Natural Remedies for Colds and Sore Throats

It's that time of year. Wintry nights, Christmas round the corner, and the joyful sore throat, stuffy nose and sneezes. I think I am just prone to get them as soon as the weather turns sour. 
Most people with a cough will turn to a bottle of nasty cough medicine to try and cure them. But last year I purchased a bottle of extra strong cough syrup, it worked wonders...As soon as I had finished the bottle, two days later my cough came back. So now I have the view that you should let your virus clear itself out of your system (After all that is the whole point of the immune system) and just use natural remedies to help ease the symptoms and make your days easier rather than mask the symptoms for a few days. 
I have written a list of my favourite remedies that I like to use when I am feeling a little under the weather. 

1. Honey.
One study has found that honey is a better remedy than most cough medicines when it comes to night time coughing. Just mix a small amount in with your tea to enjoy the benefits. 

2. Salt Water.
I have to admit, I hate this one. But it does work wonders if you have a sore throat. According to a study, gargling with warm salt water helps to soothe the back of your throat and to break down some of the bacteria in your throat. Just use half a teaspoon in a glass of warm water 3/4 times a day. 

3. Steam.
This is a simple but effective one for that bunged up feeling or a sore throat. If you don't have access to a steam room in the gym (Or don't want to face people) then simply take a large bowl, fill half with boiling hot water and grab a towel. Lean over the bowl (Don't stick your face in the water) and drape the towel over your head to create a 'tent'. Breathe in the steam. 

4. Raise your head in bed. 
I didn't believe this when I first read it but it is extremely good for relieving congested nasal passages. Simply sleep on an extra pillow, or put another pillow under your mattress to raise your head. 

5. Drink lots of tea. 
My favourite. The best tea I have found for a bad throat is Chamomile tea. It has components in it that help to relax muscles and it works as a natural painkiller. So take a cup of this before you head to bed. If you have a cold, I would recommend a lemon and ginger tea. Ginger is a powerful ingredient which naturally eases congestion, soothes throat pain and opens up your sinuses. Plus the lemon adds that extra kick to boost the immune system. 

Love Lucy xoxo

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