Six Cold Remedies Worth Trying
Colds occur when a viral infection attacks the upper airways, throat, sinuses, and nose. While it causes undesirable symptoms, a cold is not a dangerous condition. Generally, other than feeling sickly, with sneezing, a runny nose, cough, and aching throat, a cold often disappears on its own without any special medical care, within 7 to 10 days.
This article will discuss six cold remedies that may help you deal with the unwanted symptoms of a cold, helping you to carry on with your normal activities until your cold subsides.
Drink Plenty of Water and Chicken Soup
Runny noses and profuse sweating are common symptoms in people with a cold; both of these symptoms can lead to dehydration. To replace lost fluids, it’s essential that you consume plenty of liquids, such as water. Keep in mind that caffeinated sodas and coffee can speed up dehydration and should be avoided.
Medical professionals have confidence in the ability of chicken soup to alleviate the symptoms of a cold as well. Chicken soup is believed to block the mobility of neutrophils, which are special immune system cells that trigger inflammation, as well as mucous movement. Due to its watery nature, chicken soup can help with hydrating your body.
Observing Good Hygiene
Excellent hygiene stops the infection from spreading from one person to another. When you catch a cold, consider staying away from school or work until your symptoms subside. Additional precautions include:
- Always use a tissue to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and dispose of the tissue immediately.
- Use warm water and soap to wash your hands often, especially before eating.
- If you don’t have a tissue, consider coughing or sneezing into the inner area of your elbow, since that area won’t contaminate surfaces.
Take Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
Once a cold virus attacks your body, your immune system reacts by elevating your body temperature and attacks the virus with chemicals to weaken them. Cells transform fatty acids into components called prostaglandins that increase the internal temperature of the body and work up the tissues and muscles surrounding the virus. Most of the worst cold symptoms, including fever and aches, arise from the activities of prostaglandins.
Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen function by inhibiting the generation of prostaglandins, but they take different pathways to do so.
While ibuprofen influences both the peripheral and central nervous systems, acetaminophen does not affect the peripheral nervous system, meaning it lacks sufficient inflammatory power. This means ibuprofen is a great treatment for symptoms such as sinusitis and sore throat, while acetaminophen is an ideal choice for treating headaches and fever associated with a cold. Because acetaminophen and ibuprofen function differently, many medical practitioners recommend using them in interchanging doses.
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The maximum daily dose of ibuprofen is 1,200 milligrams as anything above this dosage can cause internal bleeding, while acetaminophen has a maximum dose of 4,000 milligrams. Experts categorize ibuprofen as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), so it’s not an ideal choice for individuals with heart issues or stomach ulcers.
Honey consists of antioxidants, as well as antibacterial, and antiviral properties that make it an effective cold remedy. All types of antioxidants present in honey may also serve as an immune system booster.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University carried out a study in 2007 that revealed that kids with upper respiratory infections that took honey reported a 40 percent improvement in their sleep and coughs, compared to kids that were not treated with honey.
It’s important to remember that honey isn’t recommended for infants and young children because it may contain botulism spores and their defense systems aren’t sufficiently developed to deal with these spores.
Garlic, hot peppers, turmeric, and ginger are powerful anti-inflammatory foods that can help alleviate irritation in your throat, nose, and upper respiratory tract.
For instance, capsaicin in hot chili peppers blocks substance P, which is responsible for increasing inflammation in the body while garlic kills viruses by digesting the virus cells’ walls before it gets into the body.
A British study conducted in 2011 discovered that people who consumed a supplement consisting of allicin, a compound available in garlic, for three months lowered their risk of catching a cold by over half compared to individuals in the placebo group. Additionally, individuals that did contract a cold that used the supplement recuperated more quickly compared to those who didn’t use the supplement.
Salt Water Gargle
An effective salt-water gargle consists of one teaspoon of salt dissolved in one cup of warm water, gargled for 30 seconds once per hour.
A saline solution effectively pulls excess fluid from sore tissues around the throat, leading to less pain. It also loosens the thick mucus and makes it easy to expel.
In young children that are unable to gargle, nasal saline drops can provide a similar benefit.
The best strategy for recovering from a cold is staying hydrated and ensuring that you’re getting adequate rest to allow your body to fight the infection. If you’re suffering from a cold, try using some of the above-mentioned cold remedies to help to minimize your cold symptoms and get you back to feeling like yourself.