This post was originally published on this site about a year ago, but ’tis the season, so I thought it’d be helpful to repost for new readers and old alike.

In addition to the tips below, I’d like to add that avoiding sugar would be wise if you’re suffering from a cold. Alcohol and sweets may impede your efforts to recover more quickly, so if you can abstain, give it a try.

Also, some find aromatherapy beneficial when symptoms of a cold present. Eucalyptus oil may help to open up the sinuses and aid in breathing more clearly, as well as peppermint essential oil. Others may find relief with the use of oils in the citrus family such as lemon. I do not recommend ingesting these oils, but rather using them in a diffuser, or added to a bath or shower.


Last time I fought off a cold, I documented my usual run-down of supplements I took as well as the foods I ate (or avoided) and here you have it, in this post, How to Beat a Cold More Quickly.

Please keep in mind, I am not a doctor and this by no means is a prescription, nor diagnosis, or a reason not to seek medical advise if you are ill and need professional supervision and guidance. These are just guidelines for what I do when a common cold presents and alternatives to how to beat a cold more quickly for those seeking something other than over the counter medications.

Also, this post contains affiliate links for certain products that I recommend. I do receive a small commission should you decide to purchase any of these products using the links that I provide which helps to keep this blog up and running!


Umcka ColdCare is the product name (Nature’s Way makes this product, you can find it at your local Whole Foods Market or health foods store) or purchase here on Amazon: Nature’s Way Umcka Original Drops, 2 Ounce. It comes in a variety of delivery forms (tincture/dropper, chewables, a tea, and syrups).

So what is it?
Pelargonium sidoides is the botanical name for this species of a South African geranium which boasts some clinical studies demonstrating that it can help shorten the duration of the common cold while reducing the severity of symptoms. I notice that when taking this product when sick, I never get to the next level of sickness that others do, meaning it never fully escalates into a really awful cold. I’m definitely able to recover much more quickly than not taking anything or compared to other natural supplements I’ve tried.

The Journal of Family Practice discussed this herb and even said, “In the final analysis, we think that these findings justify recommending this to our patients.”

Read some other publications/studies herehttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183890/
Here’s an abstract from another study off of PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18005909


Ginger Tea

Ginger is beneficial for many health conditions, helping to bring down inflammation due to its many naturally occurring constituents. During times of a cold, congestion and/or inflammation in the sinuses may be present. Make a fresh tea from the root or steep your favorite tea bags. Drink it often throughout the day for maximum benefits. If I can’t make it fresh, I use this brand: Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger Tea, 16 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)


Apple Cider Vinegar

According to Dr. Mercola, apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties making it great to gargle with if you have a sore throat (mixed with some warm water) and helping to clear up sinus congestion. A little mixed in warm water and honey is how I like to enjoy it when sick….soothing to my throat while giving a slight kick, opening up those nasal passages. Make sure to buy unpasteurized as to retain those beneficial health constituents.
This one is my favorite: Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 16 Ounce – 1 Pack


Avoid Dairy

Dairy can be mucus-forming which is not a good thing when sick…stay away if you can! It can also contribute to inflammation which is the last thing you need when suffering from a cold.


Garlic

Garlic not only adds a robust flavor to cuisine but is antiviral and antibacterial. As a side note, it’s also cardioprotective, so eat up! Make a soup and throw in a ton or if you can handle it raw, crush it, mix with lemon juice and a spoonful of olive oil and take it straight.


Rest

Sleep more, give your body time to recover and heal and repeat. During sleeping hours is when necessary repairs take place, certain hormones restored, muscles rest, and inflammation brought to normal limits. Avoiding strenuous exercise also relates to rest. Regular exercise and movement is good circulating blood and reducing stress but too much of a good thing can be bad. Overwork and over stressing the body when already compromised can be taxing, leading to an overproduction in stress hormones. Very light exercise or none at all is best when sick.


Probiotics

Sources say that 70-80% of your immune cells are based in the gut.

What does that mean? Nourish your digestive system by providing it with healthy doses of probiotics so that it can do its job more effectively. Though food sources are always a great way to reap the benefits of probiotics (friendly bacteria), during times of sickness I like to take supplemental pill forms as well.

When shopping for a high-quality probiotic supplement, I recommend looking for HDS (Human Digestive Strains) and also for brands that guarantee the potency until expiration date rather than manufacturing date such as this one: Primadophilus Optima Immune Defense 50 Billion Shelf Stable Vegetarian Capsules, 30 Count

Food sources of probiotics: sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kombucha.


Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C — mix with warm water and drink up.


Soup (homemade broth)

There’s something to be said about Grandma’s chicken noodle soup.  A good, homemade broth (made from bones) provides many minerals and nutrients such as collagen, protein, and amino acids which are important for recovery and immune health.


I’m wishing you all a quiet cold and flu season, but if you do happen to come down with a cold, keep these tips in mind.


If you enjoyed reading How to Beat a Cold More Quickly, please share this post with a friend so that they too can learn a thing or two.

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Mike is a holistic nutritionist that helps people feel more optimistic about their health and wellness through changes in diet and lifestyle shifts.

He has authored posts and articles featured on MarthaStewart.com, today.com, and iVillage.com.