Just What the Doctor Ordered: Tips for fighting off the common cold.

Feeling a little under the weather? With spring just around the corner, the weather is already shifting in many areas of the world, and bringing with it a slew of allergies as well as the pesky common cold. As someone with a lowered immune system, I tend to catch these bugs more often than seems fair…but there are a few things I keep in mind to help me get on the mend as quickly as possible.

Just like your parents and your doctors have been telling you for years, there are certain measures to take to fight off that nasty cold. Use these age-old methods – some you may not know about! – if your health starts to feel a little less than stellar.

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Fluids
While some researchers argue that there isn’t enough concrete data to completely prove our body’s need for fluids during the common cold (check out this New York Times article), others – especially family physicians – believe that taking in lots of fluids help keep us hydrated  Just like an athlete needs to replenish what they lose through exercise, it seems our body needs to replenish what it loses while fighting off sickness. And even if it isn’t proven to be completely helpful, who needs an excuse to have delicious chicken noodle soup?!

(Raw) Garlic
Here’s a tip you might not be familiar with: eating raw garlic can help boost your immune system! While the idea of chomping on a clove of garlic might not sound too appetizing  keep in mind that garlic has been shown to improve our body’s production of hydrogen sulfide, which acts as an antioxidant and helps to increase blood flow. Still not up for the challenge? Garlic pills are just as beneficial!

Vitamin C
If you’re not in the habit of taking a multi-vitamin everyday, you should be! With our typically busy schedules, it’s often difficult to get all the daily nutrition our body needs, especially when battling an illness. Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting powers. Whether you grab some supplements or a fast-acting product like Emergen-C, this vitamin really is essential – to keeping you happy and healthy!

Ginger
With its various antiviral properties, tasty ginger can also be added to your ailment-curing toolkit. 100 to 200mg of ginger (in capsule form) will help improve that immune system, while ginger tea will help to soothe a scratchy throat. Like things a little spicier? Candied ginger will not only help clear your sinuses but also tickle your taste-buds.

Eucalyptus Oil
Both a natural decongestant and expectorant, eucalyptus oil – while to be used with care – is a calming remedy for a stuffy head-cold  If you’ve got a vaporizer on hand, put a few drops of the oil in the indicated inhalant reservoir and place the vaporizer by your bed. You’ll feel a little clearer with every passing minute. Don’t have a vaporizer? Check out this alternate method using a pot of boiling water, thanks to eHow.

Once you’re feeling over that nasty weather, be sure to get out for some fresh air and sunlight! Nothing keeps the body going like new oxygen and powerful Vitamin D.

Stay well!

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