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natural remedies

It’s that time of year again. The sniffles appear, noses redden, eyes feel heavy and the throat catches. But it’s not like other years. This time around, a simple cold carries with it the worry that it could be something more.

Avoid the fear this year, by blasting those germs out of your system with simple, natural and effective remedies. Stop your cold from taking over your day before it ever becomes a problem, with these easy, natural remedies for early symptoms of a cold.

Cold-killer tea

Aside from tasting great, teas can warm us up, unblock nasal congestion and soothe a sore, aching throat. The ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, known to reduce bloating too, and the honey and lemon have antibacterial properties.

Raw honey

Lemon juice

Ginger root (grated)

Boil water and add lemon juice to a cup.

Grate some ginger root and combine with the lemon juice.

Add boiled water, stir to combine and then add raw honey. Mix until dissolved.

Drink your cold away!

 

Chicken soup

Chicken bone broth, to be specific! Apart from warming us up, tasting good and generally making us feel better, there is actual proof that chicken soup is good for you. The protein and minerals found in white meat boosts your immune system and the salt in the broth helps to dilute mucus. Studies have shown chicken broth actively reduces inflammation around the bronchioles which prevents congestion.

 

Get a really good night’s sleep.

It seems obvious, but sometimes our bodies are calling out to us to slow down and we just don’t listen to them. And its reaction is to give us something we can’t ignore. An irritating cough, a runny nose or an achy head, forcing us to stop and take stock. Giving yourself a little TLC and taking the time to have a really deep, restorative sleep is sometimes all we need to get us back on track. We recommend trying a lavender spray on your pillow, or drinking a soothing tea, like chamomile before sleeping, to really give yourself your best chance at conking out.

 

Hydrate!

It seems so simple, but fluids are extremely important when fighting off a cold, even when we don’t feel like drinking. Water can relieve congestion, loosen mucus, and help calm a fever. Flush the cold right out of you with this handy and simple way to beat your cold.

 

Have a Hot Toddy

Not a cold remedy for the kids obviously, but a great cold blaster for grown ups! As well as promoting sleep and soothing a sore throat, with the right ingredients, it can also break up congestion! Our recipe calls for;

1 cup hot water

1tbsp honey

¼ lemon

3 whole cloves

½ cinnamon stick

50ml brandy

Cloves are a cough suppressant and the cinnamon helps to break down any caught up mucus in the chest or throat, as well as being a handy go-to to break a fever. The brandy is a mucus-thinner and also has anti-bacterial properties. If all of that isn’t enough to convince you, it also tastes really good!

 

Eucalyptus oil

The blocked-up nose is the worst part of any cold. On top of not being able to breathe, your nose randomly runs and stoppers back up again, it makes your entire head feel fuzzy and you can barely keep your eyes open. But by putting just a couple of drops of clearing and clarifying eucalyptus oil into a bowl of steaming water, you could instantly clear up any congestion. Put a towel over your head to seal in the steam and hold your face over the steaming bowl, inhaling. The steam and oil unblocks your entire system, freeing up your sinuses and your head, so you can breathe freely again!

 

Grab some garlic!

Everyone knows garlic’s viral reputation. A natural anti-bacterial and anti-septic for fighting off more than vampires, the properties of the unassuming bulb make it a cold’s worst enemy. It helps to recover faster from a nasty cough and makes any meal taste that bit better. So load up on the garlic bread – as if you weren’t already planning to.

 

Get some vitamin c into your body

This is better known for preventing a cold than curing one, but it never hurts to shore up those defences before a virus gets a chance to infect. We all know about citrus fruits and vitamin C, but have you considered other sources? Pineapples, yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, kiwi, sweet potato and plenty more! Add a few together, make a smoothie, or a soup and get a real blast of vitamin C into your system every day!

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Anyone who suffers with migraine will know that it is all-consuming – for the majority of people, you will have to stop what you are doing completely until it subsides. While a tablet may do the trick when things get particularly bad, you don’t want to have to rely on painkilling medication, so here are some natural alternatives.

