Cold Cures

Students battle winter sickness with natural remedies

Cold Cures

Nayana Celine Xavier, Staff Writer

Sweater weather is here, and we all know what that means: it’s time for stuffy noses, scratchy throats and throbbing heads. The cold weather can bring about the worst in us, but before you reach for some Advil, try some of these natural cold remedies. 

To soothe a sore throat, gargling warm salt water has proven to be an effective remedy.

“Gargling with salt and water is helpful because the salt helps draw the fluids out of the tissue and decreases the swelling,” public health nurse Dale Fletcher said. 

The Mayo Clinic recommends stirring one-fourth to one-half teaspoons of salt into four to eight ounces of warm water. Once the salt dissolves, gargle the solution repeatedly. Another natural remedy that can alleviate a sore throat is turmeric milk. Turmeric has numerous benefits, including its highly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.

“I make turmeric milk by microwaving milk for two minutes, adding a spoon of honey, a teaspoon of turmeric and bits of cracked pepper, and I mix it up and drink it,” sophomore Shreya Chandran said. “It works because the pepper acts as a carrier for the turmeric, [and] turmeric will quickly dissolve in the milk, allowing for the effects of the turmeric to last longer, and the honey soothes your throat.”

It’s important to drink lots of fluids when you are sick so the body remains hydrated. By sniffing, coughing and blowing your nose, your body loses fluids. It is recommended that you drink about eight 8-ounce cups of fluid each day. 

“You just [have] to push fluids and drink a lot more than you normally drink if you have any type of respiratory infection,” Fletcher said. 

Water, juice and broth are great fluid options to drink. A fan favorite cold remedy is chicken noodle soup. Vegetables in the soup, such as celery and corn, are good sources of vitamins, and chicken provides protein. The warm steam from the soup can also help to open up airways and relieve a stuffy nose. 

“My mom makes it for me most of the time, and she puts in all sorts of vegetables like celery and carrots, and it’s really good,” sophomore Braeden Froberg said. “The heat of the soup warms up your entire body and makes you feel good.” 

The next time you catch a cold, try some of these natural remedies; you may be surprised with the results. 

“Most of these [remedies] are old pharmacy techniques,” Fletcher said.  “[They] get passed down from generation to generation because they work.”