feeding a Cold
Feeding a cold is one of the oldest of the grandma’s recipes out there. Interestingly, recent scientific research has demonstrated that it is actually not such a strange idea. Feeding a cold means you eat, thereby increasing your gamma interferon, which allows your immune system to destroy unhealthy cells. You must, therefore, ensure you have good nutrition and plenty of water. This could, at the very least, reduce the time in which it takes you to heal from a cold or flu.
So what should you consume? Definitely a lot of raw vegetables and raw fruits, because they include vitamin C, antioxidants, beta-carotene and more. This will help your immune system get a decent boost. Think, for instance, about cantaloupe, broccoli, peppers, oranges, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Anything that is orange or yellow in color is good for beta-carotene. You should also eat a lot of protein and increase your intake of vitamin E, found in salmon, almonds, peanut butter and sunflower seeds. You should also have higher levels of glutamine, found in meat, milk and nuts.
Starving a Fever
The next option is the exact opposite. Fasting is controversial, and scientific research has proven that this is not a good option at all. It is certainly true that your appetite will significantly decrease if you have a cold or flu, but you should still try to get all the necessary nutrients in your body. Do make sure you rest plenty, however.
Sweating it Out
Sweating it out is another golden oldie. The problem with it is, however, that you run the risk of dehydrating. Sweating it out basically means that you need to cover yourself in blankets when you have a fever. The truth in this grandma’s recipe is that you will get your blood circulating. However, you can also do this by taking part in light exercise and getting fresh air. This does boost your immune system. Don’ however, wear sweat suits or go to a sauna, it is much better to give your body a pampering. If you do find this remedy works, make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Also, when it comes to home remedies for colds, this is often the easiest to do, since you could just sleep through it.
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food and something that takes many of us back to the days of our childhood. Chicken soup is widely accepted by all to be the ultimate remedy for a cold. Scientific research has in fact demonstrated that chicken soup is very good for our immune system. Because of the hot vapors, our airways increase in temperature, making breathing easier and even preventing pneumonia. It is also very calming on the throat. Chicken soup – or any soup for that matter – also hydrates us, which is incredibly important when we are ill. What makes chicken soup so special is the high protein content and the vitamins and minerals included in the vegetables. However, the same amount of protein and nutrients can be harnessed from other types of soup, so it isn’t quite clear yet why chicken soup is so special. However, it does seem that it is one of the best home remedies for a cold, not in the least because it is incredibly healthy.
We have all been told to increase the amount of vitamin C we get when we have a cold. It is certainly true that it contains antihistamines and antioxidants, but it hasn’t been proven to cure a cold. If, however, you have a vitamin C deficiency in your diet, it is certainly a good idea to add some to your diet. It is believed that people with the right levels of vitamin C have colds and flus that are around two days shorter than others. As such, it does suggest that oranges could be one of the better natural remedies for a cold.
Echinacea is one of the most popular alternative remedies for colds and flus, but it actually does nothing at all. It does not stimulate the immune system, contrary to popular belief. However, Echinacea is believed to be good in treating respiratory infections of the upper lungs.
The reality is that none of grandma’s recipes are magic cures to the cold or flu. There are many alternative therapies for colds and most of them do nothing other than shorten the duration of the illness. However, this does not mean you should not try these cold remedies. Because natural remedies for a cold mean you can stay away from chemical and pharmaceutical products – which also do nothing but perhaps shortening the length of the illness – they are often a better option. If, however, your cold remedy seems not to work at all, or you find yourself getting more ill, it is time to see the doctor.