1. Acupuncture

Various studies have shown that this ancient practice is extremely effective in the treatment of migraines, although reports vary from patient to patient. It might be worth doing a little research into this one, perhaps with your GP.

2. Peppermint Oil

This is great for tension headaches, in particular. Not only does peppermint help blood flow, but it also opens up your sinuses to allow the flow of oxygen to the site of the pain.

3. Vitamin B

Also known as riboflavin, a deficiency of this vitamin is often what is behind a migraine. If you think you might be Vitamin B-deficient, consult with your doctor to see if your levels are correct; turning the problem around could be as simple as eating more Vitamin B-containing foods such as eggs, vegetables, whole cereals, fish and poultry.

4. Flaxseed

Many migraines are caused by inflammation, which can be reduced by consuming omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed is rich in these omega-3 acids, so try sprinkling a spoonful into your morning porridge or cereal to start the day off right.

5. Lavender Oil

Lavender is known for its healing properties, and it has proven particularly effective for patients suffering with migraines and headaches. Lavender Oil can be applied topically or inhaled – never ingested.

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If you have ever had a mosquito bite you will know just how much the itch can drive you crazy. If you are heading away this summer keep these six natural remedies to that awful bite in mind.

Aloe Vera
Seriously, this plant has a multitude of health benefits. Simply apply the gel directly to the infected area and it will help with the healing process.

Teabag
Press a cold teabag onto the bite to cool the area and stop the itch.

Toothpaste
Just as you would do to get rid of a pimple, dab a little peppermint toothpaste over the area and it will relieve the itch.

Garlic
Rub a little garlic onto the area and while it may sting slightly, it will give you some much needed relief.

Banana peel
Rub the inside of the banana peel over the area to relieve the itch.

Spoon
Run hot water over a spoon and press into the infected area. Careful though, as it may burn a little.

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If you’re like most girls on earth, you have a hate-hate relationship with PMS.

Mood swings, bloating, uncontrollable food cravings – they really kick our ass every month don’t they!

But before you raid the medicine cabinet, here are a few alternative remedies to help ease your monthly woes.

Supplements
A recent study showed that vitamin E and fatty acids are amazing for easing those PMS mood swings, sore breasts, cramps, headaches and bad skin.  A daily multivitamin should supply you with the Vitamin E you need, and you can pop a daily fish-oil capsule to get your fatty acids.

Acupuncture
Research shows acupuncture is ace at treating PMS cramps, insomnia, headaches and nausea. Most women are said to experience PMS relief within 24 hours after a session, so depending on your reaction, you might want to get treated once a month in the week before your period.

Herbs
New studies have shown thyme to be pretty effective in easing PMS woes.  Evening primrose may help alleviate anxiety and cramps, while valerian root, an ingredient in many teas, can ease bloated tummies.

Sweating and stretching
Mild forms of exercise can ease several PMS symptoms, including cramps and headaches. Working out not only releases pain-busting endorphins but also triggers dopamine (your natural source of pleasure and satisfaction) and serotonin (a depression and anxiety fighter). And doing hip and back stretches can increase blood flow to contracted uterine, abdominal, and lower-back muscles, easing the tension that leads to cramps.

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Sinus pain is quite frankly a pain. It’s uncomfortable and your whole face can feel like someone is punching you from the inside.

Sinus issues are usually caused by a dry nose which leads to congestion or allergens which cause the nasal membranes to swell. Fortunately, there are things you can do that don’t involve taking painkillers.

Warm facecloth
Place a damp, warm cloth over your sinus area to stimulate mucus movement.

Facial massage
Gently massage your face in circular motions focusing on the bridge of your nose, forehead and cheekbones. The pressure should help to unblock the sinus area.

Wash your nose out
Mix a little salt with warm water and put it just below your nostril. Breathe in normally but make sure it doesn’t go down the back of your throat.  It should help to clear your nose a little.

Breathe in some vapours
Mix some pepper and mint leaves in a bowl of boiling water. Put your head over the bowl and cover it with a towel.  The vapours should help to open your airways.

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