Here is a list of things that, if you do/take them correctly, you will surely put an end to a cold in no time at all. These tips will also help you to avoid a cold turning into flu and the risk of acquiring secondary infections.
- Vitamin C – Daily intake of vitamin C (1-2g) will prevent the common cold, but if a cold has already started, large doses may relieve the symptoms and shorten its duration. Up to 10g per day are well tolerated by most people, so take 1g every two hours as soon as an infection begins. There are no side effects at a normal daily dose (2g) but if you are taking high doses, don’t be alarmed by loose stools and gas, simply reduce the dosage slightly.
- Fresh ginger – Ginger is a great remedy for colds and fevers and it soothes a sore throat. Simply cut up a piece of fresh ginger (an inch or two long) and add it to a glass of boiling water, with some honey and lemon and drink twice daily.
- Garlic – Due to its active ingredient, allicin, garlic contains antiseptic properties and a ‘soup’ made from 4 cloves of garlic crushed and added to a cup of hot water helps to open the respiratory passages, takes toxins out of the body and brings down a fever. Garlic supplements should be avoided by people with bleeding disorders, pregnant or taking blood thinners.
- Zinc – Many studies have found zinc useful in treating the symptoms and duration of a cold, especially if it is taken within 24 hours of a virus starting. Zinc may work by stopping the cold virus from replicating or by stopping it from entering healthy cells. An ideal dosage would be 15mg – 30mg of elemental zinc per day and sucking zinc lozenges every 2-4 hours may also be helpful to alleviate symptoms of the nose and throat.
- Echinacea – This is probably the most popular herb used today. At the first sign of symptoms, take Echinacea (try Echinaforce) every two to three hours, preferably 20 drops in some water. The dosage can be decreased after the first few days to 20 drops 3 times per day for another week or until symptoms disappear. While Echinacea can be used at a prophylactic, it is best not to use to continually as the body might build up a resistance to it after long term use.
- Blow your nose – It’s important to make sure the mucous building up in the sinus’ doesn’t stay there and cause pain and infection. Blowing the nose is important, however if you do this incorrectly you may end up with more pain than you began with. Ideally one should press a finger over one nostril while you blow to clear the other. Make sure you do this gently. A salt water solution can be made and inhaled into the nasal cavity to clear it out properly.
- Rest – When your immune system is under attack, the body uses all its energy to gather its ‘soldiers’ to fight the battle. This is bound to leave one feeling tired. Do your immune system (and yourself) a favour and stay warm and rested for at least two days to allow your body to recover.
- Gargle – Keeping the mucous membranes of the throat moist will help to soothe any pain. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily.
- Stay hydrated – Staying hydrated with warm drinks helps to prevent dehydration, soothes the mucus membranes of the nose and throat and may alleviate congestion. Lemon, ginger and honey in hot water is a delicious triple whammy against any cold. Black elderberry tea can also be taken 3 times per day, as it stops viruses from penetrating the healthy cells.