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6 Secrets for tackling colds, allergies and respiratory issues

3 min read

6 Secrets for tackling colds, allergies and respiratory issues
Take the pain and misery out of any colds, allergies and respiratory issues you're dealing with by tackling them using these six secret super methods
In these cold, wintry months, the last thing you want to be dealing with is a blocked nose or a cough because of a cold, allergy or respiratory difficulty. But, when you feel like you've tried everything, how can you shift it?
Here are six simple homeopathic secrets for tackling colds, allergies and respiratory issues, so you can get back to normal as soon as possible.

1. Eat raw honey to prevent hay fever

It’s spring, and while everyone else is outside enjoying the warmth, you’re a prisoner in your air-conditioned house, not even an open window to bring the season inside. That’s because you’re allergic to some form of pollen. Well, start eating raw honey! Since it contains grains of pollen, it helps to gradually accustom your overactive immune system to the pollen, so it doesn’t go mad when it encounters the grains every spring.
A tablespoon full of honey drips into a white bowl full of honey
Aim for three or four tablespoons a day—you can lick it right off the spoon, mix it into your tea, or drizzle it onto your toast or corn muffin. Make sure you’re using raw honey and use local honey, so it contains pollens from your local region. You can usually find this type of honey at roadside vegetable stands and farmers’ markets.

2. Try algae for allergies

Here’s another trick for controlling those seasonal sniffles: try sucking down green drinks or supplements that contain spirulina, a blue-green algae. This strong anti-inflammatory can quell the overreactive immune response to allergy triggers that leads to your miserable symptoms.
"Spirulina can quell the overreactive immune response to allergy triggers"
This is what University of California, Davis, researchers found when they gave 24 people with allergies either 2,000 milligrams a day of spirulina or a placebo. The algae group produced 32 per cent fewer inflammatory chemicals that trigger those symptoms—the placebo group saw no change. Now, just imagine your allergist’s face when you cancel your next six appointments!

3. Prevent colds with yoghurt

If the thought of downing live bacteria turns your stomach, stop reading now. But if, like the rest of us, you’d like to avoid the sneezing, sniffling annoyance of colds this winter, then this tip is for you—and your doctor may have never heard of it.
Two 170ml servings of any yoghurt that contains the healthy live bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri can cut your sick days in half—that’s what researchers in Sweden (capital of yoghurt) found when they had factory workers drink a concoction with 100 million units of the little bugs, or a placebo, for two-and-a-half months.
A bowl of yoghurt, also containing granola and berries
Just 11 per cent of the bacteria guzzlers took a sick day during the study, compared to 23 per cent of those taking a placebo. Why? These little guys help your immune system work better. Actually, the yoghurt itself may also help fend off colds.
In another study from researchers at the University of California, Davis, people who consume a cup of yoghurt a day have 25 per cent fewer colds than non-yogurt eater, and it didn’t matter whether the yogurt was live culture or pasteurised. Start your yoghurt eating in the summer to build up your immunity before cold and flu season starts. The manager of your local pharmacy will wonder why their cold remedies aren’t moving as well as they used to.

4. Go salt-free when gargling

Remember your grandmother forcing you to gargle every winter morning with saltwater, swearing it would keep away colds and flus? Well, she was right. But if, like us, the idea of gargling with warm saltwater makes you gag, skip the salt.
"Gargling plain water works just as well as gargling saltwater"
Studies find gargling plain water works just as well, said Susan Montauk, M.D., professor of clinical family medicine at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine, who recommended it for her patients. In fact, she said, statistically you’ll do better with plain water than with saltwater.

5. Get a CRP for sinusitis

Instead of just swallowing the antibiotics your doctor hands you—and the line that all sinus infections are bacterial in nature—ask for a CRP test, an inexpensive blood test that measures levels of an inflammatory marker and is given primarily to test for heart problems. If levels are high, you have a bacterial infection and will need antibiotics, thank you very much.
A doctor looks at a clipboard while talking to a patient
But if levels are low, your infection is viral and only time will clear it up. One Danish study found doctors using the CRP test for sinusitis wrote 20 per cent fewer prescriptions for antibiotics than those who didn’t—great news as we try to stem the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

6. Get a CT scan for that chronic cough

Doctors are pretty bad at diagnosing the reason behind a chronic cough; instead, they’ll probably just write you a prescription for a nasal medication to dry up secretions. But a study from Mayo Clinic doctors who performed CT scans on the sinuses of those with chronic cough found more than a third of them had chronic sinusitis, an infection, or inflammation that could cause coughing and sneezing. The treatment? Antibiotics, nasal steroids, or decongestants.
Banner photo: Six secrets for tackling colds, allergies, and respiratory issues and difficulties (credit: Kelly Sikkema (Unsplash))
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