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Simple cures for the common cold

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Pennies Saved & Pennies Earned

Published on January 05, 2012 with No Comments

All right, before anyone calls false advertising on this week’s title, no there is no official, one-dose cure for the common cold. But when you have a cold you want to do everything you can to fight it off before it gets really bad, don’t you?

And while preparing for the season of individualized biological warfare, you don’t have to shell out big bucks to get the expensive day and night time gel caps to keep your system running on designer, cold fighting chemicals. Some of the old wives’ tales you grew up on have actually been legitimized by science as ways to help keep your system clean and clear during cold season.

Here are some of the most common and enduring contenders that, when used together, are quite a pill.

 

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is the old standby during cold seasons everywhere. It’s simple to make, it’s hot and it’s tasty, but does it work?

In a word: Yes. Chicken soup is a liquid, which will keep you hydrated and help your body fight off the cold. It’s also hot, which will help break up congestion in your chest and ease breathing. And if you have garlic in your chicken soup, which everyone should, you also have an herb that doesn’t put up with the presence of a cold virus and will throw a little extra weight behind your immune system.

 

Hot Toddy

While it’s true that dehydration is your enemy when it comes to being sick, the hot toddy nevertheless provides you with some worthwhile benefits. A concoction made out of whiskey, hot water and citrus, the hot toddy seems like an excuse to stay home with Jack Daniels when you get sick. However a small amount of whiskey deadens the nerve endings in the throat which can take away the pain of a sore throat in addition to making you cough less often. The heat will act as a decongestant, and the alcohol will also act as an anti-inflammatory to take down swelling from throat irritation.

 

Steam

A humidifier is one of the best tools you have for fighting a cold. And if you don’t have a humidifier then you should take a long, steamy bath or a piping hot shower. The steam and the heat both act as decongestants in your system, freeing up your ability to breathe and to hack out whatever’s in you that shouldn’t be there. Colds flourish in dry environments. That’s why they’re so common during the winter months in the first place. Even old fashioned methods like the breath steam (the one where you put a towel over your head and you inhale over a pot of hot water) have been shown to loosen up your system.

 

Salt Water

A a salt water gargle can do wonders for a hurting throat. Use a quarter to a half-teaspoon of salt dissolved into an right-ounce glass is the right formula, and if you gargle it the salt can soothe a sore throat and help stop coughing. Just be sure you don’t swallow it, because your body knows full well that it isn’t supposed to drink salt water and it will attempt to reject it if you swallow.

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