Treating common cold at home
With the onset of cool and humid days, many people suffer from colds. According to the medical statistics, common cold is the number one reason for visits to the doctor. What exactly is a “cold”? It’s a name for a group of respiratory diseases caused by viruses. There are more than 200 known respiratory viruses, and new ones are discovered all the time.
For instance, flu virus is constantly mutating and becoming resistant to medicines, so the scientists keep working on creating an effective cure. Respiratory viruses are impervious to low temperature, but heating destroys them quickly, as well as UV radiation and common disinfectants. All virus infections, including flu, are very dangerous because they spread inside the human organism and affect vital organs and systems.
Taking respiratory diseases lightly and going to work when you are sick may lead to serious complications and even chronic illnesses. It’s even more dangerous when children and young people keep going to school and spread the disease among fellow students.
Usually flu and cold are treated with medications prescribed by a doctor. But the treatment will be more successful if you complement it with other means, such as folk medicine and homeopathy.
Folk medicine has more than enough effective and safe remedies that will help cure both simple infections and more serious ones caused by newly evolved viruses.
Many effective medications that are in use today came from folk medicine and homeopathy. Those methods have been used for many centuries, while official medicine with synthetic drugs and vitamins is just over a hundred years old. Most methods of folk medicine have a scientific explanation.
Folk medicine methods help us fight off the disease by relieving its symptoms and building the immunity. They are most effective when used together with the treatment prescribed by the doctor.
Home remedies for common cold
Common cold usually starts with running nose. Don’t go to the drug store, try some home treatments first. You can put a few drops of olive oil or sunflower oil in the nose, with added garlic juice for more effect. Garlic drops can be prepared by chopping 2-3 garlic cloves and adding 1 ½ ounces of boiling water. Steep it for two hours and put a few drops in the nose 3-4 times a day.
Onion juice works just as well, one drop on a tablespoon of water. This solution can be used once an hour. Honey drops also help for the running nose if used 3-4 times a day, 5 to 8 drops into each nostril. The honey should be dissolved in warm water in the proportion of 1:2.
Many common herbs such as chamomile help reduce the inflammation in the throat. Put a tablespoon of dried chamomile in a glass of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. Use it to gargle the sore throat at least 5 times a day.
Another method is gargling with the solution of apple vinegar and honey three times a day. Use 2 teaspoons of honey and 3 teaspoons of apple vinegar in a glass of water.
Folk medicine remedies for sore throat
If you have a sore throat, try chewing a slice of lemon every 3 hours, or gargle with fresh lemon juice. Do not eat or drink for an hour after the procedure. Together with the medications prescribed by the doctor, it will help treat the sore throat.
Steam inhalations for colds
If you don’t have a fever, you can do steam inhalations which are very effective in treating respiratory diseases. An inhalation session should last no longer than 15 minutes, otherwise it may cause irritation and dryness of the mucous membranes. The simplest and most popular are potato steam inhalations, but there are others.
For instance, you can prepare a steam inhalation by adding 5 drops of essential oil to a kettle of boiling hot water. You can also use 10 drops of iodine solution, or a teaspoon of onion juice.
Garlic inhalations can be very useful. Crush several cloves of garlic and put it on a piece of gauze. Put the gauze in an empty kettle and inhale the vapours through the spout. This procedure takes patience, but it yields great results. With 6 inhalation sessions per day you can treat not just running nose or coughing, but also tonsillitis, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Don’t wait for your throat to become sore before you start doing inhalations, do it as soon as you feel any dryness or irritation.
Diet for colds
There is another way to help your body fight the disease: change the way you eat. When you feel the first symptoms of cold, it is better to stop eating altogether for a while and start drinking lots of liquids: non-carbonated mineral water, warm tea, herbal and berry extracts, fresh juices. Then you can add fruit and vegetable salads and light soups.
Don’t forget that you should never treat common cold, let alone flu, with folk remedies alone. Self-medication can do serious harm. See a doctor as soon as you feel the first symptoms of cold or flu. Take a medical leave and stay at home so you wouldn’t risk your own health or infect others.
During the flu season, do not get upset and do not worry about catching the disease. Our fears can materialize. It is well known that only 20% of the population get serious forms of flu. The other 80% either get off easy, or remain impervious to flu altogether. You can get in those 80% if you take care of your health around the year and not just in the cold season.