How to Get Rid of Cold Easily in 5 Ways
What is a cold? How does it develop?
Everyone gets a cold once in a while. Children tend to get as many as 6-8 colds in a year on account of weaker immune systems. We catch a cold from tiny germs called microbes which we pick up from contaminated surfaces such as door knobs, or even by shaking hands with infected people. Cold is a contagious disease which can spread from person to person. Coughing and sneezing tends to spread cold bacteria and viruses around as a result of which this illness passes around rather quickly. Cold viruses also spread through phlegm, saliva and nasal discharge. If you touch your face, eyes or mouth with infected hands, then these germs enter your system through these openings. The two main types of microbes that cause the common cold include Influenza A and Influenza B. Our bodies have the inherent ability to fight off most germs; however, in some cases, it is unable to fight the infection which gives rise to cold. As a result, we start experiencing following symptoms of common cold:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- General malaise
- Muscle ache
Occasionally, common cold can turn complicated and develop into a bacterial infection such as ear infections, pneumonia or strep throat, caused by Streptococcus bacteria. These infections need to be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of a common cold can arise 12-72 hours after one has been exposed to the bacteria. Influenza or flu symptoms occur one to three days after exposure.
Who can get a cold?
Almost everyone can be affected by cold. However, people with weaker immune system are more likely to be infected. School age children are also more likely to develop colds since they come in close contact with other infected children. Elderly people with weaker immunity can also get as many as 3-4 colds per year.
Conventional treatment for cold
Most health care providers typically recommend plenty of fluids and bed rest to get rid of a cold. You may also be given medication to relive body ache and fever. In few cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to get rid of sinusitis or ear infections.
Let us now discuss 5 home remedies and natural ways to get rid of cold quickly.
- Eat Garlic
Taryn Forrelli, ND, Olly’s head of innovation and certified naturopath, says to go heavy on the garlic when you feel a cold coming on. “Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. It also helps with decongestion associated with colds and flus. Aim for eating one small clove every three to four hours. Smear it on toast with a bit of olive oil or honey if you can’t stomach it straight.” Our tip: Just be sure to have breath mints at the ready.
- Take steamy baths and showers.
Steam moisturizes your nasal passages so they feel less irritated, and the relaxing effect will help ease your cold symptoms. Draw yourself a hot bath and soak, or start each day during the duration of your cold with a nice, hot shower so you benefit from plenty of steam. You may even find a mentholated “shower bomb” helpful to relieve congestion.
- For a quick steam treatment, you can heat up a pot of water just shy of boiling. When it starts producing quite a lot of steam, remove the pot from the heat and place it on a stable surface such as a table or countertop.
- Lean your head over the pot, but don’t get too close to the steam or the water or you may get burned. Cover your head with a light cotton towel. Inhale the steam for 10 minutes. You can use this treatment two to four times per day.
- Adding a few drops of essential oil to the water is a good way to further decongest your sinuses and get the benefits of aromatherapy. Try peppermint oil to help relieve sinus headaches. Eucalyptus oil helps relieve nasal congestion. Do not use tea tree oil, as it is toxic when consumed.
- Use a saline spray or flush.
Over-the-counter saltwater sprays make your nostrils moist, which makes it easier to blow your nose. You may also want to try nasal irrigation. That’s when you gently pour a saline solution into one nostril and let it flow out of the other. It washes away dried mucus so you can breathe easier. You can buy sinus rinses or use a bulb syringe or neti pot. If you do it yourself, always make the saltwater solution with distilled or cooled, boiled water.
- Eat chicken soup.
Mom was right: This sick-day staple really can make you feel better. Research shows that chicken soup can calm inflammation in your body. This may ease some of your symptoms, such as aches and stuffiness. What’s more, this meal also has liquid and calories to give your body energy.
- Increase your Vitamin C intake
Our body can store up to 1500 mg of vitamin C at a time. However, this vitamin gets used up during the time of illness and stress. So, you must increase your Vitamin C intake when you catch a cold. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that boosts immunity and fights free radical damage caused by toxins and pollutants. Regular intake of vitamin C can help fight common cold, flu and other chronic infections. Research has shown time and again that a high dose of up to 2000 mg of vitamin C per day can fight bronchitis. At the first sign of illness, take a Vitamin C supplement and continue taking it for a few days despite feeling better. If you develop diarrhea, cut back on the dose and take up to 1000 mg per day until you feel better.
Rate this How-to Tutorial