Next time your sinuses are feeling stuffy and you’ve got the sniffles, don’t reach immediately for over-the-counter meds. There are some particularly unusual remedies out there that could work just as effectively. Well, some people swear by them anyhow (and many do have some scientific proof to back them up). I’ll let you be the judge…
Exercise your cold away
A workout might be the last thing you feel like doing next time you’re feeling groggy. However, it’s been proving that breaking a bit of sweat does boost your immunity. A rise in body temperature can anti-inflammatory effects – the same way taking warm bath feels good for you when you have a cold. Avoid exercising too hard however as this can have adverse effects on your immune system.
Put on a pair of cold wet socks
Wearing cold wet sock might seem like the worst thing you can do when suffering from a cold, but it can actually have health benefits, mimicking the effects of immune-boosting hydrotherapy. Your best approach is to soak a pair of socks in cold water, put them on your feet and then put on thermal socks over the top. Then go to bed and keep your feet in a warm blanket. The cold socks will increase blood circulation to the feet, relieving congestion from the head by reducing swelling in the sinuses (when we have a stuffy nose, it’s largely down to nostrils swelling up, not the mucus build up).
Fight it with candles
There are various scented candles out there that can reduce all kinds of cold symptoms, with some even battling hayfever. On top of this there are other more unusual remedies involving candles – one being ear candles. These are inserted in the ear and are useful for unblocking ears (when lit they absorb the earwax from your ear into the candle). You can do this treatment yourself or visit a qualified holistic treatment centre.
Listen to jazz
That’s right, research has shown that listening to jazz for thirty minutes can boost our levels of immunoglobulin – a immune protein that helps us to fight infections. This should come as great news to jazzheads. However, if this isn’t your genre of choice, you may still be in luck as other genres have seen similar effects such as soft rock, bluegrass and choral music.
Eat raw onion
There are some popular cold-fighting food and drinks such as honey, herbal tea and chilli. But did you know that raw onion is also thought to be great at warding off a cold? This is largely down to the amount of sulphur that raw onions contain, which has naturally antimicrobial qualities. Unfortunately, cooked onion doesn’t have the same effect as much of the sulphur is lost. Try perhaps whipping up a salad and sprinkle in some raw onion, put in in a sandwich or add it to a homemade burger.