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 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.
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.
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.
To prevent and fight infection:
- Garlic due to its antiseptic and antiviral qualities, garlic is a good choice to fight the common cold. Garlic soup can be eaten regularly, or capsules can be taken. Garlic oil may also be diluted with water and taken several times per day.
- Echinacea take this remedy according to the label directions to stimulate the immune system and shorten the length of your cold.
- Astragalus this herb has long been used in Chinese medicine to stimulate the immune system and to prevent cold and flu. It is antiviral and antioxidant. It is found in capsules, tea or extract.
- Elderberry this herb has been used for a long time to treat colds. It has antiviral activity and also helps to reduce temperatures. You can find elderberry juice, capsules or syrup in health food stores. Use only commercially prepared remedies. Infuse 5 grams of dried flowers into a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, strain and drink 3 cups a day.
To soothe irritation:
- Ginger a tea made from ginger can be very soothing when you have a cold. Slice the ginger into small pieces and boil it in a cup of water. Strain, add sugar to taste and drink it hot. Ginger is good for colds, fever and cough.
- Thyme the juice from the leaves is good for coughs and can be made into a gargle.
- Marshmallow - infuse 2-3 grams of dried root infused in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, strain and drink 2 -3 cups a day.
- Rosemary - infuse 2 - 4 grams dried herb in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, strain and drink 3 cups a day. Avoid drinking at bedtime.
- Holy basil this herb can be beneficial when you are fighting a cold. Add holy basil seeds with the same amount of ginger. Mix thoroughly and grind to a fine powder. Take 5 grams of this mixture twice a day.
- Ginseng American ginseng has been found to be a good remedy for the common cold.
- Lemon drink lemon juice to help fight a cold and soothe irritation. It contains vitamin C, which has proven effective in fighting colds. Add ½ of a lemon to hot water. Add a little honey to taste. The honey will also help soothe a sore throat.
- Eucalyptus add eucalyptus to hot water and use as a steam inhalant to help clear nasal passages. If eucalyptus is added to salve, it can also be rubbed on the chest. Tea tree oil can also be used in an infusion.
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