10 on Tuesday: Fight the Cold

Sniffle, sniffle. Cough, cough. It’s cold and flu season. Here’s hoping your immune system is as strong as an ox and you don’t fall victim to illness, but if you do get sick here are 10 inexpensive ways to make yourself feel better.

1. Sleep
Getting some extra sleep is easier said than done, especially when you have a busy schedule, but it can really help you get back to your healthier self.

2. Steam
Indoor air is often very dry in the winter thanks to forced-air heating systems. If you have a humidifier, run it at night while you sleep. If not, enjoy a hot shower or boil a pot of water on the stove, carefully standing over the steaming water.

3. Vitamin C
The healing powers of vitamin C are debatable, but it’s more than likely that it helps your immune system defend itself against the common cold. Supplements are sometimes expensive, but you can get a free sample of Emergen-C to have on hand for the winter months. 

4. Other Supplements
I swear by Echinacea supplements when I start to feel that tickle in my throat that signals a cold coming on. Ask your doctor if these might be a good option for your diet.

5. Saline Drops and Sprays
Congested? Try an over-the-counter saline drop or spray. These are usually fairly cheap compared to medicated sprays that may actually worsen your symptoms.

6. Water
Pump the water, taking it in the form of tea if you need a little flavor.

7. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup, or any warm soup, can help congestion and soothe sore throats. Canned soup is an inexpensive and easy way to get what you need when grandma isn’t around to make a batch of the homemade stuff.

8. Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet year round is your best bet for fighting off those pesky cold germs that seem to be everywhere this time of year. When you feel yourself getting sick, narrow in on foods high in antioxidants and vitamin A.

9. Herbs
Herbal teas and supplements can help soothe everything from a runny nose to a sore throat. Ask your doctor or nutritionist what herbs will work best for you.

10. Salt Water Gargle
Every hear the phrase “salt water heals everything”? In this case, it may ring true. Gargling a quarter- to half-teaspoon of salt dissolved in an eight-ounce glass of water can help repair inflamed tissue in your mouth and throat. Can stand the taste? Try water, lemon juice and honey instead.

Remember, these are just for the basic cold, not for a more serious illness. I hear the flu is very bad in Maine this year. If you think you might be seriously ill, don’t risk it! See your doctor ASAP. 

Stay healthy, everyone!

Kylie K.