Wondering what to do when you have a cold and what not to do? Common remedies to treat a cold are well-known, but some we will cover in this article might surprise you. Read on to learn more.
Colds are a natural part of life, and despite popular belief, you can catch a cold all year round — even in the months of summer. If you’ve developed the telltale signs of a cold, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to treat a cold, including plenty of natural remedies.
Below, we’ll guide you through what to do when you have a cold — and what not to do.
What to Do When You Have a Cold
The telltale signs of a common cold are a runny nose, a sore throat, congestion, sneezing, fatigue, headaches, watery eyes, and sometimes even a low-grade fever. Symptoms usually develop between 1-3 days after exposure to the cold virus.
There are plenty of natural treatments that you can try if you suspect that you have a cold, including some natural remedies. Here is what to do when you have a cold:
- Stay hydrated – consider electrolyte drinks
- Gargle salt water
- Drink cranberry juice
- Drink some homemade honey and onion cough syrup
- Inhale steam using essential oils such as eucalyptus and tea tree oil
- Consume spicy foods or drinks using spices such as chili, turmeric, ginger, and cumin
- Drink teas for coughs and sore throats
- Eat plenty garlic
- Use some sage and thyme to make a drink infusion or to gargle
- Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer to help loosen congestion
- Drink lemon water to loosen congestion and stay hydrated
- Add eucalyptus oil to a hot bath (not if you have a fever)
- Make yourself some fire cider
There are several different teas that you can try that supposedly have several different uses. The best tea for a cold is echinacea tea, as it can help to treat the first oncoming symptoms. This medicinal plant can help to strengthen your immune system and will help to fight infection. You can also drink calming teas to help with stress and anxiety. Other good teas for colds include rose hip tea, wormwood tea, and ginger tea.
The best teas for a sore throat include sage tea, chamomile, and mallow. Each of these ingredients boasts medicinal properties that can help to combat sore throats. When selecting a tea brand, you should try and purchase those that are grown organically and regionally cultivated. Alternatively, you can learn to dry sage and other herbs to make your own tea.
As an alternative to natural remedies, you can take over-the-counter medicines to help to relieve cold symptoms. Some options include decongestants and painkillers, as well as lozenges to treat a sore throat.
What Not to Do When You Have a Cold
There are plenty of things that you should not do when you have a cold. While it is easy to believe rumors and myths surrounding the best treatments for colds, many of them are not helpful at all. Although these methods may seem helpful, they are not. Here’s what not to do when you have a cold:
- Use Antibiotics: Perhaps the most crucial point of all. You should never use antibiotics to treat a cold. They are designed to fight against infection — not viruses. By taking antibiotics, you could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance, which is a current and prevalent problem.
- Take Zinc: Many people think that taking zinc will help to fight off their cold. However, there is little evidence to support this claim.
- Overuse Decongestant Sprays: Overusing may make your runny nose worse after you stop.
- Not Getting Enough Sleep: Your body needs sleep to keep its immune system in check. Learn how to sleep through the night to aid in your recovery.
- Smoking: Smoking can further irritate your lungs and throat and should be avoided.
- Vitamin C: Many people think that taking vitamin C can help get rid of their cold. However, there is conflicting evidence surrounding this claim. While it may not directly help to fight your cold, there is certainly no harm in consuming foods with vitamin C while you are feeling under the weather. It is necessary for good health and helps to maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth. It also has many other benefits.
Although a common cold is not entirely avoidable, you can still take preventative measures if you wish to do so. One common measure to prevent colds is regular hand washing, which should be done for twenty seconds or longer with warm water and soap. You can also avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands are not clean.
If you get a cold, you should sneeze into a tissue and wash your hands regularly to keep others safe. When washing your hands, natural soap, homemade soap, or DIY foaming hand soap is always a great choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendlier alternative to traditional soap.
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