If you have managed to escape the cold or flu virus this winter consider yourself very lucky. Epidemic flu viruses plagued most of the country this winter as thousands of people became seriously ill with this common ailment. While it's almost impossible to keep yourself from coming in contact with cold germs (especially if you are around children) you can make a few practical changes in your routine to protect yourself. Washing hands frequently, wiping down shopping cart handles and adding extra garlic to dishes are all natural ways to avoid germs, but what if you are starting to feel symptoms, or even worse, are already in the throes of a big one?
You can always reach for the medicine cabinet and take a hearty cocktail of nasal decongestants, cough suppressants or fever reducers, but the heavy doses of medicine can drag your system down, making you feel out of sorts in a different way. If you want to open up those clogged sinuses and clear out the mucus from inflamed throat and lungs, nothing can beat the natural power of water. Hot water, to be specific. The steam from hot water is inhaled directly into your head and chest, breaking up mucus and clearing airways. Hot showers and humidifiers have been traditional methods to soak up some steam but here are a few ways you can improve the process.
Note: If you think catching the cold or flu stinks, just remember: catching a cold actually keeps your immune system strong and healthy. By having to work to fight off invading germs your immune system does exactly what it is meant to do and grows stronger, more capable of fighting off future attacks. Sometimes it may need a little help though, so talk to your doctor about ways to naturally strengthen your system while you're not sick to avoid future misery.