For many of us, winter weather means an uptick in colds, complete with runny-nosed, head-spinning frustration. If you're in the midst of pesky headaches, congestion, and other classic cold symptoms, you may feel like you'll be out of sorts all season. Fortunately, there are some natural cold remedies worth trying. Test out one or more of these four science-backed remedies, which just might help your cold go away, so you can get back to enjoying the season.
To get rid of congestion on the go, try humming.
Humming while inhaling and exhaling through your nose 60 to 120 times four times daily may eliminate sinus congestion and pressure within four days, a case report in Medical Hypotheses found. Vibrations produced by humming may increase airflow between the sinus and nasal cavities, helping to protect you from sinus infections.
For stuffiness and sinus pressure, try an ‘upside down’ rinse.
Many physicians recommend saltwater rinsing to their sinusitis patients. Why? It may whisk away mucus, bacteria, and debris to stem stuffiness, pressure, and postnasal drip, based on research in the Journal of Family Practice. Just boil one cup of water, then stir in half a teaspoon each of salt and baking soda. Let cool and use an “upside down” bottle to gently flush sinuses twice daily.
To heal from the inside, try curcumin.
Research in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that taking curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, twice daily alleviated nasal symptoms in 241 patients. Curcuminoids have an anti-inflammatory effect, as they can increase production of interleukin-10, an immune system substance that tames inflammation. Prefer a cozy sip to a curcumin pill? Try “golden milk”: Stir a teaspoon of turmeric into a cup of warm milk or almond milk, then add cinnamon, ginger, and honey to taste.
To ease inflammation, opt for eucalyptus.
A study published in The Laryngoscope found that when patients suffering from nasal inflammation were given two 100 milligram capsules of cineole three times a day, they reported a decrease in symptoms. Cineole is the main component of eucalyptus oil, which means that smelling eucalyptus oil, ingesting cineole in supplement form, or even putting eucalyptus in your shower may ease congestion. According to Healthline.com, cineole is "an effective and safe treatment for sinusitis that doesn’t include antibiotics," due to its natural ability to clear the airways of mucus and suppress coughs.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman's World.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.