• Finding some comfort when you are faced with a cold | Gypsy Magpie

    Comfort for the Common Cold

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    I’m not sure if I have been pushing myself a little hard with the painting the past few weeks or if it was the emotions of my auntie’s funeral on Wednesday, but I finally succumbed to the nasty cold the rest of my family has been passing around. I was doing so good not to get sick too! I woke up yesterday feeling like I’d been hit by a bus. Gotta love it. I’m getting behind on the painting, but sometimes you just have to hunker down and rest.

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    Since I’m not getting anything done around here, I thought I’d share some little things I do to find comfort for the common cold. There’s nothing you can do to cure a cold, you just have to wait it out, but there are some soothing tricks to give sickies, like me, a little relief.

    Finding some comfort when you are faced with a cold | Gypsy Magpie

    Here are some of my favorite common cold comforts

    • Herbal Tea with Honey & Lemon: Staying hydrated is a biggie when you are sick. Drinking lots of water and other fluids helps to ease congestion and increases the flow of mucus. I turn to herbal teas when I am sick and I always add lemon and honey. Lemon is loaded with Vitamin C which helps speed healing and honey is a natural antiseptic/antibiotic helping to strengthen the immune system. Fresh ginger is a great one to add also. I love fruity herbal teas, but when I am sick I especially love the Seasonal Sampler from Traditional Medicinals. You can buy it at most grocery stores and also HERE.

    Finding comfort when you're down with a cold | Gypsy Magpie

    • Umcka: I talked all about my love of Umcka HERE if you want to learn more. In the mug above, I made myself a tea using Umcka and lemon. The umcka is alright on it’s own but a little lemon makes it taste better to me. Umcka comes in a packet to make a tea with or in tablets. It’s all personal preference.
    • Hot Shower Steams with Essential Oils: I’m sure you’ve all seen some great recipes for making your own shower disks with baking soda and essential oils out there and one day we’re all going to make some. But, did you know that you can get the same effect without all the work by simply dropping a few drops of essential oils in the corner of your shower? The steam from the hot water will pull the essential oil into the air helping to clear sinuses and allows you to breathe, even if just for a few minutes. The combination of the hot water and essential oils is heaven when I’m sick.

    Comforting the common cold | Gypsy Magpie

    • Saline Rinse: While you are in the shower, use a saline rinse. I know some of you will think this is weird, but if you haven’t gotten yourself a one yet, you need to! I started using these many years back when my body was in the middle of an auto-immune battle with itself. My ENT gave me a bottle and some packets and I’ve been using one ever since. Why use one? A sinus rinse helps remove mucus and irritants, eases congestion and pressure, and moisturizes sad, sore nasal passages.
      Some tips- Make sure you use distilled water or at least previously boiled water. That way you aren’t getting any microbe surprises. I heat my water up for 30-35 seconds then I add in the saline packet. The warm water is less of a shock to my nose going in which is a good thing. Cold water up the nose is not my cup of tea. When squirting the solution up your nose, remember not to squeeze the bottle too hard or try to force, just be soft and let the water gently do it’s thing. Squirt half the bottle in one nostril, let that drain, then squirt the other half into the other nostril. Once done, I find it helpful to bend over and let my head come down for a bit. That helps remove the excess water from my sinuses, but I’ve got bionic man made ones so maybe it’s different for normal people? You’ll have to let me know, I forget what normal feels like. Oh, and the cheapest place I’ve found to buy a NeilMed like I have is at Costco. There is a 2 bottle pack with like 250 packets that comes on the coupon for less than $15 which is way cheaper than anywhere else I’ve found. By the way, the bottles can be run through the dishwasher which is really convenient. Wash them after using, you don’t want to introduce more bugs to your body!
      *I feel like this is stupid to type but I’m going to spell it out anyway just in case. Don’t add essential oils to your rinse bottle. I have it pictured together above because that’s my shower arsenal when I have a cold… tip 3 and tip 4… not because I combine the two into one step. Um, can we say ouch? Your nasal passages are delicate, you don’t want to burn them no matter how miserable you are or what the internet says. Mmmkay? Mmmkay. If you are wanting to inhale essential oils and the shower just isn’t cutting it, I’ve got instructions for how to make an inhaler HERE. Much safer than squirting E.O.s up your nose!
    • Massage: I don’t know about you, but a massage always makes me feel better. I like to massage my face and neck when I’ve got a cold. Massage seems to help loosen things up and helps me find comfort. Massaging behind my ears and down my neck seems to help, probably because of all those swollen lymph glands in the neck.
    • Chicken Soup: Chicken soup won’t cure a cold no matter what your granny told you, but it keeps you hydrated and brings comfort. Warm liquids speed mucus movement which is a good thing when you are crazy congested. I’m making myself chicken soup tonight using some chicken stock I made and froze a few months ago. If you are interested, you can find the recipe HERE. Chicken soup is a comfort food for me and makes me happy. Happy is good when you are sick.
    • Vaporizer or Humidifier: Just like drinking liquids and the steamy shower, getting moisture into the air helps to loosen congestion. Dry air is hard on someone with a cough and sore throat. I like to run a vaporizer with a few drops of essential oils in it like tea tree, orange, lavender, or a blend meant for respiratory issues. Right now I have Plant Therapy’s Respir-Aid but you could use DoTerra’s Breathe, another company’s blend, or make your own by mixing a little lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary together. {I’m not brand loyal, so don’t get your panties in a bunch if I didn’t recommend your MLM. I’m an equal opportunity oil user.}How I find comfort when fighting a cold | Gypsy Magpie
      If you don’t have a vaporizer, don’t fret. You can always boil a pot of water to moisturize your air and if you are desperate, try the old lean over a pot of hot water with a towel over your head method. Just be careful not to burn yourself.
    • Gargling Salt Water: Gargling salt water helps with the scratchy sore throat that often comes with a cold. I put about 1/2 tsp in a cup of warm water and gargle with it. Don’t drink it, eew, just gargle and spit. Why does this work? From what I read, through the process of osmosis the salty water reduces inflammation and creates an environment that bacteria doesn’t love. You can read more HERE, HERE, and HERE. Kind of interesting, right?
    • Hard Candy or Throat Lozenges: This helps by keeping the throat moist. Are y’all seeing a pattern yet? I know the word “moist” is yucky, but it’s important when it comes to colds! I found a recipe for making your own honey lemon throat drops that has me curious over at Heart, Hands, Home. Have any of you ever made your own drops? I might just try this.
    • Soft Tissues, Comfy Bed, and Sleep: These last 3 are pretty self explanatory, aren’t they? Soft tissues are comforting to a raw nose. I ran out and all I have is scratchy toilet paper. Grrr. Time to stock up again! A comfy bed (plus a good book!) and a whole lot of sleep just makes things better. Rest is a big thing when you are sick. Plus, nobody wants you out in the world passing your germs along! Stay home and sleep, my friends. I beg you!

    How to find some comfort when you are faced with a cold | Gypsy Magpie

    I’m sure there are a 101 other ways to find comfort for the common cold. These are just some that I find myself reaching for on days like today. Well, I’m off to make some chicken soup and take a hot bath. Maybe I’ll finally get some more painting done tomorrow.
    Let’s hope.

    What is your favorite comfort when you have a cold?

    P.S. Elderberry Syrup, anyone have experience with that?
    Does it work?



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