November in The Netherlands and probably many other places can be tough, because of the change over to winter times. The body can be receptive to viruses and colds. I have been trying out several natural ways of dealing with colds and coughing, instead of taking over the counter medicine that make me feel drowsy. So here’s my top 5.
I recently found out that eating bits of fresh ginger actually work miracles for the throat and even sinus areas. Just skin ginger and cut it up into little pieces. Take one when you feel a cough coming and breathe calmly. I even take them with me in my bag a tiny container (stays edible for about one day).
2. Steaming / inhaler
What works great is to use an inhaler with hot water to inhale the steam. Use an inhaler like this white plastic one I have or a Do It Yourself version I make sometimes using a tea mug and a flexible oven mat (you can fold it over nose and mouth using your hands easily).
You can add Thyme or a drop of essential oil (eucalyptus,
Thyme). Dry coughing and stuffed sinuses benefit with this little trick. Hot steam disinfects and relieves.
3. Do sports
When feeling under the weather, I go running. Even if I may want to feel like resting as well. You can do something like swimming or spinning, anything that makes the heart rate go up and put the lungs to work. The body will make endorphin’s that relieve pain and make you feel better in general.
4. Sleep and relaxation
Taking a real rest without watching tv or devices and focusing on the breath is a to activate the para-sympathetic nervous system, bringing down the heart rate and making the body focus on recovery of cells. Focus on a slow and flowing breath while sitting or lying down in a relaxed position. An actual meditation may bring results even quicker.
5. Yoga and breathing
Uttanasana is a yoga pose that makes the head and upper body reverse, making the sinuses and lungs feel more light. Don’t do this posture for too long if the pressure gets too high in the head. And more stability is easy by doing the bend with legs spread. Take a look at other yoga postures to help fix your cold here.
There is a way to get rid of the tingly feeling just before coughing by using your breath. Just follow these easy steps.
- Sit down comfortably, and while breathing in through the nose, inflate the belly so that it comes all the way forward. Breathe out through the nose as well letting go of the belly.
- Breathe again and try to imagine the air moving to the inflated belly. Normally we would also let the air ‘move up’ to the torso and lungs with full breath, but now we want to focus on belly breathing mainly.
- Do this trick as soon as you feel the cough coming, practice to get better, because you need to get the hang of it.
So that’s the top 5. Of course healthy eating is also a must for getting well as soon as possible. But with these tips you can easily make the cold get better in a few days rather than staying with you for months. Just experiment if you are interested.
Disclaimer: what works best for you in your situation is personal and one should also consult their physician or MD.