If you have a cold, you may be suffering from symptoms such as a sore throat, chest congestion, and a headache. While you may be taking an over-the-counter medication, it may not be enough to alleviate your symptoms. If so, use the following home remedy to treat your cold using herbal oils that you can find in natural health stores, pharmacies, and some department stores.
Step 1: Dab Peppermint Oil on Your Head for a Headache
When you inhale the aroma of peppermint oil, it can help relieve your headache. It helps relax the tight muscles in your forehead, and the high menthol content helps break up the congestion in your sinuses.
To apply the peppermint oil, dilute three drops with a quarter of a teaspoon of water. Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and dab it on your forehead, directly between your eyes. Do not get any of the solution in your eyes, as it may sting. Inhale deeply for about a minute. Then, go on to the next step.
Step 2: Gargle with Eucalyptus Oil and Water for Your Sore Throat
The next step is to gargle with eucalyptus oil and water to help soothe your sore throat. Eucalyptus serves as an anti-inflammatory, helping to relieve the swelling and tightness you may be experiencing. It is also an antimicrobial agent, helping to kill the germs causing your sore throat.
To use the eucalyptus oil, mix four drops in an eighth of a cup of water. Then, gargle with half of the mixture for about 15 to 20 seconds. Spit it out, then gargle with the remaining liquid for an additional 15 to 20 seconds.
Spit it out, and refrain from eating or drinking anything for about a half an hour to an hour. The oil that is still coating your throat will continue to work after you have gargled with it. Once you are finished, go on to the third step.
Step 3: Rub a Homemade Ointment on Your Neck and Chest
This last step involves making a homemade rub for your neck and chest that combines the decongestive properties of both the peppermint and eucalyptus oils. When applied to your chest, the aromas of both oils are inhaled, helping to break up the mucus in your nasal passages and bronchial cavity. For this step, you will also need a container of petroleum jelly and a small, plastic tub with a lid.
Place a half of a cup of the petroleum jelly in the plastic tub. Then, add 10 drops of eucalyptus oil, stirring well after each drop. Then repeat using 15 drops of the peppermint oil. Once you have thoroughly mixed the ingredients, close the lid tightly and set it aside for two to three hours. This infuses the oils into the jelly, distributing them evenly.
Once the time is up, remove the lid and take out about a tablespoon of the mixture. Apply a thin layer on your neck and upper chest, then lay down. Inhale deeply for several minutes, then run the jelly into your skin. The treatment should continue to work for several hours, as long as it remains on your skin.
Using the above home remedy a couple of times a day should help some of your symptoms from your cold. However, if you do not see any improvement or start feeling worse, you may want to make an appointment with a primary care physician so you can ask what options are available or be examined to make sure you don't have something other than a cold. Contact a representative from an establishment like Rural Health Services Consortium Incor for help.