Everyone has been unfortunate enough to experience the common cold at some point in their life, but most people actually know very little about what it is and the things that they can do to help prevent catching it. In fact, few know of how they can make the symptoms less severe while it runs its course.
While there is no way to cure the common cold, due to it being caused by many different viruses that are always mutating, there are many things that can be done to help people to feel better and shorten the time in which they feel ill. What follows is information about the measures that can be taken to better deal with the common cold as well as what can be done to reduce the chances that it can take hold in the future.
The Common, Yet Dangerous, Approach to the Common Cold
In much of the world the first thing that people turn to in order to treat the symptoms of the common cold are over the counter cold medicines. This is largely due to the massive investment that has been made by the companies that produce them into their advertising. Another factor is that many people see it as an easy and quick fix. One simply needs to run to their local drug store and pick up a bottle or pills in order to feel slightly better. However, there are many risks to using these medications that many people aren’t aware of.
One of the biggest risks that people aren’t aware of is that they can lead to liver damage, especially when taken for long periods of time. This is because they are actually quite toxic and the liver has to process it out of the body. Each time the liver is put to task to do this it causes damage. This is why the package states to not take it if you have a liver disease or drink alcohol on a regular basis. Sadly, it can also cause damage to those that initially had a perfectly healthy liver. In some cases, it has been reported for people to have liver damage just after a few doses. The most commonly used medication that can cause this is acetaminophen, but there are many others out there as well. This is why it is so critical to really take the time to learn about the various options that are available that do not carry such serious risks.
Another organ that has known to become damaged by the use of over-the-counter medications is the kidney. This is because they also play an important role in filtering out toxins from the body. When they become severely damaged it is known as renal failure and can lead to people having to live on dialysis until they are able to receive a kidney transplant. Clearly this is another experience that everyone should look to avoid as best as they can.
Children, due to the fact that they are still developing, are especially at risk of experiencing negative side effects. Their organs are smaller in general and have a harder time processing toxin from the body. They also have a higher risk of other side effects, such as Reye’s Syndrome, which can result from the use of aspirin in children who are ill. This syndrome leads to sudden brain damage and can even result in death.
The best way to avoid being at risk of developing illnesses from medications themselves is to know as much as possible about what is being put in the body. Fortunately, there are many things that can be taken that do not carry such risks.
Natural Ways to Reduce Common Cold Symptoms
An immense variety of herbal remedies have been around for thousands of years. It is the way in which people addressed the common cold before over the counter medications were available. Due to advances in technology and changes in way people live their lives, these tools have been lost from common knowledge. Fortunately, there are still those that have kept these traditions alive so that others can learn that there are many ways that one can approach the common cold. Two very common herbs that can be used to fight a cold and the symptoms associated with it is with the use of rosemary and sage. Both of these herbs are known for the anti-microbial properties, which can stop a virus in its tracks. They are also known for the anti-inflammatory properties, which is one of the symptoms of a cold. When the cavities of the sinuses are less inflamed they are better able to drain fluids, which leads to less congestion.
This actually can then reduce the chances that a cold will turn into an upper respiratory infection. Rosemary and sage can also help to relieve a sore throat, which is one of the most irritating and common symptoms of a cold. Doing this can help the person to be more receptive to eating and drinking, which is a necessity when it comes to helping the body to fight the illness.
There are also many things that can be done to feel more comfortable while battling the common cold. One of the oldest known of these is to eat chicken noodle soup. Just the warmth and steam are sure to provide comfort, but the broth also does have healing qualities. This is because cysteine is released while the soup is being made. Cysteine is known to help thin mucus in the lungs and sinuses, which of course then makes it easier to expel them. Using a vaporizer can also go a long way to help the reduction of congestion in the sinuses and lungs. This is because it adds moisture to the air, which can then thin out the mucus. It also can reduce the dryness of the throat and other areas that can be affected when one is coughing and having to blow their nose frequently.
Another great means of feeling more comfortable overall is taking a warm bath. This is naturally soothing and can distract from and help to relieve any aches and pains that are resulting from the body working to fight off the virus. It can also be relaxing and lead to getting a better night of sleep despite the symptoms that are occurring. The key is to find the things that work to provide the greatest relief and comfort. Since everyone is different some things may work better for some than for others.
