10 Tips on How To Get Rid Of Colds and Blocked Nose

10 Tips on How To Get Rid Of Colds and Blocked Nose

There are no treatments that fight cold viruses directly. Painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen (paracetamol) can provide some relief from cold symptoms. So can nasal sprays, but many of the other treatments have either not been studied well enough or have no proven benefit.

Colds are very common: Adults come down with a cold two to four times a year, and children have as many as six to ten colds a year. This is because colds can be caused by many different viruses, so an infection from one virus does not make you immune to other cold viruses.

Sadly, there is no magical cure for the common cold, but there are plenty of things out there to help relieve symptoms such as sinus pains and blocked noses. Colds usually go away on their own after about one to two weeks, but the symptoms – such as a runny or stuffy nose, cough and headache – can be bothersome. None of the currently available treatments can shorten the length of a cold.  Antibiotics are not effective in the treatment of simple common colds because they only fight against bacteria. They can have side effects too, so they should only be used if a bacterial infection develops as a complication of the cold. The overuse of antibiotics can contribute to resistant bacteria, so doctors now ask patients to think twice about asking for prescriptions. Sore throats, for example, are often caused by viral, not bacterial infections.

Here’s some  list of some of the best and most unusual pieces of advice.

1. Coconut Water

Yeah yeah, we know, every man and his dog is trying to sell you on the benefits of coconut water. But besides it being the trendiest thing to drink since Fiji water, there is some evidence to prove it hydrates you at a faster rate than tap water.

And as any good Doctor will tell you, recovering from a cold is all about hydration, hydration, hydration!

(In the absence of coconut water, normal water will also work just fine).

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2. Allergy Tablets

Although you should always consult a doctor before using medicine other than for its intended use, tablets for allergies such as hayfever can be useful to those suffering from colds.

They often contain antihistamines, which in some forms can help decrease the swelling in your nasal passages and prevent you from feeling so stuffed up!

3. Raw Onion and Raw Garlic

Yep, it’s gross, but eating raw onion and garlic can help. You won’t make any friends doing this, but you might get over your cold faster in order to hang out with your old ones.

Cooking onion is thought to strip it of its antimicrobial properties.

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4. Dark Chocolate

This isn’t just to make you feel better after scarfing raw onion and garlic, but it might help wtih that too!

The theobromine in dark chocolate can help stop persistent coughs and soothe sore throats.

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5. Vitamin C and herbal products

Vitamin C is vital for our health. Vitamin C deficiency is rare in countries like Germany though. Most people tend to get enough vitamin C in their usual diet. Despite this, taking larger amounts of vitamin C in addition to your normal diet is sometimes recommended to treat colds. But studies show that vitamin C products have no effect on symptoms or the time the cold lasts if you start taking them when the cold starts.

6. Peppermint

peppermintHow about a comfortable throat and fresh breath at the same time? The American Cancer Society notes sprays containing peppermint oil may relieve sore throats. The University of Maryland Medical Center adds that peppermint has menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs.A 2011 study also found that a combination of five herbs, including peppermint, when used in a spray solution, improved sore throat more than a placebo. A 2008 study reported peppermint contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may help encourage healing.

7. Honey

honeySip warm drinks like a honey, lemon juice and hot water mixture (not hot rum drinks – alcohol will make you feel worse in the end).Honey mixed in tea or simply taken straight up has long been a home remedy for sore throat. Scientific studies have confirmed this natural wonder works. A study of 139 children with upper respiratory infections, for example, found that honey was even more effective at taming nighttime coughs than common cough suppressants.

Studies have also shown that honey is an effective wound healer, which means it may also help speed healing for sore throats.

8. Licorice Root

licorice-rootEven if a sore throat isn’t serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, it’s still painful and may interfere with a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, there are a number of at-home remedies you can use to soothe the pain and irritation.Licorice root has long been used to treat sore throats, and recent research shows it is effective when mixed with water to create a gargle solution. A 2009 study, for instance, found it soothed patients’ throats and diminished coughing after surgery.

9. Sage and Echinacea

sage-echinaceaSage and echinacea together may help reduce sore throat symptoms. A 2009 study observed 154 patients at least 12 years old with sore throats. For the next three days, these participants received either an echinacea/sage throat spray or a medicinal chlorhexidine/lidocaine spray. They used two puffs every two hours, up to 10 times a day.Results showed that the echinacea/sage spray was just as effective as the medicinal spray for treating sore throats.

Products made from echinacea extracts are also commonly recommended for the treatment of colds. They are thought to strengthen the body’s immune system, but the research on these products has not led to clear conclusions. Products made from the roots of Pelargonium sidoides (known as Umckaloabo or Kaloba) are popular too. There is hardly any research on their effectiveness against colds specifically.

10. Diet

Your recovery from cold or flu will be faster if you maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids during your illness. Remember that healthy eating and drinking is not just about eating the right foods, it’s also about avoiding the wrong ones; steer clear of unhealthy substances including alcohol and caffeine.

 

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