When sick, or when trying to prevent a cold from catching on, there are a few things that I always do. (Note: as a teacher, I spend most of the fall and winter trying not to get sick — work is practically a giant petri dish sometimes). I tend to get a cold here and there – usually one in the beginning of the season (ahem, like right now), and one at the very end. I think that the fact that I am so mindful of these things keeps me from getting full-blown debilitating illnesses each year.
My Must Haves for Cold Season:
Neti Pot - I swear by this thing. Traditionally it was used by yogis to ensure clear airways for practice and meditation. I posted about it here some time ago, and perhaps one day I’ll be brave enough to post my own video using it. Basically, you pour a warm saline solution through your nostrils. The solution fills up you sinus cavities and flushes out the bad stuff. I even use this in the summer – living in the city I think I breathe in a lot of nastiness.
Tea. All sorts of teas, but specifically green, white, chamomile, and mint. White and green are loaded with antioxidants. Chamomile is really soothing, and mint is great for sore throats.
Whole Fruits and Veggies. This probably speaks for itself, but specifically red bell peppers. I’ve never a huge fan of citrus fruits, save for Clementines in December, and red bell peppers contain almost 4x as much Vitamin C as an orange – who knew?
Soup. Homemade soup is always best, but when you don’t have the time (interest or resources), I highly recommend Amy’s. They even carry an excellent “No Chicken Noodle” soup that’ll really take you back.
I’m trying a few new things that could possibly be added to this repertoire – wheat grass and green monsters. I’ll keep you posted on any new additions.
In the meantime, stay warm, wash your hands (often), and build up your defenses against a winter cold!
I said that I’ve been using my neti pot daily to combat my seasonal allergies. Well, until about a year or two ago, I didn’t know what a neti pot was. Now, it’s my go-to item when I feel a cold coming on.
I was toying with the idea of doing my own video demonstration with the neti, but I am far less graceful with it than the demonstrator lady. With neti, it isn’t always pretty, but it gets the job done.
I fill mine with lukewarm tap water, and mix in 1tsp of regular table salt. I think that now I’m using it daily, I may switch to a more neti-specific salt. Aside from allergies and colds, I’d like to continue using my neti on a daily basis. Living in NYC, I’m always a little concerned about what I’m breathing in every day. With neti, I can help cleanse out the passages.
My allergies have been killer so far this season. I actually never got seasonal allergies until some point in college a few years ago. Generally, I would get a little sneezy and have some nasal congestion for a few days. Nothing major, though. This year, however, my allergies have been pretty intense. My nose is extremely congested, my throat get ticklish, and my eyes are so itchy I want to claw them out.
I’ve been checking out some natural remedies to seasonal allergies. I have a neti pot that I use during cold season, and I’ve been trying to use it every morning to clear out my nasal passages. I also use local honey because I’ve read that using/consuming local products (namely honey) can be extremely helpful in combating allergies (from what I understand it almost works as a mini-vaccination… ie. it gives you a small dose of some of the stuff that may be causing your allergies…) and picked up some bee pollen today for the same reason. The jury is out, though, if they are working.
For more information, check out this podcast I found at Whole Foods. It’s part one of a series. It has some more specific answers regarding homeopathy.