Natural Health

5 Easy Cold Cures That Work in Just 5 Minutes

If a cold that’s going around sneaks past your defenses, you don’t have to be sidelined with bothersome symptoms. These natural fixes promise relief in a hurry!

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Sore throat? Gargle a citrus sipper.

To soothe a scratchy throat in as little as 30 seconds, gargle diluted lemon juice. Australian researchers say lemon compounds (limonoids) quell inflammation and speed the healing of damaged tissues. Just squeeze lemon juice into 8 ounces of water and gargle as needed.

Chronic cough? Unwrap a treat.

Enjoying an ounce of dark chocolate eases a cough up to 33 percent better than cough suppressants, with relief lasting up to six hours, British scientists say. Neurologist Joseph C. Maroon, M.D., says cocoa’s theobromine calms activity of the cough-inducing vagus nerve. More good news: Cocoa’s flavonoids double your white blood cells’ production of germ-killing antibodies.

Congested? Press here.

Great news from Cleveland Clinic researchers: Pressing key nerve clusters can drain congested sinuses in just five minutes. Using your index fingers, apply firm pressure to the base of your nose (on each side of your nostrils) for three minutes. Next, use your thumbs to press firmly at the top of each of your inner eyebrows for two minutes.

Achy all over? Refill your coffee.

When you have a cold, your immune cells release proteins that triple the risk of feeling achy. Luckily, sipping an extra mug of caffeinated coffee can erase symptoms entirely, a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found. Study coauthor Marie Thomas, Ph.D., says coffee’s polyphenols and caffeine stimulate the muscles that become sluggish when you’re ill.

Head hurting? Try this trick.

Set your blow-dryer on “warm” and hold it at least 18 inches from your nose as you breathe in the heated air. European researchers say this simple trick helps soothe sinus pain in as little as three minutes, since the gentle flow of warm, dry air calms overactive pain nerves.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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