Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Common Cold

After my weekend away I've come back with a head cold. You know the kind, started off as a sore throat then moved into my sinuses giving me a runny nose. There is as yet no cure for the common cold, and the advise that you get from NHS 24 or your GP is, get plenty of rest, increase fluid intake and ease symptoms using steam inhalation (but with caution); sucking menthol sweets; gargling with salt water etc...

Often the old-fashioned remedies work best in this kind of situation...
  • Sweat It Out - I used to get myself all wrapped up in my blanket with my hot water bottle and while certainly it seems to be comforting to do this new evidence suggests that light exercise in the fresh air can ease the symptoms of the cold.
  • Vitamin C - increased levels of Vitamin C have shown to reduce the duration of the cold in adults... my drink of choice is hot Ribena!
  • Steam Inhalation - I use a teaspoonful of Vicks Vapour Rub desilved in boiling water, it helps loosen mucus, allowing clearance of the airwaves that can relieve coughs and nasal congestion.
  • Chicken Soup - recent evidence has shown that this cure all really does work... the key is apparently heat, so any soup will work (my favourite is Heinz Tomato). It works to promotes airway secretions and has a calming action on inflamed throats. But chicken soup's combination of fats, spices, and water seems to work best when it comes to breaking up mucus.
One very effective remedy I've found is the following...

1 clove of garlic
1 equal sized piece of fresh ginger
Pinch of cayenne pepper
½ tsp. cinnamon
Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon
1 tsp. honey

Crush garlic and ginger and add with the rest of the ingredients to one cup of off-the-boil water. Drink 2- 3 cups a day till symptoms are gone.

Hopefully I will start to feel well again soon!

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