First comes the telltale tickle in the back of the throat, followed by a sneeze, a runny nose, and the dreaded hacking cough. Taking care of your body can significantly reduce your risk of coming down with a cold -- or, at the very least, minimize your sick days.
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A soup brimming with noodles might be the chicken soup that first comes to mind. But a rich stew full of vegetables is equally satisfying. Knowing it's as healthful as it is flavorful makes it even better.
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The theory behind the 200-year-old system lies in this paradox: The same plant-, mineral-, and animal-derived materials that produce adverse reactions in large doses actually, in miniscule amounts (1 part remedy to, say, 1 trillion parts water), stimulate the body to heal itself of these same disease-causing symptoms. This "Law of Similars" is commonly accepted in countries like France and Germany, where nearly one-third of all physicians prescribe homeopathic remedies.
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Cure for Cold Feet
Cold feet are one of winter's most annoying -- and common -- afflictions. The answer? A rich blend of warm, wintry spices. Cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger are all circulation boosters and mild stimulants. Applied topically, they increase blood flow, relieving chill and numbness. For a more luxurious experience, try this simple foot mask. It combines spices, skin-soothing ingredients such as oatmeal and honey, and the invigorating essence of orange.
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Give your body that last boost it needs to make it through winter with a hot cup of violet tea. Violet works internally as a treatment for respiratory-tract troubles such as excess mucus, coughs, cold symptoms, and inflammation, making it a valuable companion during the cold and flu season.
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Photography: Johnny Miller6 of 9
10 Best Cold and Flu Fighters
More than a billion colds wallop the United States every year, setting off a storm of sneezes, sniffles, aches, and pains. The flu, meanwhile, waylays tens of millions of Americans with fever and fatigue each winter. Although it's nearly impossible to escape exposure, you can take steps to stop those dreaded viruses from knocking you out this season.
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For rough, cracked skin -- so common during fall and winter -- a good body butter delivers relief no regular lotion can match. We slathered, smeared, and smoothed our way through dozens of body butters to find our favorites. These choices use natural, healthy ingredients to provide luxurious, long-lasting moisture.
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With a few herbal tinctures -- simple yet powerful remedies that you can make yourself -- you'll be set up to stave off these ailments and, when they do find a foothold, minimize your discomfort and speed up your recovery.
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Winter Hand Warmers
Whether you are making a snowman, shoveling the driveway, or taking a winter walk, your fingers will appreciate a toasty pair of hand warmers tucked into your coat pockets. These snuggly handmade cashmere beanbags are filled with ceramic pie weights. To warm the pouches, just place them in a microwave set on high for about five minutes. (Do not microwave longer; also, do not heat them in a conventional oven.)