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Frugal Cold Remedies

Cold and flu season is quickly approaching. Actually, for some I think it has hit, as many people I know have had colds. But our house has been cold free so far! When a cold does hit, what do you do? I know most people pop pills and hope for the best, but masking symptoms is not for me, especially when I have two young kids to watch. So I have compiled a list of frugal and remedies that run on the more natural side, that I use and that I have been curious to try. Let me know how you treat a cold, or better yet, how you manage to not get sick in the first place.

Raw garlic, chopped up on lightly buttered toast. This is my new go to as soon as I feel the slightest cold coming on. Garlic has been found to be antibacterial and antiviral, which will help your body fight that cold right when it starts. It is also a little spicy and strong tasting, which helps to clear your sinuses. It can be harsh on your stomach, but I will take a little indigestion over a head cold. (A big thanks to my twitter friend and fellow blogger, Sarah,  for telling me about this a couple of years ago when I was pregnant with a bad cold and needed relief!)

OJ. Well, i think this one is a little obvious, but I shall share it anyway. Vitamin C people, everyone knows this right? It works. Chug juice like crazy! You need fluids when you are sick, so my not fill yourself up with something that will help you fight that cold a little better.

Neti Pot. Another thing that saved me when I was pregnant and had a bad head cold. Yes it is gross, yes it can be uncomfortable at first. Yes it does work. It clears out your sinuses, it relieves that awful pressure headache that comes with a head cold. It allows you to breathe through you nose again, even if just for a couple of minutes. I would do this about 30 minutes before bed each night that I was stuffed up from pregnancy, or I did have a full blown head cold. Get over the ick factor and give it a try! This one isn’t the most frugal one, as the initial cost can be upwards of $20 for the neti pot (ceramic ones cost even more) but you re-use it, and it comes with loads of packets of saline that will last a while. And it is still much cheaper than buying medication.

Vicks Vaporub on your feet. Feet are strange; rub a certain part and you get rid of a headache, put some menthol greasy stuff on them and it stops your cough. All I know is some part of your foot absorbs the Vaporub faster and better than putting it on your chest or neck (though, that’s a nice warming feeling I also enjoy and it can help keep your sinuses open), which stops your cough almost immediately. I do this for the kids if they get a cough, and it helps them sleep through the night, and I do it for myself too if I have a bad cough and can’t sleep. Just remember to put some socks on, so that the Vaporub stays on your feet and off your sheets!

As for things I haven’t tried, but have heard of, there is honey, lemon, or ginger in tea, or a combination of those as their own tea. I have also heard of marshmallows soothing a sore throat, but haven’t tried yet. Have any others? I’d love to hear them!

  1. I had never heard of the Vicks on the feet - that is a little different! Does it also help for sore and tired feet? Was out walking the Camino de Santiago and my feet are still a little sore!
  2. I've never heard of the garlic on toast, but I am totally going to give it a try!
  3. Great ideas! People in areas without good water sanitation need to be careful with neti pots though. A couple people have died or gotten seriously ill. We've had a terrible cold around here, complete with ear infections and antibiotics for both little ones and myself. I never knew about the vicks on your feet!

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