Your Winter Toolkit: What to Have on Hand for Seasonal Coughs and Sneezes




The Boy Scouts require it, teachers mark down for a lack of it and creators of the musical, The Lion King, even wrote a song about it. Being prepared. A little pain in the beginning is better than a lot of pain in the end. That includes being prepared for what many winter seasons can bring for you or someone in your household:  sniffles, stuffy sinuses, nagging coughs or even a fever.  Scan below for nine things you can get now to have on hand to handle all those symptoms with ease and feel better soon!






Is Your Winter Toolkit Ready?

Winter has almost officially arrived. Try and follow these cold and flu prevention suggestions but prepare a winter toolkit as well that you can create now before the first sneeze hits the airways.  Having these items on hand can help you nip those viral symptoms in the bud and maybe even shorten their duration. Besides, who has the energy or even the desire when feeling so crummy to run to the store to hunt these items down:


1.  Make friends with a local bee keeper. 

Check for a local one at your farmers market or elsewhere for some raw honey.  Not only does it taste great, but read here why the raw form is hands down superior over the processed form. It also keeps those annoying night-time coughs calmed down (preferred over drugs according to this study) and is a great antibacterial element to add to your other toolkit items.

2.  Stock your pantry with various teas.

Most teas have healthful properties and are a good choice to feel better when suffering a cold.  However, some teas can be especially good for particular ailments: peppermint for tummy aches and sinus congestion and chamomile tea to calm you for restful sleep. Add that raw honey to any variety to banish the bacteria and virus away.

3.  Make a mental list.

When at the grocery store,  regularly pick up a few fresh lemons and some fresh ginger to keep in your fridge to make an elixir like this for those emerging cold symptoms. Don't forget to pick up some salt, too, to gargle regularly at the first sign of a sore throat.



4.  Put a pot on the stove.

Make some vegetable broth like this one now to defrost and make a bowl of hot, steamy, soothing soup for later.  Just throw in some noodles, and other vegetables you have or even sip it plain to give some nourishment without the work - for you or your digestive system.

5.  Can you measure the heat?

Does your thermometer work correctly and do you have all the parts and pieces such as batteries, thermometer covers, etc. that yours requires?  It is important to monitor a fever, but sometimes, it is best to let a fever run its course.  Review here when to treat a fever.

6.  Get out your dropper.

Using essential oils can be beneficial when you are not feeling your best. Check out this link providing more details on this approach. Try this simple chest rub with an essential oil for a cough or stuffy nose.

Ensure your house is best prepared with this winter toolkit to handle all those sniffles, stuffy sinuses, nagging coughs or even a fever. Tap here for the handy list to be set to cope with it all and feel much better soon!



7.  Throw a cup of Epsom salts in your bath.

And while you are at it, include a few drops of eucalyptus oil to open your sinuses and get a beneficial dose of magnesium from the salts to soothe those achy muscles.


8.  Check your spice rack.

Is your healing spice rack fresh and plentiful?  Does it include cinnamon, cardamon and ginger?  Check out why maybe it should.


9.  Clean out the passages.

Purchase a few cans of saline (one for each member of your household - NOT something to share!)  to irrigate your sinuses when a first sign of stuffiness or a scratchy throat comes on.  I prefer the canned saline over the Netipots for sanitation reasons, ease of use, and because tap water is not a choice to use. They are an essential for your travel bag, too.


What do you have on hand for flu and cold season that has worked well for you? Please share with the readers in the comments!

soup-photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/polkaroo/3794083062/">Isabelle @ Crumb</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
ice - photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/geishaboy500/100043823/">geishaboy500</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

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