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7 Eco-Friendly Ways to Treat A Cold

Woman sneezing

Woman sneezing

Getting sick is nobody's favorite event, but for most of us, it's a natural part of the seasons changing through winter and spring. Whether it gets you before or after the weather warms up, sooner or later you'll find yourself laid up and sneezing yourself silly. With achy joints and a head packed full of mucus, you certainly don't want to go out and about, but you also don't want to end up in a miserable pile of tissues, either.

One of the best ways to treat a cold is not to let it get the best of you. Take control of your recovery with a few relaxing and eco-friendly practices. Not sure where to start? We've got a few enjoyable suggestions to make this infection disappear in a cozy flash.

1. Take a Long Bath

There's nothing better for stuffed-up sinuses than steam. The hot water on your body will relax muscles and help to get rid of lactic acid build up which can contribute to the aching. Pour some Epsom salts and perhaps a little of your favorite scented oil into the bath water and prepare for a long soak. While a shower can provide the same amount of steam, a bath is both better for relaxing your body and conserves water. If you want an extra long soak, don't be shy about partially draining the tub to add more hot water and mix it with the colder water. It's more conservative than completely refilling the bathtub.

2. Use Natural Hand Soap

Washing your hands is an incredibly important part of being sick if you don't want to spread the illness any further than necessary. However, soap with those little scrubbing beads and artificial ingredients is not great for sending down the drain if you can help it. Instead, look for all natural soap, most often sold in bar form. While you're ill, you may want to use a moisturizing oatmeal soap to keep your hands from drying out if you wash them often.

Ingredients to Look For:

  • Cocoa or Shea Butter
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Oatmeal
  • Coconut Oil
  • Argan Oil

3. Drink Plenty of Tea

Tea is the number one universal remedy for a bad cold. Of course, while you're feeling low, we recommend you stay away from the classic caffeinated tea and instead head for the herbal mixtures. Things like Chamomile can both soothe you and warm up your insides against the constant shivering or temperature shifts. Mint and peppermint are good for clearing the sinuses. And local raw honey can contain components that will help you fight off local illnesses. Hold the tea to your face and let the steam warm up your sinuses, as this will help much as the bath did.

4. Try a Hot Cloth Compress

When you're not in the bath or drinking tea, you may still want to keep your head or other parts of your body nice and warm. Rather than relying on disposable heat pads and packs, use a towel soaked in hot water like a cloth compress. Layed over your face, this should heat your sinuses, loosen the mucus, and help you to breathe again. You might also try creating a bowl of steam and herbs to curl up around and breathe in.

5. Stick With Cloth Handkerchiefs

One of the least eco-friendly things about modern illness treatment is the enormous pile of discarded tissues. In reality, you don't need to go through that much lightweight paper to keep your nose clear of mucus and treat a cold. Instead, pick up a pack of ten soft cotton handkerchiefs and wash them daily. Keep one with you at all times and station cleanly folded tissues in places where you sit around the house for emergency nose blowing procedures. You can even create a special hamper for them and run them in small hot laundry loads to make sure that you always have a reusable tissue ready.

6. Snuggle Into a Warm Bed

If you don't feel like going out while you're sick, don't. There are plenty of cars and people running errands out there for two or three times the population. Instead, take plenty of time to make your bed as comfy as possible and then sleep yourself out. Sleep is regenerative. As your body rests from activity, your physical energy shifts to fighting back the illness and healing the poor worn out chest and sinuses. Before you konk out, be sure to make your bed with soft, clean sheets and plenty of comfy pillows to prop up on to help you breathe. When you wake up feeling better but like you've just been on a dream quest, you'll know that you've at least started to recover.

7. Make a Pot of Chicken Soup

The reason chicken soup has gotten the reputation that it has for healing the sick and easing ailments is that it's a mild yet flavorful recipe that includes all the necessary food groups. The chicken provides protein, there are always a few vegetables, and each recipe usually calls for rice, noodles, or dumplings as a starch. Even the broth itself is salty and warm, which means it's good for clearing your throat and sinuses and the liquid ensures that you stay hydrated, which is very important when ill.

The best part is that making a pot of chicken soup is easy. Here's the quick and nearly hands-off way to make a chicken rice soup that will last all week:

  • Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
  • Add a frozen chicken breast and one cup of rice.
  • Add one to two cups of bite-sized vegetables. Frozen, fresh, or canned will do.
  • Salt, pepper, and season to taste.
  • Let it simmer for an hour.
  • Remove the chicken breast, chop it, and toss the bits back into the soup.

Eat your first bowl straight out of the pot and store everything else in the fridge. It will thicken overnight. For brothy leftovers, add two heaping spoonfuls of the thickened soup to a bowl, top up with water and add a little chicken bouillon. Microwave for about two to three minutes and you've got hot soup for days!

For more great tips on feeling better, living green, and making your bedroom as comfortable and recuperative as possible, contact us today!