These simple but effective ways will help relieve the symptoms of a cold without resorting to prescription medications.
This can happen in any season: there is a sore throat, runny nose, then cough. A cold can happen both in winter and in summer, disrupting plans and depriving desired impressions.
In this case, most have their own remedy: from over-the-counter medications to time-tested home remedies and folk recipes. But which of the treatment methods are really effective for colds?
To begin with, it is important to note that there is no cure for colds as such. Instead of looking for a wonderful pill, you should focus on managing your symptoms to make the body’s condition more manageable as the disease progresses. “It’s about waiting it out until [the cold] goes away,” says family medicine expert Dr. Neha Vyas. At the same time, the doctor notes that if you do not get better or get worse after seven to ten days of illness, then you should consult a doctor.
What measures can ease the course of a cold?
Zinc and vitamin C
You’ve probably heard that vitamin C and zinc can help protect the body from colds, although scientific evidence has shown that they are ineffective in this matter.
However, studies have shown that in some people vitamin C can reduce the duration of a cold by about 10%. A separate study showed that taking zinc can similarly shorten the duration of a cold in some people, although not in significant amounts.
Vitamin C and zinc are important nutrients for general health, and although their effect on the treatment of colds is insignificant, timely intake of vitamins, coordinated with a doctor, can strengthen the body. Do not forget to consult with your doctor before you start taking or increasing your intake of vitamin C or zinc.
During illness, the body most often secretes more fluid than usual. And if you do not consume additional water, dehydration may occur. Drinking a large amount of liquid and a humidifier, if we are talking about winter time, when batteries and heaters are working, can help fight this symptom.
As for which liquids to choose, avoid sugary drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Water and tea with a pinch of lemon or honey will not only help to avoid dehydration, but also soothe a sore throat. A light broth without sodium can also benefit.
Your body needs rest to recover and help the immune system do its job. Therefore, you can sleep longer when you are sick, and this is not a cause for concern, but a sign that the body is fighting infection. At this point, the immune system is recharged so that the body can fight this infection naturally.
As for exercise, moderate activity is acceptable. At the same time, whether you continue to exercise depends on the severity of the symptoms, the general state of health and where and how you train. It is better to postpone going to the gym so as not to infect anyone, but short home workouts can be considered as an option if your body is quite strong and the symptoms of a cold are not too pronounced. There are such options as charging, sports walking, light jogging.
Rinsing with warm salt water
Rinsing with salt water can temporarily relieve sore throat. The salt in the rinse mixture helps to draw water out of the tissue in the throat and soothe inflammation, and also dilutes mucus that can accumulate in this area. At the end of rinsing, be sure to spit out the water — do not swallow it.
Rinsing the nose
If a cold is accompanied by severe nasal congestion, a device washing the nose with warm saline solution can help. The water passes through the nasal passage, pushing out accumulated mucus and allergens that clog the grooves. You need to try to relax, tilt your head and pour water through one nasal canal, breaking through it. This may require some skill and training.
Do not use tap water for rinsing — only distilled, filtered, bottled or boiled water cooled to room temperature is suitable. It is important that there are no extra bacteria in the nasal passage. Also, do not use cold solutions and thoroughly clean the device after each use so that mold or other bacteria do not mix with the saline solution.
Cleaning the air conditioner and humidifier
Humidifiers sometimes help to cope with colds by maintaining the humidity level in the nasal passage, which is of great importance during the heating season. This, in turn, can help reduce nasal congestion. There are not many scientific studies on the effectiveness of humidifiers, but Dr. Vyas explains their effect as follows: “We think they work because the warm, moist environment they create helps to thin mucus so that you can breathe better.”
However, there is an important addition: keep humidifiers and air conditioners clean at all times. If you do not change the water and do not maintain the hygiene of these appliances, mold and mildew can accumulate, as a result of which a humidifier or air conditioner throws these spores into the air, causing more harm than health benefits.
Foods and drinks that cause certain levels of dehydration or inflammation that we usually don’t notice when we’re healthy can worsen or worsen the course of a cold. Foods to avoid, in addition to alcohol, include sugary carbonated drinks, foods with a high sugar content,
salty foods, as well as dairy products. You should also be wary of products containing caffeine, as they can cause or exacerbate headaches.
Syrups, lollipops and nasal sprays
Over-the-counter painkillers are good at relieving the pain that a cold brings. It is best to determine the ones that are right for you with a doctor. And be sure to follow the instructions.
Be patient and remember that a cold lasts about 10 days and cannot go away overnight. Of all the measures you can take, good sleep and maintaining hydration of the body are the most effective. In addition, it is worth checking whether you really have caught a cold, or it is a more serious virus, in order to be treated correctly.
Be patient and remember that a cold lasts about 10 days and cannot go away overnight. Of all the measures you can take, good sleep and maintaining hydration of the body are the most effective. In addition, it is worth checking whether you really have caught a cold, or it is a more serious virus, in order to be treated correctly