5 Healthy Home Remedies for Colds

Fact: eating two to four cloves of raw garlic for the first few days of an illness boosts your immune system, helping you to feel better faster. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Fact: eating two to four cloves of raw garlic for the first few days of an illness boosts your immune system, helping you to feel better faster. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

If you’re feeling, sneezy, achy and congested, these five recipes can offer relief (via Care2.com):

  1. For congestion: cayenne pepper drink. Heat one-half cup water in a tea kettle, then add one-fourth cup apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon maple syrup, three-fourths to one teaspoon dried cayenne pepper (depending on your ability to handle heat), and one to two tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix ingredients together well, and let them heat up, breathing in the steam as they do so. Take the kettle off the heat, and drink when it’s cool enough. Words to the wise: this is NOT a sipping drink, so wait for it to get cool enough that you can down it in a few gulps.
  2. For a sore throat or post-nasal drip: salt water gargle. Heat one-half cup water in a tea kettle, then stir in one-half teaspoon sea salt. When the mixture is cool enough, gargle about one tablespoon of it. Repeat every one to two hours.
  3. For a raw-feeling throat (from extreme coughing or soreness): vinegar gargle. Combine one-fourth cup warm water with one-fourth cup apple cider vinegar. Gargle one to two tablespoons, and repeat every one to two hours.
  4. For a cough: red onion cough syrup. For a nagging cough, this is an unappetizing yet effective solution. Toss half a red onion, chopped, together with one-fourth cup brown sugar with a bowl that has a lid. Cover and let sit on the countertop overnight. In the morning, take by the spoonful to soothe your cough.
  5. For an immune system boost: garlic toast. Eating two to four cloves of raw garlic per day for the first few days of your illness can actually reduce its duration. Toast one slice of whole wheat bread, then spread evenly with one tablespoon of butter (or butter substitute) and two minced garlic cloves.
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