Friday 3 February 2012

Immune Boosting tip no 6 - beat that Cold

Blow your nose often - but the right way. Regularly blowing your nose avoids mucous from being sniffed back into the head. But avoid blowing hard, as the pressure can push the infected mucous back into the sinuses, increasing congestion and prolonging the cold; or into the ear canals, causing earache. 

 Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps the body to focus its energy on upregulating the immune system.

Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. An astringent gargle, such as tea (which contains tannins) will tighten the membranes and reduce an irritating tickle in the throat. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, sage and cayenne pepper all of which are slightly antibacterial or antiseptic. Steep fresh sage leaves with the cayenne in 100 ml of just boiled water for 10 minutes. Add about 50 ml of honey; you can also add a pinch of salt and some cider vinegar to help loosen mucous. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.

Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes of the nose and throat.
 Steamy showers moisturise the nasal passages and generally relax the body.

A small dab of mentholated cream under the nose can open breathing passages and help restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.

Sleeping with an extra pillow under the head will help relieve congested nasal passages.

Don't fly unless it is absolutely necessary.  The change in air pressure will increase the stress on the upper respiratory system and may temporarily damage your eardrums. 
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