Tis the season for sniffles, coughs and sneezes! For some people, treating cold symptoms include medications; for other, medicines are not an option due to medical issues (like high blood pressure). I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips to treat cold symptoms without medications.  Now let me be clear, I am not a Doctor, but I am a “Doctor Mom”!  Seek medical treatment if you are sick and it hangs on longer than a few days, or you have fever, vomiting, rash, growth of a third arm, or anything else out of the ordinary!

Screenshot 2014-02-06 07.19.12Tip # 1 – Hydrate – The key to getting rid of a cold is to keep yourself hydrated so the gunk can make it’s way out of your body! Drink lots of fluids – 8 to 10 8 oz. glasses of water will help a lot!

Screenshot 2014-02-06 07.21.26Tip # 2 – Blow Your Nose- You don’t want to sniff IN all the congestion, so blow it out. And did you know there is a proper way to blow your nose?  Blow one side at a time: Place the tissue over your nose, then use one finger to press on a nostril to close it, then gently blow. Repeat on the other side.

Tip # 3 – Steam Heat – Take a warm shower or heat water on stove and breathe in!  The warm, moist air will hydrate those mucus membranes and allow mucus to move.

Screenshot 2014-02-06 07.22.18Tip # 4 – Rinse it out – Nasal irrigation using non-medicated saline solution, whether using a netie pot or over the counter saline sprays, is one of the best ways to flush out excess mucus and even allergens or infections that settle in the sinuses.  One of my favorite brands of nasal irrigation products is NeilMed – Click Here to see some of their products (you can find them in  CVS, Walgreens, and other pharmacies).  NOTE: When you mix up your own saline solution for use in the netie pot, the CDC recommends you use distilled or sterilized water.

Screenshot 2014-02-06 07.20.42Tip # 5 – Use a Humidifier – Keep your throat and nasal passages moisturized – it is key to relieving your congestion, drippy nose and dry, itchy throat. Leave it on in your bedroom as you sleep.

Tip # 6 – Drink Tea – Warm tea with lemon or honey will soothe a sore throat and help ease the pain. The small amount of caffeine in the tea will also give you a slight energy boost, at least making you feel a little better.

Thank you to WTLV-TV’s First Coast Living for inviting me on to share these tips!

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