This is another area that many people aren’t well versed in. It is unfortunate because there are many benefits in using essential oils when fighting off the common cold. For example, peppermint is actually known to be able to help the body to reduce fever symptoms. Other options that can do this include chamomile, lemon, black pepper and tea tree oils. The oils can simply be applied to a cool towel and placed on the forehead.
Another beneficial oil is known as eucalyptus. This has been used for centuries to treat a variety of issues, but recently has been researched in a scientific setting. It has been found that it actually can work to stop viruses from being able to enter cells by blocking them. It can also help to reduce congestion and make it easier to cough when it is used in a vaporizer. Last, but not least, it even has healing properties for the skin. For example, if experiencing raw skin from having to frequently use tissues, or developing a cold sore, it can help the skin to heal and is naturally soothing.
There are many other essential oils that contain healing and soothing properties that can help anyone experiencing the common cold. It is absolutely worthwhile to take the time to learn as much as possible about essential oils and how they can affect health. Doing so can greatly reduce the belief that one has to resort to using over the counter medication in order to treat their simple ailments.
Using vitamins while fighting the common cold can do a great deal to help the body to fight off the virus. Two of the best-known vitamins that help the body in this respect are zinc and vitamin C. Vitamin C is water soluble, which means that it quickly passes through the system. Due to this it is next to impossible to get too much vitamin C. However, zinc is fat soluble, meaning that it is stored in the body. Due to this it is important to only take the daily recommended amount to avoid becoming ill from taking too much.
In all reality there really isn’t such thing as a vitamin is bad for those that are suffering from an illness. The best thing that one can do is to be sure that they are taking a multivitamin and eat as well as they can so that they give their body all that it needs to do its job.
These types of remedies make it easy to treat the common cold at home, and there are even studies that prove it works. There are fewer complications when remedies are used for the common cold and quicker recovery. Also, there is the comforting fact that no homeopathic remedies cause side effects and they can also be used in conjunction with other treatment options. There will be no drug interactions.
Natural Approaches to Prevention
The best thing above all else that can be done is to prevent the ability of a virus to wreak havoc on your body. The main way to accomplish this is to work to provide your body with what it needs to maintain a healthy and strong immune system on a daily basis. This really comes down to living a lifestyle that benefits overall health. One way to accomplish this is by being sure to eat a healthy diet. This primarily concerns consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This helps the body to get all of the nutrition it needs and can also help to maintain a healthy weight.
Exercising on a regular basis is also very important when it comes to maintaining a healthy immune system. This is because it causes changes in the body that help with the production of antibodies as well as white blood cells. These are the components that work to fight off illness and infection. It also can help to flush bacteria from the lungs and lymphatic system, which obviously reduces the chances of becoming ill.
Finally, in order to have a healthy immune system it is important to avoid things that can cause harm. One of the most common mistakes that people make is consuming too much alcohol. The use of alcohol suppresses the immune system over time, especially when it is consumed on a regular basis. One does not have to exclude alcohol entirely but drinking more than a few drinks a week can be very detrimental to the immune system overall. This is because it negatively affects the liver, which is what produces the antibodies and white blood cells needed to fight off illnesses.
There are so many things that one can do to prevent catching a cold, as well as help to alleviate the symptoms that they experience if they do catch it. The key really comes down to taking care of themselves and looking for healthy ways to feel better, quicker. There really is no need to take the risk of potentially harmful side effects from using over the counter medication when there are so many natural approaches that are available. Take advantage of vitamins, herbs, healthy foods and essential oils. These tools have been around for centuries and are known to be very effective.
Take the time to really learn about the best ways to approach health overall. Over the counter medications are a quick fix but the ideal approach will completely eliminate them. There is a reason that once people learn to live healthy without the use of these products they never go back to their old way of thinking. Not only do they get through colds and other illnesses easier, but they feel better on a daily basis. The best thing that anyone can do is invest in their health. Luckily, there is no better time to start than today.