5 Ways to Kick A Cold Without a Prescription

Health & Wellness on 12.13.11
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Photo Credit RLHyde/Creative Commons 

I was eight months pregnant when I got my first cold and discovered there was practically no medicine I could take. As it turns out, the same rules apply for breastfeeding. That's going to be nearly two years of my life not being able to take anything but the occasional ibuprofen. Not being the homeopathic  type, I quickly learned some new tricks to easing the sniffles and soothing a sore throat.

These were among the things my doctor "prescribed" that I found worked best. And, while the effects aren't quite as quick as popping a Sudafed, I discovered I actually prefer the home remedies and feel a lot healthier, albeit while sick, doing these things to take the edge off a cold. 

1. Take Your Vitamins
I never took vitamins before I was prescribed a prenatal vitamin. And, now I believe. I got sick just once the entire nine months and have only been sick once (not counting a wretched night of food poisoning) while breastfeeding. So, take a few seconds each day to pop that vitamin. It's worth it.

2. Neti Pot
When I first heard about a neti pot, I was intrigued, appalled and disgusted all at the same time. It's a form of nasal cleansing that several friends with chronic sinus issues use regularly. A neti pot costs about $10 and comes with saline packets. If you're really congested, dump two in for more immediate effect. If you haven't used one before, trust me, it's worth every penny. And the number one rule in neti pots is never let anyone watch you do it. It may just be the most unattractive thing you ever do.

3. Honey & Lemon
Adding lemon to hot water make a throat-soothing concoction. But, you'll need some honey to make it tolerable going down. You don't need a fresh lemon, a splash of lemon juice from the bottle will work also. I drink this constantly throughout the day when I'm sick, so it's better to use honey than sugar to sweeten.  It's like the natural version of Theraflu.

4. Salt Water
I think making me gargle with saltwater was my parents' litmus test of seeing whether I was truly sick or faking. Anyone who has ever swallowed accidently knows what I mean. And I know you all have. However, gargling with salt water followed by a glass of lemon and honey water is one of the only things I've found that can truly ease the sting of a bad sore throat.

5. Rest
A cold is your body's way of telling you it needs a break. Your immune system has been working overtime, and it just can't keep up. So, listen to your body and get some rest. Not only that, try to truly relax. Stress can make our immune systems work extra hard, so if you can eliminate (at least some) stress, you'll be doing your body a huge favor. 

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