Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fighting a Cold - the natural way

I've been fighting a cold for several days now.  It started with a sore throat on Saturday that turned into worse on Monday. I thought it was allergy related till it got worse, silly me.  Like most people, I want to get over this cold quickly and with the least amount of symptoms.   I don't go for the cold medicine though.  Nope. I would be lying if I said I didn't have some at home, but if you knew how long I've had it you would probably tell me to throw it away because it's expired (and I'm sure you would be right).  The only cold medicine I do use sometimes, is Tylenol sore throat. I can deal with being stuffy, I can't deal with a sore throat. I tend to get a sore throat with my allergies and this is the only product that can help relieve the pain for a bit.

If I'm not taking cold medicine, what am I doing for this cold?   Using natural remedies of course.   Why?  For one, cold medicine helps to relieve the symptoms, but it doesn't help your body fight the cold.  Natural remedies help your body fight the cold so you get over it faster.

I should mention that at the very first sign of either a cold or the flu, Husband and I start popping at least one of these, if not several.  Usually if one of us is sick, as long as the other starts taking some of these as a preventative measure, they don't get sick.   We go through a lot of Airborne in our house.

I'm sure you've seen airborne in the store and seen it advertised. Husband I love this stuff. No, it doesn't taste the best, but we think it works.  I would rather take a ton of minerals and herbs than cold medicine.  Below is a list of the nutritional information I took from airborne's website.

Without even doing the research on what all those minerals and herbs do for you, wouldn't you feel better taking those instead of the ones listed below?  This is the ingredient list I took from Tylenol's website for the sore throat medicine I tend to use sometimes.  (please note that the way the info copied, the Active Ingredients and Inactive Ingredients heading needs to be moved to the left by one active ingredient should not be over Liquid Cool Burst but instead should be over Acetaminophen. 

Active IngredientsInactive Ingredients
Cool Burst
1000 mg in each
30 mL = 2 Tablespoons

Each tablespoon contains: sodium 11 mg
Citric acid, FD&C blue #1, flavors, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, purified water, sodium benzoate, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, sorbitol, sucralose, sucrose

Instead of popping just regular vitamin C, I choose Ester-C.  Why? I think it works better than normal vitamin c. I think it could probably be a mental thing for me, but I'm ok with that.

Here's the ingredient list I took from Ester-C's website:  I personally like the "free-of" section.

Supplement Facts
Serving Size 1 Tablet
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Vitamin C
(as Ester-C® Calcium Ascorbate)
500 mg833%
(as Ester-C® Calcium Ascorbate)
55 mg6%
C-Sorb™ Citrus Bioflavonoids Complex
Citrus Bioflavonoids (Citrus sinensis)(fruit), Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Lime, Lemon, Acerola, Rutin, Hesperidin Complex (Citrus spp.)(fruit), Naturally Occurring Vitamin C Metabolites
200 mg**
** Daily Value not established.

Other Ingredients: Vegetable Cellulose, Calcium Silicate, Vegetable Stearic Acid, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate.

Suitable for vegetarians.

FREE OF: Yeast, wheat, milk or milk derivatives, lactose, sugar, preservatives, soy, artificial color, artificial flavor, sodium (less than 5 mg per serving), gluten, grapefruit.

Earlier this year I had a sore throat for several weeks. It was miserable. It never ended up a cold and when I finally went to the Dr., they decided it was allergies.  (I should note that this was about a month after I had a cough for over a month and when I finally went to the Dr. it was decided the cause was allergies).    Nothing was helping, not even my beloved Tylenol.   Husband did a search online and came home with honey.  He told me to eat some honey and cinnamon.  So I did.  And I felt better.   You can do a search and find lots of articles that list Honey as a natural remedy.  I wont' go into why honey is supposed to help with a cold, but it does. I've been putting honey on a spoon a couple times a day and eating it. I'm sure you could just add honey to green tea or something else that you can eat. You don't have to be a bit nuts like me and just eat it plain.

Cinnamon is supposed to be pretty helpful too.  I tend to put some honey on a spoon, sprinkle on cinnamon, add more honey, and enjoy.  You don't have to do it like that either, you could just add Cinnamon to something you plan to eat, I'm just a tad nuts. I've actually read several books and articles about superfoods and things that are supposed to be healthy for you, and cinnamon is often listed. 

Last time I was sick I drank some green tea.  I'm not much of a tea drinker but when I'm sick I can handle a warm tea at night.  This time around I haven't been able to do that. I'm taking a new medicine for my thyroid and it says not to take it with any other medication with this pill, 2-3 hours after you eat, or on an empty stomach 1 hour before you eat.  For somebody like me who eats constantly throughout the day, this is really hard!  I've had to switch to taking my allergy meds in the morning and taking my thyroid pill at night.  This also means that since we go to bed relatively early compared to most adults, I can't eat anything after 6:30.  Part of me feels like I could drink green tea and be fine, but since I'm just started with this med, I'm trying to follow directions to a "T" before I take some liberties. It takes 6-8 weeks for a body to get adjusted to this medicine, and I'm only on week 2. If I was past the 8 weeks and lab results showed my levels were fine, I would be drinking the green tea.     I suppose what I'm really getting at is, green tea is supposed to be incredibly healthy too, but this go around I'm not taking it.

I should also note that since I've been paying more attention to what I eat and what goes in my body, I haven't used the Tylenol sore throat this time around.  I would rather try to fight this cold with herbs and minerals and other natural remedies. 

While I'm on day 5 of this cold, I have to admit that my symptoms aren't nearly as bad as they could be. In fact, my co-worker that sits in the cube next to mine, just realized I had a cold this morning. 

I hope next time you have a cold or think you might, you grab a natural remedy instead of buying expensive medicines that might work to relieve the symptoms but not help your body fight the cold itself.

Do you use any kind of natural remedy?  Any that I mentioned here or something else? Feel free to share!  I would love to know what I might be missing. 


  1. Hope you feel better! HOney and lemon are great for sore throats. Stopping by from the bloghop...

  2. Thanks for stopping by Hungrigyrl. I picked up more honey at the store yesterday haha.