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Stave Off a Cold with These Natural Remedies

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

Cold season is upon us, and our senior loved ones are more susceptible to catching a bug than healthy young adults. If your aging parent or loved one is coming down with something, here are a few natural remedies to try.

1. Garlic

The Science – The cold-fighting compound in garlic is allicin. A study of 146 subjects evaluated the effect of garlic versus placebo over three months. Those who took the garlic lowered the risk of a cold by 50 percent. Subjects who did develop a cold recovered quickly.

The Remedy – For medicinal purposes, garlic is best eaten raw. Here are four simple ways to prepare it:

  • Chop one clove and drizzle with honey
  • Top buttered toast with a chopped clove
  • Mince a clove and add to salad dressing
  • Perk up guacamole with a couple of cloves

Precaution – According to Allentown senior care professionals, garlic is a natural blood thinner. Before consuming garlic, a senior on anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication should consult his or her doctor. Garlic should also be omitted from the diet two weeks before or after surgery.

2. Eucalyptus

The Science – The plant’s oil activates white blood cells to combat infection. It also acts as a decongestant. The pungent scent diffuses stress by triggering the release of relaxing hormones.

The Remedy – Eucalyptus is available as:

  • Essential oil
  • Salve
  • Spray
  • Inhaler
  • Lozenge
  • Plant stems

Seniors can use eucalyptus in several ways including massage, stem inhalation, and cough drops. Eucalyptus essential oil is available from most popular stores like Target, Walmart, amazon.com, and drug stores.

Note – The University of Maryland Medical Center advises that eucalyptus oil is nontoxic when used externally. However, it should not be ingested.

3. Salt Water Gargle

The Science – Research shows that gargling with salt water soothes a sore throat. The salt draws fluid from swollen throat tissues, reducing pain. It also loosens mucus and flushes out viruses. One study found that people who gargled with a salt solution three times a day had a 40 percent decrease in the frequency of colds.

The Remedy – Stir 1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Swish a small amount in the mouth, and gargle for 10 seconds. Continue gargling until all the solution is used. Gargle in this way three times a day.

Note – This method is only suitable for seniors with adequate neck extension and throat reflexes.

Discover other ways to boost your loved one’s overall health from the friendly staff at Home Care Assistance. We developed the Balanced Care Method to enhance senior wellbeing and longevity and include it in our hourly and live-in home care services at no additional cost to clients. For more information, please call 484-350-3874 and schedule a no-obligation consultation today.