Natural Ways to Fight Off Colds This Winter

While everyone gets a cold from time to time, some people seem to be hit harder than others by seasonal illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults average three colds a year and children tend to get sick even more often. With millions of cold cases every year, it's no wonder that everyone seems to be down for the count at some point between October and March.

If you dread the cold and flu season because it seems like you get sick every year, fear not. With these four natural tips to ward off germs this winter, you can reduce your chances of spending a few days in bed with chicken soup, Netflix and a box of tissues.

Practice Good Hygiene

Wash your hands frequently and use soap and water to remove cold germs from your skin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should lather your hands with antibacterial soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you clean carefully under your fingernails, where germs can accumulate.

When you don't have running water handy, use hand sanitizer with alcohol. Carry a pocket-size bottle or convenient hand wipes when you venture out this cold season.

Try to remember to keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes, where germs can enter your body. If you sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with your elbow and turn away from others.

In addition to good hand hygiene, regularly disinfect the objects in your home that you and your family members touch frequently, like phones, laptops, doorknobs, desks and countertops. If you have cold symptoms, stay home. Avoid others who are sick and start using Brillia Health Cold-Flu Recovery right away — it can help reduce the length of your illness and can let you feel productive and better as you heal.

Get Quality Sleep

Research published last year in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found an association between a lack of sleep and an impaired ability of immune cells called lymphocytes to fight off disease. In addition, a 2015 study published in the journal Sleep correlated a lack of sleep with a higher risk of infection during cold and flu season. Regular sleep helps maintain the body's natural biorhythms, which in turn supports its healthy function. If you find yourself struggling to get good sleep at night, try one of the following:

  • Put all electronics away at least an hour before bedtime
  • Don’t have electronics in your bedroom
  • Take a hot bath/shower before bedtime to relax
  • Use essential oil diffusers in your bedroom to help with relaxation

Minimize Stress & Anxiety

Chronic stress releases hormones such as cortisol, which can impact the ability of your immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses. If you constantly feel harried, anxious and over-scheduled, you're more likely to end up getting sick during the cold season.

Take steps now to reduce your anxiety levels and boost the body's ability to combat cold and flu germs. Learn a few breathing exercises, download a meditation app or take an online yoga class. Do something you enjoy every day, whether you read for 15 minutes before bed each night or treat yourself to coffee on the porch every morning. Holistic approaches, such as Brillia’s 5 Pillars which can be found on Brillia Health’s sister site, include effective and safe recommendations addressing anxiety, irritability, and mood issues. 

If you can't seem to shake the stress with simple self-care, you can consider trying an over-the-counter non-prescription product such as Brillia, that can help reduce these symptoms without the harmful side effects of prescription medications.

Use an Air Purifier or Humidifier

When the air in your home is too dry, your nasal passages and throat become irritated. The resulting inflammation increases your susceptibility to cold and flu germs. Many viruses also replicate and thrive in dry environments. Place a humidifier next to your bed to help minimize your chances of catching a cold or flu and to help alleviate symptoms if you do get sick. Some models even have integrated ultraviolet light to kill bacteria or other purification methods to remove germs and improve the quality of the indoor air your family breathes.

In addition to these natural cold-prevention tips, over-the-counter medication can also boost your immunity to provide an additional layer of protection against colds. Having products such as Brillia Health Cough Control and Cold-Flu Recovery on hand can be very beneficial if you feel an illness coming on. Both free of harsh chemicals, the cough control medicine is created to reduce both the frequency and intensity of all types of coughs while the cold-flu medicine boosts your immune system to reduce your symptoms and shorten the duration of your cold/flu. A healthy recovery is always the end goal. However, if you notice your symptoms are not improving and/or getting worse, talk with your healthcare provider for other options.

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