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Dropping temperatures Mark The onset of cold and flu season. Luckily, natural solutions can help keep the sniffles at bay. Here are a few of our favorite ways to fend off sickness.
How It Works: Rinsing your sinuses daily with a sterile saline solution helps wash away the bacteria, viruses, and other debris that cause nagging cold symptoms. To use a neti pot, pour the solution into one nostril at an angle, then let it flow through your nasal cavity to the other nostril. Then switch sides. Keep In Mind: Use distilled or sterilized water. Bacteria from untreated water can make you ill.
How It Works: Rinsing with this natural alcohol substance (found in plants, and sold as brands such as Xclear Nasal Wash) significantly reduces symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitus, according to research from Stanford University. The concept is the same as the neti pot—they’re both nasal irrigation systems, but some sinus sufferers feel more comfortable using this saline spray technique. Keep In Mind: Xylitol nasal rinses help reduce cold and allergy symptoms but shouldn’t replace a visit to the doctor. If symptoms last longer than a week, see your physician to rule out an infection.
How It Works: Multiple studies have shown that sucking on these lozenges at the very first sign of a cold can reduce its length by up to four days, on average. Keep In Mind: In order for the lozenges to work, they need to be sucked, not chewed. Also, the metallic aftertaste can temporarily alter your taste buds.