The long winter months are times of fun, filled with many holidays and times of playing outside in the snow. On the other hand, they can be some of the worst months for picking up nasty infections, particularly upper and lower respiratory infections.
Some of the most common infections seen from November through the early Spring are bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza and, of course, the common cold. Some people choose to do nothing about these infections except stay home under the covers, while others visit their family doctor or a walk-in clinic. However, many of these bacterial and viral infections that are common during the winter months can be treated naturally from the convenience of one’s own home.
The neti pot has been quickly gaining in popularity within the past year. It is sold over the counter by several brands. It is a small pot with a long spout. The pot is filled with water, preferably bottled, sterilized water, and is then poured into one nostril as the head is tipped back and to the side. The water drains through the sinuses, clearing out any mucus that could be lodged in them and finally drains out the other nostril. The simple neti pot is an inexpensive, easy way to relieve head congestion and the headaches associated with it.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup has been well reputed for its beneficial properties for years. Although scientists are not completely sure why this soup decreases respiratory symptoms and shortens the length of colds, some hypotheses have been made. For example, the warm, steamy broth helps to open the airways, and the soup can decrease inflammation.
Echinacea is a popular herbal supplement sold at many health food stores and over the counter at drugstores as well. Echinacea actually increases the white blood cell count in the body, which in turn helps fight infections. This herb does not prevent an infection from beginning but instead decreases the amount and duration of symptoms. Echinacea is most commonly used for colds. However, it should not be taken on a long-term basis.
Humidity can come from a purchased humidifier. A cheaper, easier way to produce humidity can be right in one’s shower. Many people with stuffy noses, unpleasant coughs and chest congestion are helped by steam. The steam enters the nose, sinuses and airways, opening them, decreasing inflammation and soothing the mucous membranes. Oftentimes, sleeping next to a humidifier when one is sick can be a great aid and can help the person stay asleep longer.
Salt Water Gargle
A bit of salt mixed with a glass of warm water makes an exceptionally cheap sore throat treatment when it is gargled. This can be done several times during the day as long as the sore throat persists. This gargle will coat the throat and decrease rawness and inflammation.
Of course, the benefits of sleep are phenomenal. Sleep helps repair the body’s cells, strengthen the immune system and fight off bad bacteria and viruses that cause many of these wintertime infections. An adult should get an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night. An adult who is sick should aim for the higher end of this goal and may even require an extra nap each day while they are recuperating. Sometimes a good, full night of sleep can do more to repair the body than any drug can.
Honey and Lemons
These products have been known for their healthful and beneficial properties for centuries. When a person is sick, particularly with a respiratory infection, honey and lemon juice can be added to warm water or, more typically, to warm tea. Lemons decrease inflammation and honey is vastly soothing to the throat. Both of these are excellent for decreasing sore throats and coughs.
Although a wintertime illness is never fun, these natural remedies have proven helpful for numerous individuals. While they will most likely not keep an infection from coming and will probably not cure the illness, they can decrease the length of time one deals with the annoying symptoms. Many of these remedies can be easily found in one’s home and require little or no money.
Ron Thompson writes for Del-Immune V®, a unique probiotic supplement made from the lactobacillus rhamnosus which is a natural immune system booster and offers how to treat sinusitis.