Are you feeling miserable with a sore throat, stuffy nose, or the cough of your cold? All these symptoms can be caused by more than 200 different kinds of viruses.

Unfortunately, there is NO cure for any of them. But the good news is that you still can do a lot, NATURALLY, to help yourself recover faster and more comfortably.
In this two-part article you’ll learn how 8 natural actions can get you on the road to recovery at the first sign of a cold.

1. Hydrate to Mobilize Your Natural Defenses

You need more fluid than usual to effectively fight back the viral attack. Even though you have been drinking as much as when you are well, your body actually has a lower reserve of fluid when you are ill, and this can lead to dehydration.

Let me explain.

With the cold, your body mobilizes much of the fluid it has to where the viruses (your enemies) are – in your nose, throat, and airways. The extra fluid helps bring your natural army of immune cells, along with lots of other ammunition and supplies, to where the battlefields are. Extra fluid is a crucial factor in winning the war against the invading viruses.

Here’s something else fluids do to speed up your recovery.

They help rid your body of the big mess resulting from the battle between your immune system and the attacking viruses. Nasal secretions and the sputum you cough up are actually two ways that your body cleans itself up. Good circulation thanks to enough fluid on board also helps take the rest of the junk to your kidneys and liver for excretion.

So, keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of fluid. Water, clear soup, and soothing ginger tea all work well. To avoid worsening nausea and vomiting, do not consume a large volume of fluid at one setting.

If you are nauseous already, sip regularly or consider trying ice cubes or Popsicles. Avoid orange juice (which may make you more nauseous) and too much of any other juice (which may cause diarrhea).

Warm fluid can help soothe your throat and lessen congestion. Some people swear by warm lemon and honey. As Grandma has it, chicken soup (with the fat scooped out) may actually help lessen cold symptoms along with its hydrating power. Chinese tradition also touts a simple drink you can easily make for the common cold: boil one tablespoon of ginger in 3 cups of water for 15- 20 minutes. Add brown sugar to your taste and drink it warm.

2. Rest to Boost Your Energy Levels

Proper rest is another weapon in your war chest to fight colds and infection. Just like the country has to spend a lot of extra money for a war, your body also needs extra energy to fight the battles raging inside. No wonder you are tired when sick, your body is using much of its energy fighting to get well.

Resting provides your body with the energy it needs for a successful war against the virus.

3. Do Not smoke and Avoid Second-Hand Smoke

Smoking, and second-hand smoke tax your body by expending a tremendous amount of energy, even when you are not ill. This is why smokers tend to be thinner. If your body is already using a lot of extra energy to combat and control the damage from cigarette smoke, it cannot really fight an effective battle against cold viruses.

In addition to depleting the body's natural reserve of energy, cigarette smoke also badly weakens your battle against the virus in many ways.

For example, there are brush-like structures lining your respiratory tract. They move in an upward direction to help expel sputum (the junk!). Cigarette smoke paralyzes these structures so that the junk stays in the lower part of your lungs, making your immune system less effective and increasing the risk for pneumonia.

4. Make Clean Moisture Your Friend

How did it feel the last time you emerged from a shower when you had a cold? Didn't you feel great?

Indeed, the humidity in the shower helped you feel much less congested in the nose and in the chest.

Use a clean humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer to help do the same. This is especially helpful if your room is very dry from the heat you use in the winter. A saline nasal spray also moisturizes and can help clear your nose naturally.

At the same time, consider using a neti pot. The saline water not only helps clear the congestion in the nose, it also rejuvenates the nasal linings for faster recovery.

You can buy the pot and easy-to-mix salt packet from all pharmacies nowadays. Do it in the shower if you are new to the practice so you do not have to worry about making a mess. Make sure to use boiled or distilled water to mix the salt mixture. Also wash your pot after every use and never share the pot with another person.

Keep reading to discover the keys for defusing ticking health bombs that could be lurking in your body-- Discover the medical secrets necessary to know so you can live a better, longer, healthier life.

Author's Bio: 

Zen-Jay Chuang, MD, is a primary care physician and Chairman of the Whole Health Alerts advisory board. Click here to find out how Dr. Zen-Jay’s biodynamic, cutting edge approach to ancient and modern medicine can help you achieve the best health of your life.
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