The end of summer marks the start of cold and cough season! A change in temperature, lack of vitamin D and the kids back at school mean not only are we feeling run down but viruses are making there way through the population and making us all feel a little bit rubbish. Rather than running straight to the doctor or loading up on paracetamol, here are some of our favourite natural remedies to prevent and treat coughs and colds.
Honey and Black Cumin Oil for a sore throat
Add a teaspoon of honey to your tea, or take a spoonful by mouth to soothe your sore throat. As an added bonus, research indicates that honey significantly improves cough symptoms in children. You can spike your honey with therapeutic spice by adding 2-3 drops of black cumin seed oil (also called black seed oil) to your honey. Like herbal teas, black cumin seed oil is an anti-inflammatory and can help soothe the pain.
Myrrh and Eucalytus Gargle
Myrrh and eucalyptus are effective for soothing a sore throat but don’t take them as a tea. Instead, inhale the vapors by using a diffuser or humidifier. You can also gargle with myrrh like a mouthwash. Apply one or two drops of lavender oil, specifically and exclusively from the Lavandula angustifolia species, to the back of your tongue or throat to relieve the pain from a dry, scratchy throat. The taste isn’t overwhelming and the only side effect is fresh floral-smelling breath.
Salt Water Gargle
When you gargle with a salt solution, a temporary increase in pH makes it difficult for the bacteria to survive. To make a disinfectant solution that soothes an inflamed throat and relieves a cough, just dissolve a half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Salt water gargle instantly relieves throat pain whether it’s due to strep throat, tonsillitis or common cold and allergies. The anti-inflammatory effect of a salt gargle often lasts several hours, but the longer you have the solution in contact with the throat tissues, the better it is. So throw your head back and give it a good shot, repeating the procedure several times a day.
Since turmeric can fight both bacteria and viruses, besides relieving inflammation, it is very effective in treating coughs due to a throat and respiratory tract infection. To make tumeric milk mix one to two teaspoons of turmeric powder in a cup of hot milk and drink it twice a day.
Licorice can be used in several forms to relieve a sore throat, cough, bronchitis, and other inflammatory conditions of the respiratory tract. It can even treat hoarseness due to laryngitis. To make a naturally sweet herbal tea, boil one teaspoon of Licorice root powder in two cups of water. Licorice powder can be added to black pepper or to herbal teas as a functional sweetener.
Allicin, a compound found in garlic, is known for its ability to kill the microorganisms that are responsible respiratory infections that can lead to coughing. Raw Garlic antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties, so adding it to your diet as a natural cough remedy can be beneficial in helping you to kick the infection.