Speedy relief from sniffle, achoo!
Oh, no…your throat is getting scratchy and your nose is starting to run! It may be “just” a cold, but the last thing you need right now is for a pesky virus to sap the fun out of your holiday plans. Thankfully, these study-backed natural remedies work like meds to get you feeling your best again, often in as little as 10 minutes!
Walk off congestion Does your nose start running as soon as you step outside? That’s actually a good thing! University of North Carolina researchers say a brisk 10-minute outdoor walk opens and drains your sinuses more quickly and effectively than Sudafed—and daily jaunts will cut the length of time you’re ill by 57%! The combination of cold air and exercise prompts the release of adrenaline, a hormone that reduces sinus inflammation and swelling, plus revs the production of immune cells.
End a cough with chocolate
A coughing fit is no fun when you’re trying to chat. Sweet news: Dark chocolate quiets the hacking 33% better than prescription cough suppressants—just 1 oz. provides relief within two minutes and for up to six hours. Explains neurologist Joseph C. Maroon, cocoa’s healing compounds reduce throat inflammation and calm the irritated throat nerves that trigger coughing. Sip this for a sore throat Drinking a 6-oz. mug of licorice root tea can soothe a scratchy throat in 10 minutes — and two mugs daily could trim three days off your recovery time, suggests a report in the Journal of Virology. Study co-author Yves Jacob, PH.D., says licorice’s active ingredient ( glycyrrhizin) is a fastacting anti-inflammatory that soothes throat redness and swelling, plus it’s a natural antiviral compound that helps block the growth and spread of invading germs.
Soup away aches
Congested and achy? Spoon up Grandma’s chicken soup! Chicken is rich in immunity-boosting zinc, and the veggies deliver hundreds of anti-inflammatory nutrients. No wonder Canadian research shows this comfort food cuts symptoms by 55%! Even better: Have it before bed—women who do so drift off 30 minutes sooner and sleep 25% more deeply! — Brenda Kearns