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Common Cold

Common cold poster

The common cold - everyone catches it, some people more than others. Referred to medically as rhinitis or upper respiratory tract infection, it usually lasts five to ten days in duration. Children catch several colds a year, passing them back and forth when they are in large group situations like school. The illness affects the nose, sinuses, throat and lungs. A lot of people describe the symptoms of a cold as the 'flu, which is nonsense. Trust me, if you've ever had the 'flu you will know about it!

Symptoms

Symptoms of the common cold may include a runny nose with nasal discharge initially runny and clear and then becoming thick and yellow/greenish color, nasal congestion, sore or itchy throat, cough, sneezing, watery eyes, a mild headache, mild fatigue and body aches, and possibly a fever that runs less than 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Causes

The common cold is cause by a virus, most commonly the rhinovirus, although there are more than 200 viruses that create the same symptoms. Colds are transmitted between people through droplets that are dispersed into the atmosphere by the sneezing or coughing.

Cautions

Consult your doctor if a cold is persistent - if a cold gets out of hand, it could turn into pneumonia. Pneumonia may require hospitalization if severe; if not, it at least warrants a trip to the doctor.

Herbal Treatments

Internal Applications

To prevent and fight infection:

To soothe irritation:

External Applications

Aromatherapy

Essential oils that may help relieve symptoms associated with colds are: basil, eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, peppermint and tea tree. Use these oils in massage, bath, inhalations or burners. When using in massage or bath, ensure the oils are mixed with carrier oils.

To relieve congestion use the following oils in bath, inhalation and burners: grapefruit, lemon, eucalyptus and sandalwood.

Common Cold Herbal Remedies Top