With kids home back at school, families spending time at home due to the weather and sometimes just because of sods law, winter tends to be when you come down with a cold.
Frustratingly there is still no cure for the common cold and being a virus, no point in taking antibiotics either but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to lessen the symptoms so it doesn’t make you so miserable. They may not have you well enough to go dancing around the neighbourhood but at least they will allow you to enjoy the weekends and give you a great excuse to lie back and eat up!
1. Rest Up. When you get sick your body sends all your energy reserves to fight the infection, if you push yourself, your body doesn’t have the same strength to fight. Make your other half help out more, skip the gym, snuggle up under a blanket and spend a couple of extra hours in bed.
2. Stock up on over-the-counter medications. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin help alleviate symptoms such as sore throat, inflamed mucosa, aches, and fever. However, if you are taking a variety of cold and flu medicines be sure to check dosages and do not over medicate.
3. Unblock that nose. An antihistamine with a decongestant in it such as Benadryl plus can keep sinuses clear and noses dry. If you prefer a natural remedy, you can try inhaling steam. Put hot water in a bowl and hold your head over the bowl with a towel over it and breath in the moist, warm vapours. You can add a couple of drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to help clear your nasal passages.
4. Hot chicken soup. It has been shown that drinking warm liquids can relieve the symptoms of colds. If you are not a fan of chicken soup it doesn’t matter as long as it is hot drink or soup.
5. Grab some zinc supplements. Research has shown that taking zinc tablets or lozenges at the first signs of a cold can reduce its severity and length. Do not take zinc long-term as toxicity can build up, but it is useful if you start taking it early.
6. Old -fashioned remedies. You may remember your mum rubbing vapour rub on your chest as a child and it’s still effective today. Rub it on your chest to help break up congestion of the chest and alleviate a cough and put a little in your nostrils to unblock your nose and help you sleep.
7. Act Quickly. Apply First Defence micro-gel nasal spray by Vicks as soon as you feel the first warning signs of a cold. The unique Micro-Gel attacks the virus where it first takes hold – at the back of your nose, and according to the manufacturer, traps it, disarms it and helps to remove it. Definitely worth a try!
With the potentially deadly Australian flu threatening the UK this year, if you have a fever, aching body, lack of appetite and trouble sleeping, go and see your doctor.