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Home Remedies for The Common Cold
02-05-2013 / By:
Every year, millions of people experience the common cold worldwide.While winters in Israel are considerably warmer than in most countries, people can be still at risk for catching the cold. Especially if they are not dressed warmly or negligent of their personal hygiene. Common colds regularly affect both adults and children and are more likely to occur during the months of fall or winter. Common colds refer to an infection of the upper respiratory tract and are caused by a virus. There is no known cure for the common cold, and treatments are generally aimed at providing relief from the symptoms.
The common cold is caused by a number of different viruses. The most common viruses are the rhinoviruses and the coronaviruses. There are nearly 110 different types of rhinovirus that are responsible for more than 30% of all colds. There are nearly 30 different types of the coronavirus though only three or four of these strains affect humans. Adults are more affected by colds caused by the coronavirus.
Children are more susceptible to colds especially those who attend day care and are in contact with other children who may be infected. People with weak immunity including those who have HIV, AIDS, or cancer are ale at risk of catching the cold. The vulnerability stretches to smokers and people with high stress levels.
There are over 200 viruses can cause the condition, which can occur any time of the year. Most cold, however tend to naturally disappear after five to seven days. Symptoms will become more evident a few days after the cold virus has entered the body. Symptoms can include runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat, hacking phlegm, headaches, fever, body aches, fever, chills, etc.
When it comes to treating the common cold, some people may rely on over the counter products while others create their home remedies for a quick recovery. Some of the most common home remedies are:
Chicken soup, a.k.a. Jewish penicillin, is recommended for people with a bad cold as it can improve their symptoms. Chicken soup has a number of substances with medical benefits that affects a person’s immune system. The soup may help relieve symptoms by acting as an anti-inflammatory that inhibits neutrophil movement, or the cells that participate in the body’s inflammatory responses such as mucus production. The vitamins and the steam from the soup may also have a positive effect on the body as well.
Dry air, especially during winter, is an environment that cold viruses tend to thrive in. The air can cause a scratchy throat and a stuffy nose since it dries out mucous membranes. Simply using a humidifier in your home may help moisten the air and your mucous membranes. Change the water in the machine daily because mold, fungi and bacteria may grow inside if it is not cleaned properly.
Drinking enough fluids
Fever and excess mucus is common with a cold. As a result, your body may lose fluids and become dehydrated. It is therefore important to hydrate your body, which is usually in need of more fluids during a bad cold. Water, juice or warm water with lemon and honey may help loosen congestion from mucus while preventing dehydration. Avoiding diuretics such as alcohol, coffee or sodas are also advised as they worsen dehydration.
Sometimes a bad cold can give you a sore throat. When sucking on throat lozenges or hard candy does not help, try gargling with ¼ to ½ tsp. of salt dissolved in an 8 oz. glass of warm water several times a day. It may help soothe a sore or scratchy throat. Saline nose drops may also help with nose congestion by loosening the mucus in these passages.
Natural or herbal remedies are available to treat symptoms of a cold. You can visit your local health-food store and purchase echinacea supplements. Taken as a capsule or liquid form, this supplement can decrease the duration of your cold. Other remedies include vitamin C (up to 6g a day), which can build up your immune system and help your body fight a cold. Zinc lozenges or sprays are another possible solution to reduce cold symptoms.
Getting the proper amount of rest is important to regaining your strength and building up your immune system when fighting a cold. Life doesn't stop because you have a cold; some people continue to work, go to school and carry out other activities when ill. Even if you can't stop all activity completely, pace yourself and cut out a few activities until you're feeling 100 percent again.
If your condition doesn’t improve and the symptoms do not reduce over time, you should consult your doctor, as it may be an indication of a more severe medical condition.