Thursday, January 18, 2018

Home Remedies for the Common Cold

chicken-soup-bowlSymptoms of the common cold are a runny nose and nasal congestion, and sometimes sneezing, sore throat, or cough. Symptoms of the common cold can be similar to those of the flu, though flu symptoms are usually more severe, and can also include fever, body aches, dry cough, and extreme fatigue. There are plenty of home remedies for the common cold, the most famous of which is rest, and chicken soup.

Rest Your Body

“Most colds aren’t serious enough to send you to bed,” says family practitioner Anne Simons, M.D., “but if possible, take it easy for a few days.” It’s hard work for your immune system to vanquish those viruses. That’s why cold sufferers feel tired. Support your immune system by resting.

Drink Hot Fluids

Grandma was right about drinking plenty of hot fluids. Cold viruses reproduce best at temperatures slightly below normal body temperature. Hot liquids warm the throat, and help impair viral replication, says David Sobel, M.D., M.P.H., of San Jose, California, director of patient education and health promotion for the Kasier Permanente health maintenance program. Fluids also help soothe a sore throat and cough. And hot liquids have a mild decongestant effect that helps relieve nasal congestion.

Chicken Soup as a Cold Remedy

One hot fluid, chicken soup, as been a mainstay of folk medicine for colds for 800 years, ever since Egyptian rabbi/physician Moses Maimonides recommended it. In 1984, Florida researcher Marvin Sackner showed that chicken soup does, indeed, relieve nasal congestion better than plain hot water.

Dr. Rennard confirmed chicken soup’s benefits. In his test-tube study, chicken soup significantly reduced inflammation. Surprisingly, the soup worked even before the chicken was added, when it was simply vegetable soup containing onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, and parsnips. Many studies have shown that onions have anti-inflammatory effects, and Rennard found that when tested one at a time, all five vegetables had anti-inflammatory action. “I’m a mainstream doctor,” Rennard says, “but plants were the original medicines. There’s a lot of wisdom in using them medicinally.”

Mushroom Soup for Colds

If you want to add something extra to your chicke soup, try mushrooms. But not any old mushrooms, says Boulder, Colorado herbalist Mindy Green, who teaches at the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies. You need shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms, which many studies show help strengthen the immune response to viral infections.

Shun Sweets

Among the white blood cells that rush to the throat to battle your cold are your neutrophils. “But neutrophils become lethargic if you’ve been eating sweets,” says Joseph Pizzorno, Jr., N.D., president of Bastyr University, the naturopathic medical school in Bothell, Washington, near Seattle. In one study, subjects consumed 100 grams of sugar (about the amount in two cans of soda). Blood tests showed that their neutrophil activity plummeted 50 percent. Five hours later, it was still substantially below normal. Anything with sugar (sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, honey, etc.) can impair neutrophil activity, but fruits, which contain fructose, are also rich in vitamins and minerals that support the immune system. The worst sweets are junk foods—full of sugar with few, if any, vitamins and minerals.

Avoid Dairy

Many complementary practitioners recommend avoiding dairy foods when you have a cold because they spur production of mucus and aggravate cold symptoms. Mainstream doctors and nutritionists have generally dismissed this notion. But at least on study shows that a chemical in milk triggers the release of histamine, which contributes to colds’ runny nose and nasal congestion. “In my experience,” Dr. Gaby says, “eliminating dairy helps some—but not all—people’s colds. I suggest experiementing. Next time you have a cold, take a break from diary and see if the change helps.”

Red Flags and Warnings

Never treat children’s cold with aspirin or aspirin-like herbs. For fevers in children under 18 colds, flu, or chickenpox, do not give aspirin, or its herbal equivalents: willow bark, meadowsweet, or wintergreen. The combination of viral fevers and aspirin is associated with Reye syndrome, a rare, but potentially fatal illness that affects the brain and liver. Instead, place the child in a tepid bath. If you can’t resist medication, give acetaminophen (Tylenol, Panadol, St. Joseph Aspirin-Free, etc.). When in doubt, call your child’s physician.


3 Responses to “Home Remedies for the Common Cold”
  1. karthi says:

    it is nice .i want more informations about this in my e mail.

  2. neha says:

    i want more information about it
    even if doing many treatments i have no releif from cold


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  1. […] addition to home remedies for the common cold, such as getting plenty of rest and sipping hot chicken soup, there are a number of natural […]