Neal's Yard Remedies Inhalation Oil contains a really comforting blend of festive smells (including cinnamon, pine and frankincense) to work as a great decongestant when you're suffering. It also has anti-microbial properties, so use it just as feel yourself coming down with a cold to help fight against bacteria. I like to add a few drops to boiled water and inhale the vapours for a good 5-10 minutes; placing a towel over your head whilst inhaling the steam makes for a more intense treatment, but be careful not to burn yourself! For a quick fix apply a few drops to a tissue and inhale to relieve symptoms, or simply use as a preventative treatment if you're surrounded by coughing commuters.
It's well known that our immune system becomes compromised when we're stressed or unhappy (something to do with hormonal imbalances.) Let's face it, the nights drawing in makes everyone feel a little down. There's something so indulgent about an oil, especially with the scent of chamomile added to a nice steamy bath, and the Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil is a great multi-purpose product. Add a capful to your bath, or rub over your limbs before showering to let the aromas develop, to de-stress and relax your senses. The more relaxed you are, the quicker you'll recover. Not only is this a fab pampering treat when you're feeling a bit low, but it also has great hydrating properties and works well as an in-shower conditioner.
Everybody knows Vitamin C can help to fight colds and boost your immune system, but citrus fruits aren't the only source; try and increase your intake of potatoes and berries to get a Vitamin C burst throughout your diet. Hot and spicy food is a great way of clearing your head and easing the pain of congestion; I particularly like cayenne pepper, paprika and ginger when added to a curry or stirfry. However, my all time favourite flu buster is garlic - a superfood in every sense of the word! Not only has garlic been proven to be protective on the circulatory system, but it's also antimicrobial and works as a diuretic, so is great for detoxing and flushing out toxins. It's also vital to stay hydrated; try substituting tea and coffee for herbal drinks such as peppermint or green tea, or add lemon slices to hot water for a refreshing lift. These simple dietary amends could see you feeling better and recovering quicker than a whole basket of Soothers.
Colds are inevitable, even to the most health-conscious. However introducing a few different measures can help not only with your recovery, but with adding a little comfort during a draining and uncomfortable time.
Written by Alex Thompson