>Thumping headache: check. Streaming nose: check. Itchy throat: check. Yep, just as we assumed, a cold is fast embedding itself into your body and has left you feeling heavy, sluggish and all-round a bit rubbish. Granted, a day lounging on the sofa, hugging a hot water bottle and bingeing on Netflix (have you seen the Lady Gaga documentary yet?) isn’t so unappealing, but when life requires you to be operating at full efficiency (er, when doesn’t it?), that cold has got to go, and it’s got to go fast.
>What you need is a game plan, a cold-banishing strategy, if you will. So we’ve hit up some of the UK’s top health and wellness experts to compile just that. From a rather surprising sock technique to finding your body’s very own energy-boosting button, these aren’t the same tired and unreliable cures you’ll have heard before, but rather the failsafe tricks that the wellness set have come to rely on. Scroll down for to discover six of the best cures for a cold we’ve ever heard, and we’re almost certain you’ll be feeling brighter by the morning.
>Yes, it might sound odd, but hear us out. Wearing wet socks works with your body’s natural physiology to heal everything from colds to headaches to trouble sleeping. When you slip your feet into wet socks, the cool temperature causes blood to flow away from the skin and back into the feet to warm them up. This form of “microcirculation” performs exactly what regular blood flow does, bringing nutrients in and toxins out. However, doing this in a small area in such a quick amount of time pulls blood into the skin and away from areas of pain and swelling (like stuffed sinuses).
>It’s worth a try: First warm your feet (placing them in a hot bath works), wring out a pair of cold, wet socks in the sink and immediately place them on your feet. Put dry socks (or plastic bags) on over the wet socks so you can cuddle up in bed, and then wake up in the morning feeling better.
>While you might be used to mainlining cough sweets, try chewing on half a teaspoon of Lovage seeds instead. Granted, they won’t taste as nice as those lemon and ginger lozenges, but according to Ross Campbell, Chinese medicine practitioner at Grace Belgravia, it will numb that sore throat that accompanies most colds in no time. Top tip: They’re often called ajwain seeds in Indian spice shops.
Drinking plenty of water is vital on a good day, but when a cold strikes, it’s even more important. Not only will it help replace all the fluid lost through those flu-like symptoms, but it will also keep your throat and passages lubricated. Bolster the hydrating power by adding slices of lemon, ginger and even a drop or two of echinacea.
Pepper your day with plenty of hot drinks too, because inhaling the steam stimulates your cilia (the little hair-like structures in your nose and trachea) to sweep germs out.
>Chicken soup has been renowned for its ability to send a cold packing, but for vegetarians, it’s not an option for obvious reasons. Instead, cook up a broth rich in brassica vegetables. “These vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Chinese cabbage,” explains Jade Barkett, a naturopathic nutritionist at Grace Belgravia. “Eat at least one portion a day as they are great for balancing hormones and detoxification, but be sure to cook before eating, as eating these vegetables raw can be a burden on the thyroid gland.”
>Smoothies are a great way to siphon much-needed vitamins into your body, but make sure you’re adding a spoonful of barley grass powder to each one. “It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and chlorophyll,” explains Barkett. The chlorophyll will help alkalise the body and make it difficult for any viruses to survive, but even more impressive than that, barley grass powder contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges, so it’ll bolster up your immune system in no time.
>If your cold has been served up with a big heap of chesty cough, massaging the chest can help relieve congestion. “Try massaging a warming oil into the chest and upper back,” recommends Campbell. “Sesame oil is ideal. Just warm it up on a radiator beforehand and you can add essential oils like rosemary or frankincense.” Rosemary is great at relieving muscle aches and pains while frankincense has amazing antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
>Too busy for a full-on massage? Take it down a notch. “Tapping the thymus gland is a simple technique you can do anywhere that will jumpstart your immune system and boost your energy,” promises Natalie Viklund, co-founder of Aevi Wellness. “To activate, tap firmly at the top of your sternum (also known as the angle of Louis) in a waltz rhythm—one two three, one two three, one two three—and continue for one minute.” It’s a popular technique borrowed from Chinese medicine to release tension.
Do you have any tried-and-tested cold remedies? Please share with us below!