February 19, 2014 9:00 pm

Home remedies to cure the common cold

Watch the above video: Everyone has a home remedy they have either tried or heard of. But there are some that may surprise you. Carey Marsden reports.

What do you do to beat the common cold? Chicken soup? Honey and tea? Gargle with salt water? It appears everyone has a home remedy they have either tried or heard of.

Leslie Solomonian, a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and an assistant professor at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, says a good cure can be found right in your kitchen cupboards.

Story continues below

“The easiest things that everybody has in their homes are food and water and those are a great place to start,” she says.

Solomonian says natural remedies can be beneficial for children and pregnant women because they can’t use over-the-counter cold medications.

Some of Solomonian’s top picks for natural remedies are honey, ginger, and a neti-pot. Castor oil, which can be found in health food stores, is a “carrier oil” and can be especially effective for those who have a cold or flu where pain is in the head and neck.

“Apply just a small amount of castor oil. There are a number of lymph nodes, as we know they get swollen with the cold or the flu. Applying that oil just gently down the neck can help to drain some of that lymphatic fluid,” says Solomonian.

One home remedy you may not have heard of: Wet socks. The idea of wet socks on your feet may send chills down your spine, but Solomonian says it’s great for circulation and can help fight the flu bug.

The idea is to soak a pair of cotton socks, put them on your feet and then cover with wool, fleece or thermal socks.

“The foot will start to warm up so as long as the body is not losing heat, because of that thermal sock, it’s actually going to send blood to that cold wet foot,” she says. “And in the process, particularly if the individual goes to bed at that point and stays warm, it’s going to increase the circulation throughout the night which increases the surveillance of the immune system and it really helps to identify any viruses or bacteria in the system.”

Meera Dossa, also a naturopathic doctor, has a recipe for a winter warming tea with tumeric, lemon, and grated ginger.

Dossa says each ingredient has its own flu-fighting properties. Turmeric, commonly found in your spice rack, can help relieving congestion.

“(Tumeric) is really well known for its anti-inflammatory properties so if you have sinusitis for instance, it helps cool down the fires, decrease inflammation anywhere in your body,” she says.

Dossa’s recipe for the ultimate cold-fighting tea

-inch to inch and a half of ginger grated

-1/2 tsp turmeric

-juice of 1/2 lemon

-add hot water and steep several minutes

© Shaw Media, 2014

Report an error

Comments