Betadine gargles and 7 more simple remedies for the common cold
Before we can appreciate the cooler air of winter, most of us must endure a terrible cold that will render us stuffy, congested, fatigued and grumpy. The cold will probably last a week before we are restored to normalcy, albeit with a chafed nose and sunken eyes.
Happily, there are home remedies that can mitigate symptoms, help us sleep better and shorten the duration of our illness. Plus, there are some more things you can do for relief if you live in a particularly polluted area:
1. Use a humidifier in your room: You are more likely to get a cold in the winter since the air becomes dry, and dry air is better suited to viruses. Turning on the humidifier between 30% and 50% can get rid of some of the microbes in the air. Additionally, humidifying the air can loosen your congestion and relieve symptoms as well.
2. A hot bath may help: The steam from a hot bath can loosen stuffiness and also relax your body.
3. Drink hot chai: A hot beverage acts as a balm on the throat, and eases the dryness associated with colds. Try mixing your favourite black tea or green tea brew with ginger and honey - a study showed that children who took honey before going to bed slept better than children on placebo.
4. Crocin and mild analgesics work: These are effective at battling mild fevers and the accompanying aches and pains of a cold. Restful, uninterrupted sleep goes a long way in pushing the body towards recovery and analgesics aid the process.
5. Betadine or salt-water gargles: A remedy that our elders swear by, and which works: add half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle to loosen the mucus and alleviate irritation in the throat. You can also add a few drops of oral Betadine solution in lukewarm water for gargling - this will help kill the cough-causing bacteria.
6. Decongestants, antihistamine sprays, lozenges: There are a plethora of cheap medications that ease various symptoms. Saline nose sprays help with decongestion and lozenges such as Vicks pills provide continuous relief from itchy throats. Even better, you can make a quick paste at home by heating ginger and honey - lick this while it's warm for it to soothe your throat.
7. Keep the air purifier on at night: Air purifiers filter out dust particles and particulate matter. While an air purifier is unlikely to prevent colds, it may help you sleep better at night when you are sick. The cleaner air will mean that your symptoms won’t be exacerbated further. This may give your body more time and energy to fight off the infection.
8. Take vitamin C supplements: Studies have shown that vitamin C is not very effective once a cold has set in but can work if taken before onset. Practically, this means that vitamin C supplements or drinks may be a good idea if you spend a lot of time in close quarters with other people. If people at work or school, for example, are beginning to show symptoms, taking vitamin C may lower the severity of infection should you contract it.
The age-old advice is to get a lot of rest, sleep right and stay hydrated. While it won’t make you fine overnight, it is our best defence against the mysterious common cold.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Common Cold: Prevention and Remedies.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Nov 26, 2019 12:31:23 IST
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