It's never a good time to get a cold but there seems to be special kind of cold that shows up in spring. Emerging pollen combined with the heavier fare consumed in winter months can cause the energies that create mucus and phlegm to accumulate, aggravate, and then spill out our nasal passages. Sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and body aches make for a miserable one or two weeks. There may be no avoiding the occasional respiratory virus but there are ways to minimize the misery:
1. Use a neti pot! A neti pot is a little Aladdin's Lamp looking thing that helps you pass warm saline through one nostril to rinse the snot out the other (and then you repeat through the other nostril to complete the process). When very congested, use several times per day until the congestion is gone. You will be amazed at how well you can breathe and if you line your nostrils afterwards with a little oil or ghee you prevent your nasal lining from becoming dry and cracked which could allow other pathogens in!
2. Avoid dairy. Commercial dairy is very hard to digest because of the harmful ways industrial cows are treated (kept in confinement, separated from their calves, fed bovine growth hormone to force them to give more milk than they naturally would). And if you fell for the low fat scam, you have even MORE difficulty digesting this horrible product! If you have access to a certified raw milk farmer you will not experience this effect so much - indeed, you can make medicine out of whole raw milk by adding 1 tsp of turmeric powder to 1 cup raw milk and bringing to a boil (unless you prefer to maintain the enzymes that help you digest the milk). The fat in the whole milk help make the turmeric more bioavailable, makes it taste creamy, and slows the digestion of the milk sugars. Milk is anti inflammatory (when from a healthy source) and the turmeric also is anti inflammatory; the combination can be very rejuvenating to a tired body so at a very early stage perhaps this gives you the energy to fight and vanquish the germs. But if you are very congested you may wish to give up dairy at least for a while and make instead a tea of lemon, ginger, a pinch of mineral salt in hot water, and a little honey to taste. You can also try boiling 1 tsp each of tulsi, licorice, and turmeric powder in 4 cups hot water (with lid on) for 20 minutes and drink this 3x/day for 3 days if you are coughing from the post nasal drip that often accompanies colds.
3. Favor hot soups and stews over cold salads and sandwiches, warm cooked cereals with cinnamon instead of dry sugary stuff with cold industrial milk, hot herbal teas instead of cold sodas and smoothies. Cold things will increase the cold in your body, the hot and warm foods will help keep the mucus moving out. Remember to eat only when truly hungry so you can fully digest your food.
4. Rest! Go to bed early if you can so you can get up 8 hours later (more if necessary). Rest allows your body to concentrate on fighting the cold; pushing yourself only prolongs your agony or makes things worse.
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