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How to Cure a Common Cold

19th October 2017 By Sophie Knight

 

cold

It is commonly understood that there is no cure for the common cold. However, there are plenty of remedies and ways of easing the symptoms to help you get on your way to feeling like you again, faster.

There are plenty of things people swear by that do work and plenty that are myths or placebo effects at best. We will be discussing what is effective and what is not effective for “curing” a common cold.

Being ill with a cold can make you feel awful for at least one to two weeks, but this does not mean you have to feel the full effects of the cold. Aside from getting rid of the cold faster, these remedies will help you feel much better during the peak of your cold:

Stay Hydratedglass-of-water

This is the most important thing you can do when suffering from a common cold. It is appreciated that it can be hard to eat or drink when you have a cold due to the blockage you may experience in your nose, or it hurting too much to swallow anything down. The best liquids to consume are water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey. They help to loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. For adults, a great remedy is hot lemon water, a dash of whisky and honey all mixed together. The whisky provides a comforting burning sensation in your throat to help the pain of a dry throat or a throat infection. Aside, from the dash of whisky, avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated drinks – these all promote dehydration.

Rest sleep

This is an obvious one, but you do need to take some time to rest, and if necessary take time off work, school or university to sleep and relax.

Have a bath to clear your sinuses, but keep a glass of water next to you to keep sipping as a hot bath can dehydrate the body.

To soothe a sore throat  

In order to soothe a sore throat you can add ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon into and 8 once glass of warm water. This is a great temporary remedy for easing the pain left by a scratchy throat. You should gargle this rather than drinking it straight down. This tip is not the best for children as they are less likely to be able to gargle properly.

Of course, there are plenty of sore throat sprays and lozenges that you can purchase over the counter or in supermarkets that can really work – they are only temporary however. It is not the best idea to give these to children under the age of 3 or 4 years old as they may choke on them.

To ease a blocked nose

Again, you can get over the counter nasal sprays and drops that are effective to temporarily relieve symptoms of congestion and stuffiness in your nose.

For use in very young children and infants, it is recommended to put several drops (rather than a spray) into each nostril and then gently suctioning said nostril with a bulb syringe. Older children may use nasal sprays as directed on the packaging.

Moisture

Adding moisture to the air can really help with loosening congestion. Consider a cool mist vaporiser or humidifier to add this moisture into your space. When doing this, change the water each day and make sure to clean the unit well. It is commonly believed that steam can help a cold, but in reality it can causes burns – so a cold mist vaporiser is far more safe and effective. You can even buy hand held ones from which you breathe in whenever you want. 

Cold remedies that don’t really work

 A few examples of the things which are believed to help relieve symptoms but actually don’t may include:

Antibiotics

antibiotics

Antibiotics attack bacteria by nature, but they have shown no evidence of helping with a common cold. There is not much point asking your doctor for antibiotics for just a common cold – this will not help you get better any quicker and it can actually build up your resistance to antibiotics which is an ongoing problem in the medical world at present.

Over-the-counter cold and cough medicine in young children

Over-the-counter medication in children is not advisable at all. It can actually cause serious, and in some cases, even life threatening side effects in children, but not in adults. It is okay to give these to children over the age of 6, but never younger.

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