How to Heal in a New Place

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When sleeping feet from a roommate (or two or three), sharing bathrooms and showers with an entire floor and sharing desks and dining halls with the entire student body, germs are destined to spread.

As the school year starts off and the weather begins to cool down, it can be easy to catch the common cold, or sometimes a more severe illness like mono or pneumonia.

Before racing to the Marquette University Medical Clinic, there are a few different home remedies to try to help cure your sickness from the comfort of your own residence hall or apartment. The following remedies and treatments have been gathered from reliable sources and has proven to work by recommendations from my mom and grandma, so they must be the best.

1. Marshmallows

Is the dry, cold winter making your throat sore? Try eating a marshmallow, or a few. The gelatin in marshmallow has the ability to coat your throat after you swallow it. It allows your throat to be soothed and moist, providing a saturated barrier from the brisk Milwaukee weather.

2. Honey

Nothing is worse than an ongoing cough during a lecture. A Pennsylvania State University study shows a spoonful of honey has the same or sometimes an even stronger effect than over-the-counter cough medicine. Other than being a natural remedy, honey also prompts a better night’s sleep while one is sick. In general, honey is also a great natural source for stimulating immune systems.

3. A hot shower

Most of us underestimate the effects of a plain and simple hot shower. Although taking a hot shower may not cure sickness fully, the benefits of standing under steaming water are plenty. A hot shower can:

  • Loosen congestion in nasal passage and chest
  • Dilate blood vessels
  • Relieve headaches
  • Relax muscle aches
  • Wash away germs and prevent them from spreading

If you are congested and cannot gather the energy to jump in the shower, run hot water into the sink. Once the sink is full and steaming, place your head just above the water and drape a towel over the back of your head. As you breathe in the steam, it will loosen congestion in your nose and chest without the hassle of full submersion. After taking a shower or breathing in steam, make sure to drink a full glass of water to prevent dehydration and cool down your body.

4. Green tea

Tea, especially green tea, contains an abundance of antioxidants and vitamins useful for sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Antioxidants in green tea protect the body’s cells from damage or sickness and can help fight off disease. Aside from drinking green tea while sick, drinking it every day can lower the odds of heart disease and certain kinds of cancers, according to an article from Healthline.

The Brew and every dining hall on campus offer a plethora of beverages, including teas. To save money, take a trip to one of the dining halls or The Brew to grab a tea bag or two. For those who despise the taste of green tea, you can get the same results as drinking it if you simply gargle and spit it out, a BMC Public Health study shows.

5. Ginger

From the beginning of time, ginger has been used to cure all different types of sicknesses. As science advanced, it has been found to be best used to cure body aches, specifically stomachaches. Ginger is an all-natural anti-inflammatory remedy and can make you feel better within minutes of consumption. The best part? Ginger comes in many different forms, most of which work the same. So take your pick: all-natural ginger ale, fresh ginger root in tea, ginger chews and supplements, candied ginger, the list goes on.

6. Daily Care

To prevent yourself from getting sick initially, always remember to take general care of yourself each and every day: Stay hydrated, get proper sleep, wash your hands frequently and eat healthily. Taking proper care of your body while you are healthy can aid you in remaining healthy.

Often the best remedies are not at the pharmacy or clinic but rather in the kitchen cabinet or around the residence hall. On the other hand, make sure you get necessary medical attention. If you feel as though home remedies or over-the-counter medication may not be able to help, contact your doctor or a physician at the Medical Clinic.

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