When most of my friends or their kids catch a cold, they rush to the doctor and are given antibiotics. They typically recover in    three to seven days. If they did absolutely nothing, they would recover in three to seven days as well. Cold is caused by a virus    and antibiotics fight a bacterial infection. Unless you develop a bacterial infection following a cold, antibiotics are not going to  do  much to help you. They, however, will kill not only the harmful bacteria, but also the “good” one, which is supposed to fight  viruses and disease, leaving the body susceptible to getting more colds in the future.

Here’s what I do when someone in my family catches a cold:

1. No dairy

Dairy has been linked to mucus production and if you have a cold you definitely don’t want more mucus!

2. Coldcalm

I like this homeopathic medicine, available over the counter. I even give it to my two year old. The key with Coldcalm is to take it early :if your cold is full-blown, coldcalm is unlikely to help you.

2.  Neti Pot

This is a genius invention, made by yogis on a Himalayan mountaintop. Neti pot clears out the sinuses, taking out all of the unwanted mucus. Put some boiled water into the pot, add a bit of sea salt. Make sure there is no one in the 100 mile radius of you, because you are about to make some unsexy sounds. Bend over the sink and gently pour the contents of the neti pot into one nostril, while leaning over towards the other one: so that the water gets out of the other nostril. At first, the water will slowly drip out and then it will pour. Do the other side, too.

Neti pot is a good addition to your daily hygiene: its use will prevent many colds in the future.

3. Yogi Tea

This line of teas is probably my favorite and I am Russian and we drink a lot of tea! Both Cold Season Tea and Breathe Deeply are wonderful to have in case a nasty cold virus visits your house. Kids like it too: lukewarm with honey. Both teas are not to be used by pregnant or lactating mothers.

4. Oregano Oil

Essential oil of oregano is  known for its antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Drinking a drop of oregano oil in a  glass of water for two weeks is an amazing cleanse of viruses, bacteria and candida. Beware: it’s the nastiest thing you’ve ever tasted! Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. At the first symptom of a cold, I put a drop of undiluted oregano oil on each foot (on the sole.)  Whatever we put on the soles of the feet get absorbed into the bloodstream almost instantaneously. If you do this once a day, your immunity would increase greatly. Just like with any potent essential oils, be careful while using the oil  on kids.

5. Vitamin C

High doses are said to be taxing for the kidneys, because they (the kidneys) need to work harder to flush out the excess vitamin. If you are drinking a lot of water, the kidneys would have easier time. They would also flush out the excessive toxins. I like to take 1500 mg of Vitamin C or more when I have a cold.

6. Probiotics

Probiotics increase immunity by building up the intestinal bacteria, necessary to fight viruses. There are many brands of probiotics available today and some of them, while looking fancy, offer very little microorganisms. I use this brand. My husband and I take two pills a day and my two-year old takes one.

7. Kappalabhati Breathing

This is another yogic technique of cleaning the sinuses and clearing out the viruses, bacteria and toxins. Take two normal breaths through the nose. Inhale through the nose. Now exhale, forcefully pulling your abdomen in and up. Repeat twenty times,  emphasizing the exhalation each time. Then inhale, exhale completely, inhale fully and hold your breath for as long as you comfortably can. Slowly exhale. Don’t try if you are pregnant.

Vitamin D

sing Vitamin D for cold and flu symptoms is an underused, effective natural immune boosting strategy. Vitamin C and zinc have been getting all of the press lately about colds and flu, but Vitamin D and the flu is a real winner too.

8. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a potent immune System stimulant. One of its main immune system functions is to help trigger production of a substance called cathelicidin. Here’s a very informative piece on this vitamin.

9. Rest

Rest as in “No TV.”  Television watching, while passive, tends to make you more tired, by not giving you any energy. A brisk walk outdoors with warm clothes on and a good book can do a  lot more.

Do you know of any interesting natural cold remedies I can learn?

The winter is not over yet….