Tips for Chronic Colds and Coughs
Got a cold you can’t kick? This year I’m seeing lots of people coming in with colds they just can’t get over; either they’ve had a cold (or sinus infections are ever-popular) for 4-6 weeks and it just won’t go away, or they’ve had a succession of several colds in a row, with a few measly healthy days in between. So, wanted to send a few tips your way.
Besides the usual exhortations to cover your cough (TIP: cough into the crook of your elbow, rather than covering with a hand, to keep the germs off your hands that you go touch things with) and wash your hands with regular (don’t bother with antibacterial!) soap and water often, I have a few other resources to share:
- Last year I wrote a blog post on making your own chicken soup for cold & flu season, so scroll way down and pull that one back up. Tip: I like to make soup ahead of time and put some in the freezer; that way when someone in my house shows up sick, I have some ready to thaw and eat.
- In October I posted on rinsing your nose out with salt, using a neti pot or something less formal. This is a good way to prevent colds (or allergies) from developing into sinus infections, in case you’re prone.
- And new for today: I wanted to share with those of you haven’t been in and received the handout from me, a recipe for immune-boosting tea. Use this “tea” when you have a cold, flu or anytime your immune system needs a boost. Garlic is antimicrobial, including antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. This “tea” is easy to make, tastes good (really!) and, most importantly, it helps!
- 4 cups water
- 6 peeled garlic cloves, squished or cut in half
- Approximately 1 ½ – 2 inches of peeled fresh ginger, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- Place above ingredients into a sauce pan. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn down the flame and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Strain.
- Add honey to taste.
- Add juice of 1 lemon.
- Add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional).
- Drink hot. You can keep the rest in the fridge and reheat as needed.
- Adults: drink 4-6 cups per day. Children: drink 1-3 cups daily.
Contraindications: Do not use if you have a garlic or sulfur sensitivity. If you have a very high fever, fluid in the lungs, or are seriously ill, seek medical advice. Honey is not for use in children under one year of age.
Notice: These treatment instructions do not constitute medical advice, except if given by Dr. Epstein to a patient actively under her care.
When to see a naturopathic doctor for colds/flu
- You have trouble clearing a cold or flu in a reasonable amount of time
- You’re concerned about progression of illness, including;
- Secondary bacterial infection, bronchitis or pneumonia
- High fever
- [However, during non-office hours, go to urgent care if you are seriously ill]
- You have more than 2 colds/flu per year
- You have chronic or recurring:
- Nasal infections
- Ear infections
If any of the above apply to you or I can otherwise be of service, please contact me or come on in for an appointment.
May You Enjoy Luminous Good Health this Cold Season,
Dr. Deborah Epstein