Wintertime not only brings snowflakes and cute sweaters, but also a higher risk of coming down with the common cold. The average adult will get a cold two to three times per year and children are sick even more often. Most colds last up to seven days and while there isn't a cure, many over-the-counter medicines can give some relief. But, they aren't the only option. Here are several uncommon and weird ways you can relieve your symptoms.
1. Wear two pairs of socks
One remedy is to get two pairs of socks. Soak one pair in cold water and keep the other pair dry. Soak your feet in hot water and then, put on the cold, wet socks. Then place the dry pair of socks over your wet socks and go to bed. This is believed to increase your circulation and boost your immune system's response so it can better fight your cold.
An Iranian remedy suggests eating an entire plate of cooked, mashed turnips. Turnips are full of many vitamins including vitamin C, A and B. These veggies are also believed to loosen mucus and help relieve coughs.
3. Play your favorite music
In a study conducted at McGill University, researchers found that playing and listening to music can improve your immune system. The data from the study showed that music increases both immunoglobulin A (an antibody that helps the immunity of your mucous system) and cells that attack bacteria and germs in your body. This may not be the most effective solution, but listening or playing music while you aren't feeling well can certainly help you recover.
4. Sweat a little
A short, low-intensity workout can make you feel better. It can break up your congestion and the increase in your body temperature can improve your immune system. However, there are no studies that show exercise as a way to help your body heal faster. You may just experience some relief from your symptoms, but don't overdo it. If you aren't well hydrated, then skip the exercise all together because you may worsen your condition.
Onions can be cold fighters due to their antimicrobial properties. Onions contain lots of sulfur, which can improve your immune's responsiveness. If you can stomach it, chew on a raw onion. If not, add onions to chicken broth and sip on that throughout the day.
6. Drink garlic tea
Garlic has many antibacterial properties that can help fight off a cold. Garlic is also an effective decongestant. Many Spaniards claim that a garlic tea can help quickly relieve the symptoms of a cold and cough. To help you even more, add honey and lemon; the honey is antimicrobial and will improve your immune system, and lemon helps thin mucus.
Tamagozake is a traditional Japanese remedy for treating the common cold. It is a mixture of eggs, sake (also known as rice wine) and sugar. It is believed the sake helps you sleep better and the egg helps boost your immune system's response.
While medicine may relieve symptoms and help you feel better, it's not your only option....but are you brave enough to try them?
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.