Endless sneezes, scratchy throat, and a runny nose are the clues a cold virus has found a home in your body. So, once you have the start of a cold the game plan is how to reduce its severity and shorten its duration.
Rhinovirus is the most common cold virus. It’s considered responsible for approximately 50 percent of all colds. There are about 200 cold viruses. However, when you catch a cold, you don’t care which virus you got. You want it to go away as quickly as possible. Here are seven suggestions to help you heal and feel better.
Rest – When you get a cold, your body has encountered a virus strain that is new to it. The immune system gets to work to fight it which uses a lot of the body’s energy. So, you will feel tired. When you feel tired, rest and take it easy. Rest helps to recharge your immune systems so it can fight the virus effectively. Also, you are more prone to catching a cold when you are tired and stressed.
Take Zinc – Several studies showed that cold symptoms were shortened by two days in adults who took zinc supplements at the beginning of their cold compared to study participants who didn’t. However, do not take zinc longer than a week to prevent getting too much which can be unhealthy and reduce its immune benefits.
Eat Chicken Soup – Research suggests that neutrophils, a type of white blood cells, movement slowed after study subjects ate chicken soup. Neutrophils protect the body from infection. When they move slowly, the neutrophils concentrate in the body where healing is needed most. Studies also showed chicken soup was particularly useful for upper respiratory infections.
Drink Ginger Tea – Ginger has anti-viral properties. According to global health expert, Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac, plant compounds in ginger prevents viruses from adhering to the upper respiratory mucosa. You can boost the immune benefits of ginger tea by adding fresh lemon juice, raw honey, and turmeric.
Try Elderberry Syrup – Elderberry syrup is well-known for bolstering the immune system. The chemical compounds, anthocyanidins, in elderberries stimulate the immune system. Several studies have shown the benefits of elderberry in shortening symptoms of cold and the flu. Elderberry syrup can be made from dried elderberries or purchased.
Take Vitamin D – Research suggests that vitamin D help shorten the symptoms of a cold and is especially beneficial for those who are vitamin D deficient. It’s estimated that 40 percent of Americans do not get enough vitamin D.
Rinse Nasal Passages – Using a purified water saline solution in a neti pot or other nasal irrigation system flushes out mucus in the sinuses and can help remove viral germs. Nostril breathing is also improved with nasal rinsing.
A neti pot looks like a miniature teapot with a long spout. Only buy an irrigation system that comes with detailed instructions. It’s important to follow the directions because if not done correctly you could increase the risk of infection.
A cold virus can make you feel miserable. However, you can plan and take steps to shorten its duration so that you are back to your usual self as quickly as possible.
Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements or trying a new therapy, especially if you have medical issues, pregnant, or nursing. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or recommend any specific therapy.
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- Kresser, Chris, MS, La.C., 7 Tips for Preventing (and Shortening) Colds and Flus, November 11, 2014. Web.
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