When it comes to cold prevention, you probably know the drill: Get a good night’s sleep, eat right and wash your hands regularly. But there are some odd ways to keep sickness at bay that you don’t hear of every day.
Some are a bit unexpected, and some are downright gross, but hey — when you're lying on your couch feeling like the world is one giant fog cloud, you'll try pretty much anything to see what works for you.
Of course, nothing can substitute tried-and-true illness prevention methods, but just consider these supplements to your regular routine. And don't be afraid to consult a doctor if regular symptoms aren't getting better, or are in fact worsening.
But these 10 oddball remedies (11 if you count the hidden bonus tip) may very well help you out when you’re not feeling so hot.
Chewing Raw Garlic Cloves
Garlic may help prevent colds, research suggests, possibly because it contains allicin, a compound with antiviral and antibacterial properties, according to Livestrong.com. Try chewing a raw garlic clove every four hours, naturopathic doctor Bryan Rade suggested to Best Health Magazine. You can also swallow small chunks as pills, or crush the garlic and combine it with honey.
Have Sex (But Not Too Much)
A study has shown people who did the deed once or twice a week had higher Immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels, indicating between-the-sheets action could benefit a person's health. On the downside, the study found people who had sex more than twice a week had lower levels of IgA, according to the Daily Mail.
Most people stop eating boogers around the age of five, but one doctor suggested picking your nose and eating the dried snot is a “great way of strengthening the body’s immune system.” However, most people believe keeping your hands away from your face – and out of your nose – is a better way to avoid getting sick.
The Wet Sock Treatment
Naturopaths might suggest this unconventional treatment to ward off a cold: At bedtime, soak a pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring them out. Then dunk your feet in some warm water and dry them off. Put on the cotton socks and a pair of dry wool socks, and then hit the hay. Trying this for three or four nights in a row may relieve congestion.
Feel a cold coming on? Try using a neti pot (properly cleaned and used with distilled or sterilized water or saline solution), to clear bacteria or irritants from nasal passages.
Have A Glass
Conventional wisdom says downing alcohol isn't the best idea when you feel a cold coming on. But one study discovered those who drank over 14 glasses of wine a week for one year were 40 per cent less likely to catch a cold, Todayhealth.today.com reported.
Crank Up The Tunes
Research indicates listening to 30 minutes of relaxing melodies (the "environmental music" they sometimes play in spas) can increase levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), which helps to fight infection, according to ABC News.
Watch A Funny Movie
Relax and have a laugh — doing so can increase the production of antibodies that fight infection, not to mention it can decrease stress levels.
Got a tissue? If not, cough or sneeze into your elbow. Your instinct might be to sneeze into your hands, but the elbow method is preferable because it does a better job of preventing the spread of germs.
Go Hot And Cold
Grabbing a steamy shower and then switching the temperature to cold for the last 10 seconds can give your immune system a jolt, according to CNN.
BONUS: Belt out a tune while the water's hot, as singing has been shown to boost IgA levels.