Now that the cold weather and the stress of school have both set in, I've been noticing that everyone around me is coming down with a cold. These sicknesses are some of the greatest annoyances, so I think we can all agree that we'd like to prevent them, or at the very least, cure them quickly.

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Caroline Ingalls

Growing up, my mom always stressed choosing the most natural options in any scenario. Whether it be organic foods or natural hair products — it has always been a way of life. I never really noticed that this natural way of life carried over to how I treat a cold until I came to college.

All of a sudden, I realized that what I did was much different than many of my peers around me. I saw my friends immediately turn towards medicines such as Dayquil, Mucinex, or Sudafed to try and treat their cold, while I had never even touched some of those medicines. Instead, I've been using natural remedies this entire time. 

So I decided I wanted to share my remedies and tips with all of you to hopefully help you the next time you get sick. And I want to assure you that while I am no doctor, I have noticed that these remedies work just as well, if not better, than the average cold medicine for me personally. So, without further ado, here are my top five natural cold remedies:

1. Elderberry

Emily Conner

Now, you can find Elderberry at just about any grocery store, but my favorite place to pick it up is usually New Seasons. Elderberry can come in a tablet form or in a liquid form and is labeled as "Standardized Sambucus Elderberry Extract." This just essentially means that what is in it is extracted from the berries and is safe to eat.

I typically will have some every day just to stay healthy, but if you don't feel like doing that I would at least recommend having some when you're starting to feel a cold coming on.

2. Zinc / Vitamin C / Vitamin D

Emily Conner

These three vitamins and minerals are all super essential for sustaining a healthy immune system. I don't know many people who use zinc, but my favorite way to intake zinc is with a zinc lozenge. These lozenges are easy to have when you come down with a cold and are estimated to cut the duration of your cold in half.

These lozenges can also be used to prevent sicknesses such as respiratory infections but use them sparingly when you're not sick. The other two I'd say are much more common, vitamin C and vitamin D. Vitamin C can come from so many different sources - oranges, orange juice, Emergen-C, or even just regular vitamin C vitamins. And vitamin D can as well but I'd have to say the yummiest way is to take the vitamin D gummies.

3. Garlic

Emily Conner

Time to indulge in some tasty garlic bread. Perhaps the best natural product to help fight off a cold is some fresh raw garlic. It is important to eat the garlic when it is unheated and right after it is crushed to get the full effect, but having some garlic cooked into your meals would at least benefit you a little bit.

My favorite way to consume garlic when I am sick is to cut a raw clove into little pill shapes. I then pop these little pieces as if they are pills and eat some food with them. Eating food with raw garlic is important as it can cause an upset stomach if eaten alone.  Although it will cause your breath to stink, it will leave your body feeling a lot better.

4. A Humidifier

Emily Conner

Now, this isn't something you ingest, but it is still a very helpful tool when you are feeling under the weather. Steam, in general, is very helpful when you have a cold but through experience, I would say the most convenient tool for steam is a humidifier. A humidifier will help to clear your congestion and also kill off the virus

5. Ginger Root

Emily Conner

Personally, I am not a huge fan of ginger, but when I'm feeling under the weather I'll try anything to help myself feel better. From experience, I have noticed that making a ginger root tea by putting ginger root in boiling water can be a wonderful way to treat my stuffy nose. Just add some honey and lemon and then it tastes much better than before. 

I hope you learned something new from this article, and I wish you all the best of luck with making it through this winter season and not getting sick. Thankfully now, if you do, you now have these helpful tips to stop that cold in its tracks.