Essential oils, phytotherapy or homoeopathy: how to cure a cold without going through the medicine box?
With an average of 2 to 4 colds per year in adults and 5 to 6 episodes in children, we will all suffer this winter. Our natural remedies to eradicate it as quickly as possible.
1. Unblock your nose with salt water
Spray seawater into the nostrils to unclog the nose and thin the secretions. You can opt for sprays sold in pharmacies: "hypertonic" sprays are the allies of a stuffy nose (but be careful not to exceed 2 or 3 days of use to not irritate the nasal mucosa); in prolonged use, "isotonic" sprays are preferred. Single doses of saline will be easier to transport, if necessary.
2. Choose your essential oils
Essential oils (HE) help us to ward off colds. Provided they are chosen under the supervision of a health professional. Indeed, all HE do not have the same job security and some, misused, can even be dangerous. "For a cold, three essential oils have been proven: Ravintsara, Eucalyptus Radiata or linanol Thyme. They are antiviral and help to clear the nose," says Muriel Rey, pharmacist specializing in natural medications. How to use them? 2 drops on each wrist or handkerchief, breathe deeply, 3 times a day.
3. Bet on some plants and minerals
"From the first symptoms, extracts of grapefruit seed (as drops), or propolis (capsules or ampoules), have interesting antimicrobial properties," says Muriel Rey. We can also make cures, or prevention when we have repeated colds.
Another ally: zinc, which would reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms, provided taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, according to a synthesis of studies published in 2011. Ginseng is also good: according to a US study published in 2004, taken just after the flu vaccine would promote better protection against the flu virus and colds.
4. The homeopathy reflex
There are several options depending on the problem to be treated. If your nose is clogged and dry: Sticta Pulmonaria 5CH, 5 granules every 2 hours. If your nose runs a lot and the flow is clear and plentiful: Allium Cepa 7CH, 3 granules every 2 hours. If you sneeze a lot: Nux Vomica 9 CH. In prevention, as soon as you have the impression of having caught cold: Influenzinum 9 CH to take immediately, then one dose per week in prevention. And of course, ready-made solutions: Oscillococcinum (Boiron) or L52 (Lehning)
5. Drink a lot
The cold dries the nasal mucous membranes, so you have to rehydrate them. Absorbing large amounts of liquid also helps to thin the secretions. Water, fruit juice, hot milks, herbal teas, soups… everything is good to take! "In the case of pharyngitis associated with colds, hot drinks relieve a sore throat," says Dr. François Baumann, general practitioner.
Most often, a cold passes in 8 days, without drugs. But if after 4 days, the runny nose is thick and there are other symptoms (sinus pain, body aches…), you should consult your doctor.