Whether it’s a cold, the flu or even Covid, there are a whole host of bugs going around offices, schools and supermarkets, and avoiding them is practically an Olympic sport.
If you do fall victim to seasonal coughs and sniffles, you can feel pretty helpless. So is there anything you can do to ease the struggle?
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Gargle with warm, salty water
Is a sore throat getting you down? Try gargling a little salt water.
“Gargling with salt water is a brilliant, cost-effective remedy for those suffering from a cold or the flu, as it helps keep your mouth clean and alleviates pain and discomfort from sore throats,” says Mona Mohammed, a pharmacist. It “can be easily made with table salt and tap water at home”.
Salt water has antiseptic properties that can also reduce inflammation, so you might want to reach for it if you feel a sore throat coming on.
Suck on ice cubes or lozenges
“Not only can sucking on ice cubes help with hydration, but cold sweets or lozenges can also help to soothe sore throats and relieve painful symptoms that often come with the flu or a cold,” Mohammed explains.
“You can find medicated lozenges at your local pharmacy, and pharmacists will be able to provide support and advice on the best options to combat your symptoms.”
Inhale steam to clear the airways
Try using #essentialoils of Lemon, Orange. Eucalyptus & Rosemary, to ease a cold and to help boost immune and help to kill viruses - inhale over hot steam, you can also add them to a cold steam diffuser. #wellbeing #healthytips #virus #inhale #wellbeing #share #getwell #breathe pic.twitter.com/80qvIz9eJJ
— Soothe-me-Skincare (@soothemePR) March 25, 2020
There’s nothing worse than feeling stuffed up – but there could be an easy at-home remedy for this.
“Through simply breathing in steam from heated water, your airways can be cleared and phlegm can be brought up which will bring relief,” Mohammed suggests.
“It also helps to soothe and open nasal passages for cold or sinus infections, while the warm, moist air can loosen mucus – relieving your symptoms. If your airways feel unusually blocked or you’re experiencing difficulty breathing, make sure you contact your local healthcare professional to rule out any conditions that may require antibiotics or further assessment.”
Mixing in a bit of menthol or eucalyptus oil into the water might bring you even more relief.
Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food
Staying well-fed and hydrated will hopefully get you on the highway to feeling better.
“It is really important to keep hydrated when suffering from a cold or flu, so you should make sure to drink lots of clear fluids to avoid dehydration,” says Mohammed.
“It is also important to eat healthy foods that will boost your immune system, and it’s particularly helpful to eat cold or soft foods as the cool, soft texture will feel soothing to your sore throat.”
It’s well and truly soup season, and you can pack yours with plenty of nutritious veg – perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather.