We've all been there- it starts with a nagging sore throat, that turns into sneezing, coughing, dripping, and swollen, congested sinuses. Another cold.
I get it.
If you use these 3 simple tips, you'll get back to normal faster and spend less time feeling miserable.
1. Rinse your sinuses.
If you do this twice a day in the very first stages of your cold, it does wonders. And it's a great health practice to maintain once a day so you decrease your chances of catching a cold in the first place.
How to do it- the process involves irrigating your sinuses with a saline solution using a device (squeeze bottle, neti pot, or electronic nasal irrigator). I use this- Neilmed Sinus Rinse Kit
This is the easiest way to get it done. Follow the instructions, being sure to use lukewarm filtered water. The way I get the temperature right is I boil some filtered water in my electric kettle, add that up to the 2 oz. line on the bottle, and fill the rest of the bottle with room temperature filtered water. Mix the filtered water with one of the pre-measured salt packets in the squeeze bottle, lean over your bathroom sink, carefully squeeze the solution through each nostril, gently blow your nose when you're done, clean your bottle, then set it aside to dry for next time. It may be a bit uncomfortable the first few times, but it gets better the more times you do it.
Why this works- Cold germs enter your body when you breathe. When you irrigate your sinuses, you wash away the germs so they don't cause your body to create mucus that can travel into your throat and lungs. The saline also moisturizes your sinuses when the air is cold and dry.
2. Use ZICAM nasal gels.
This product is excellent to use right after you rinse your sinuses to kill even more germs.
How to do it- Break the pack just above the wide blue line to expose a swab that is coated in gel. Gently insert the swab into each nostril and turn it 3 times, while gently pressing the side of your nose. Wait at least 30 seconds before you blow your nose so it has time to absorb. The gel is cooling to the nasal passages and may make you more comfortable. It's the perfect one-two punch to get rid of cold germs.
Why this works- The gel contains a zinc-free, plant-based mixture of Galphimia glauca, Luffa operculata, and Sabadilla which has been clinically proven to reduce cold symptoms. It's homeopathic, which means it works with your body's natural mechanisms to shorten your cold. You can use it once every 3 hours up to 5 times a day, if you need it.
3. While you are sick, reduce or eliminate dairy.
I know what you're thinking- yogurt, cottage cheese, and ice cream can be really comforting foods when you feel bad. Eating them may prolong your cold because they make mucus thicker and harder to get out of your body. Doing the other steps along with temporarily reducing or eliminating dairy can thin mucus and help reduce congestion. For those who experience respiratory problems frequently, it can be helpful to eliminate dairy all the time. If you want to cut out dairy permanently, eliminate it for a few weeks, then slowly add it back into your diet and observe how you feel.
Please comment on how these tips work for you. I'm not an affiliate for any of the products I recommend. These are personal experiences that I offer in the hope of helping others live better.