From the traditional medicine perspective, whenever the season changes, our health is at greater risk. There’s a number of reasons for this—some of which I will talk more about in a future post—ranging from the way we dress to the forces that make the wind blow.
Right now, the transition from Winter to Spring, is one of those times. And as it continues to rain, be warm and sunny, snow and rain again (sometimes in the space of a single day in Seattle!), we must take extra care to keep ourselves well.
Keep reading for some prevention and management ideas for the common cold.
Do the obvious: wash your hands frequently, stay away from people who are sick, eat well and get enough rest. In addition, consider:
Layers, scarves, and hats. The neck and head are particularly vulnerable to wind, cold and other outside forces, so keep them covered whenever you are outside. This is especially important for wet hair and on cold, damp or rainy days.
Use a Neti Pot
Using a neti pot can help to cleanse the nasal passageway, aka a bacteria, germ or virus’ pathway into your body. Flushing the passageway regularly can help to eliminate an infection before it makes you sick. This also aids the thousands of tiny cilia lining the passageway in doing their job of sweeping things through, preventing stuffiness and bacteria and particles from lodging in the passageway long enough to create a problem. And, you will likely notice your sense of smell is more acute. Click here to read more about Jala Neti.
Scrape Your Tongue
First thing in the morning, before drinking water or consuming anything, scrape your tongue. You can use an actual tongue scraper, but a regular old spoon works just as well. Gently brush your tongue with your scraping tool, moving in the direction of throat out toward mouth. Rinse the collected gunk away between passes (3-7 total), then rinse your mouth out with water. The gunk you’re scraping away? Waste material your body has already processed and packaged for removal. Don’t swallow it back down. Get rid of it. You may be amazed at just how good your morning coffee/tea tastes afterward too.
Extra rest, extra fluids, and steamy nutritious soups are a given, but also keep doing the prevention techniques. Here are a couple additional remedies to try:
Thai Cold Remedy (especially good for mucous)
Seeds from one whole green cardamom pod
1 garlic clove
5 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon honey
With a mortar and pestle, mash the peppercorns. Add the remaining ingredients and mash together. Stir into a mug of hot water and drink. Repeat several times a day.
Thank you to the Naga Center LLC for sharing this cold remedy formula in their December newsletter.
The scent of eucalyptus is well-known for its potential to relieve congestion and open the airway, but, did you know that essential oil of eucalyptus also has anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties? What this means is that it can kill bacteria causing the cold and calm the inflamed tissue in the airway.
Add a drop of essential oil of eucalyptus to your neti pot and hang some sprigs of the actual plant in the shower. The steam will release the oils so you can breathe them in.