Must we go to a doctor to clear up a case of the cold? In serious cases, perhaps a trip to a medical center might be necessary, but in normal cases, there are a number of ways to battle this common illness.
Cold symptoms typically include nasal congestion, runny nose, aches and pains, sneezing, and a scratchy-sore throat, accompanied by general discomfort with little or no fever.
Cold viruses are passed along when a person rubs their nose or mouth after shaking hands with someone with a cold or from breathing in contaminated droplets that have been sneezed or coughed into the air
If you’ve discovered that you have a cold, the first thing to do is rest. Also:
Drink liquids like water, juices or tea. This will replace fluids lost during the illness. In addition, fluids help keep your throat moist and trap cold viruses, sending them back to the stomach to be destroyed by the stomach’s digestive acids. Juices will also prevent the lining of the nose and throat from drying out and loosen mucus so it can flow out of your body. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks, as well as alcohol, as they can lead to dehydration.
Steam is a great weapon against colds and other illnesses. After you take a hot shower, keep the door closed with a towel under the crack, and breathe the hot, steamy air for a few moments. If you’ve no time for that, take a little time to fill the kitchen sink with steaming hot water, breathe in with a towel over your head. The warm, moist steam will loosen congested airways, and ease sore throats and muscle aches . As your body relaxes, it will make it easier to get sleep, and rest is imperative to fighting a cold.
Gargle with salt water because antiseptic mouthwashes can be too hard for sore throats. Wash your hands often. Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth after washing.
Another way to help clear a congested chest is through a fomentation. Heat a towel, and moisten it slightly, and put it on the affected chest…this will help loosen the mucus that may have clogged your chest.
A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can open breathing passages and help restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose. There are no ends to interesting cough remedies on the Web. Bonnie K McMillen, a registered College Health Nurse at the University of Pittsburgh, learned of an excellent homemade medicine: She writes: “It tastes terrible, but if you have a persistent cough:
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons water
Mix and take by the teaspoon
I was desperate for some relief. It worked and I got a good night’s sleep. I have been recommending it to others ever since, and many have confirmed my positive results.”