College is eerily similar to kindergarten, with crying students, constant activities and a tendency for everyone to get sick all at once. However, if you live on-campus at college then it is unlikely that you'll have someone to take care of you during the cold and flu season. As you enter the wonderful world of adulting, here are seven home remedies for cold and flu season that you can make in your dorm.
1. Shower Steam
Turns out you have a free cold and flu remedy on campus, and it's the shower. Crank up the heat in the shower, and as John Hopkins Medicine states, use the warm steam for congestion. This technique requires minimal effort and if you like hot, steamy showers, this will hardly feel like a chore.
2. (Chicken) Soup
Soup was practically invented for college students. It's easy-to-make, cheap and the perfect comfort food during cold and flu season. The go-to soup to cure pesky illnesses is usually chicken soup, but as vegans and vegetarians understand, a wholesome soup loaded with vegetables is just as effective for nursing a cold or flu. This remedy can be soothing and might ease congestion.
3. Hot water, honey and lemon mixture.
Pull out your lab coat and goggles because it's time to mix up your own cold and flu concoction. This mixture only requires three ingredients: hot water, honey and lemon. First boil a cup of water, or if you're operating on limited time microwave a cup of water until it's hot. Then add two spoonfuls of honey. Finish by squeezing half a lemon's worth of lemon juice into the cup. Go light on the lemon juice because it is very bitter. The Mayo Clinic staff recommends warm lemon water with honey as it helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. Staying hydrated is an important key to relieving your cold symptoms and this concoction makes college students feel like experienced chemists.
4. Saltwater mixture.
We aren't done with chemistry quite yet! There is another mixture to help alleviate your cold and flu symptoms suggested by John Hopkins Medicine, and it is salt water. This concoction only requires two ingredients: salt and hot water. First boil a cup of water, or microwave a cup of water until hot. Then add about half a spoon of salt. Allow the salt to dissolve before stirring. Finally gargle the salt water. Similar to our hot water, honey and lemon mixture, this hot salt water will help combat dehydration. Additionally, it can help reduce the pain and swelling of a sore throat.
5.. Cough Drops
Cough drops are perfect during cold and flu season. Also known as throat lozenges, they can help soothe a sore throat. Cough drops are available in a variety of flavors and they are almost like candy for sick people. In fact, Mayo Clinic recommends eating hard candies to reduce sore throats.
6. Hot or cold washcloth.
What starts off as a little headache usually turns into a massive nuisance. One quick fix for headaches is a hot or cold compress. Dampen a washcloth and warm in the microwave for a hot compress or dampen a washcloth and cool in the fridge for a cold compress. Once you reach the desired temperature, apply the washcloth to your forehead to help alleviate your bothersome headache. Additionally warm compresses may soothe sinus pain, according to Hopkins Medicine.
7. Hot Tea
Generally, drinking hot tea is a good way to combat cold and flu symptoms. According to the National Institute of Health, hot tea is one way to soothe a sore throat. Teas like peppermint and chamomile are especially helpful during cold and flu season. Peppermint tea helps with stomach pain, while chamomile tea is a great way to combat sleep troubles.
There are enough stressors in college for you to battle as a college student, so do not let a common cold or flu add to your stress. Before you reach for over-the-counter medicine to combat your sickness, experiment with any combination of these seven home remedies. Each of these remedies is easy enough to make in the comfort of your cozy dorm room and costs less than $5. Prioritize your health this cold and flu season with these quick fixes.
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