Woman Suffering With a Cold
The following is a list of some common ailments you’ve experienced along with the most effective remedies that you probably already available in your home.
When you’re sick, sometimes the best course of action is to see a doctor you know, especially for those times when you can’t remember what your original skin tone looked like underneath that rapidly-expanding purple rash.
Other times, however, you can feel safe taking care of things on your own and saving your physician some of her precious time and energy.
The following is a list of some common ailments for which some of the most effective remedies are probably already available in your medicine closet, kitchen, or elsewhere in your home.
The Common Cold
Fluids. Maintaining proper hydration helps keep down congestion The Mayo Clinic recommends “water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey” as the most fundamental and important way to keep mucus under control.
Get some rest. Feeling crappy is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and take it easy. Keeping yourself warm and staing home allows your body to focus its resources on clearing you of infection (and also keeps you from spreading germs to anyone else).
Antihistamines. These medications address the symptoms of a cold by suppressing inflammation, helping to keep airways open and clear. Depending on the systemic (body-wide) effects of this anti-inflammatory response, however, it might be wise to try this one last.
Saltwater gargle. Not as much fun as warm lemon water with honey, but much more effective for a wham-bam instant phlegm clearing. The effect on congestion is instant, even if it only lasts 5-10 minutes.
Cough medications. Over-the-counter medications can be quite effective at treating the symptoms of a cold, but the underlying viral infection will still need to run its course. Over-the-counter products are also to be avoided in young children, and can actually worsen symptoms if taken for more than a few days, or if taken above the recommended dosage. Antibiotics are useless at best and counterproductive at worst, since the infection is not bacterial.
Humidity. In a similar vein to fluids above, breathing warm, moist air can take the edge off of uncomfortable congestion. Just be careful not to breathe in steam too close to the source, or you might risk burning your nose.
Nasal drops and sprays. In essence, a less-intense version of the saltwater gargle that promotes mucus flow, and can be exceptionally useful for children too young for other methods to work.
Chicken soup. A good salty vegetable soup can work the same cold-curing wonders if you’re ethically challenged in the chicken-eating department. In any case, The Mayo Clinic has conducted some interesting research into the merits of chicken soup, and it turns out your mother does know what she’s talking about when she serves it up to you in bed.
Blow gently. It’s important to clear your nose regularly when you have a cold, but be careful of clearing your nose too forcefully. Excessive nose-blowing can send bacteria up into your sinuses (air-filled cavities between your brain and nose), which can lead to further congestion, earaches, and other undesirable outcomes.
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