Natural Treatments For Colds
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 9, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Natural Treatments for Colds
A cold is caused by a virus and it is considered to be the most common illness in the whole world. In the United States alone, there is an estimated 1 billion people who suffer from colds year after year. The cold is an illness that is self limiting which means treatment may not be necessary and symptoms may just go away on their own.
The common cold may have simple symptoms but can progress into serious complications if a person has a suppressed immune system. The typical cold however, lasts only from 5 to 7 days.
Causes of Colds
Colds are caused by the rhinovirus while other less common colds may be caused by the coronavirus, adenovirus and the respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. The common cold is spread through close personal contact or by hand to hand contact. It is not spread airborne except when you inhale particles of a cough or a sneeze of a person that already has a cold. The common cold virus may also be transmitted through shared eating utensils, handkerchiefs and eating foods previously touched by a person with a cold.
Other modes of transmission are through touching doorknobs, handrails, computer keyboards, mobile phones, grocery carts and public telephones. As an infected person sneezes then touches these objects, you can get the cold after touching these and placing your hands on your nose, eyes or mouth.
Symptoms of a Cold
The most common cold symptoms are sneezing, a runny nose or nasal blockage, a headache, a sore throat and a cough. Colds may also progress into an upper respiratory infection if they are not treated immediately with symptoms of a Fever, aches, a cough with or without phlegm, and weakness.
Natural Treatments of Colds
Antibiotics will not work on a cold; it only works on illnesses that are caused by bacteria. Although there are no cures yet for the common cold, there are natural treatments that you can do at home to ease your cold symptoms:
1. Drink plenty of fluids to reduce nasal congestion. Hydrate yourself with more than 8 glasses of water in a day to loosen mucus and keep your throat moist.
2. You can use steam inhalation to loosen congestion. Improvise a steam inhalation set up through a tea kettle with hot water. Hold a towel around your head and cover your face and the kettle to inhale the steam effectively. Be careful not to burn yourself.
You may also use a pot of boiling water and breathe in water vapor through your nose. Be careful not to burn as well. You may also bathe with warm water and soak for a few minutes to loosen your clogged nose.
3. For a sore throat, use a warm salt gargle to loosen up a sticky and scratchy throat. You may also chew lozenges or ginger to reduce an itchy throat.
4. Prepare chicken soup and include a lot of garlic in the recipe. Garlic has fever and cold reducing properties and may reduce congestion and relieve colds right away. This technique is better than chewing on raw garlic which will give you more benefits; salt and heat from the chicken soup may also relieve sore throat, itching and clogged nasal passages.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan