A common cold, also known as acute coryza, is an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract caused by infection with common cold viruses. A common cold occurs more often than any other disease - hence, its name. A person may suffer from a common fold several times in a year. A cold usually lasts from three to ten days. The patient feels miserable for the first three days or so.
Common Cold Symptoms
Soreness of throat, congestion of nasal passages
The initial signs of a cold are a feeling of soreness of the throat and congestion of the nasal passages. Although the disease normally begins in the nose and throat, it affects all parts of the body.
Running nose, Sneezing, headache, chill
Its usual symptoms are a running nose, sneezing, a rise in temperature, headache, sore throat, chill, aches and pains in the body, and loss of appetite. The skin around the nostrils may become sore.
Causes of Common Cold
Exposure to the virus
A common cold results from exposure to the virus. Its intensity, however, depends upon the state of health of the person and environmental factors.
Exposure to cold, low vitality, dust, changes in temperature
Low vitality, exposure to cold, lack of sleep, mental depression, fatigue, and factors such as sudden changes in temperature, dust, and other irritating inhalations are important contributory causes.
Common Cold Home Remedies
Common Cold treatment using Lemon
Lemon is the most important among the many home remedies for common cold. It is beneficial in all types of cold with fever. Vitamin C-rich lemon juice increases body resistance, decreases toxicity and reduces the duration of the illness. One lemon should be diluted in a glass of warm water, and a teaspoon of honey should be added to it. This should be taken once or twice daily.
Common Cold treatment using Garlic
Garlic soup is an old remedy to reduce the severity of a cold, and should be taken once daily. The soup can be prepared by boiling three or four cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water. Garlic contains antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, besides several other medicinal virtues. The oil contained in this vegetable helps to open up the respiratory passages. In soup form, it flushes out all toxins from the system and thus helps bring down fever. Five drops of garlic oil combined with a teaspoon of onion juice, and diluted in a cup of water, should be drunk two to three times a day. This has also been found to be very effective in the treatment of common cold.
Common Cold treatment using Ginger
Ginger is another excellent remedy for colds and coughs. About ten grams of ginger should be cut into small pieces and boiled in a cup of water. It should then be strained and half a teaspoon of sugar added to it. This decoction should be drunk when hot. Ginger tea, prepared by adding a few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding the tea leaves, is also an effective remedy for colds and for fevers resulting from cold. It may be taken twice daily.
Common Cold treatment using Lady's Fingers
Lady's fingers are highly valuable in treating irritation of the throat and a persistent dry cough. This vegetable is rich in mucilage and acts as a drug to allay irritation, swelling, and pain. About 100 gm of lady's fingers should be cut into pieces, and boiled down in half a litre of water to make a decoction. The steam issuing from this decoction may also be inhaled once or twice a day to relieve throat irritation and a dry cough.
Common Cold treatment using Bitter Gourd Roots
The roots of the bitter gourd plant are used in folk medicine to cure a cold. A teaspoon of the root paste, mixed with an equal quantity of honey or tulsi leaf juice, given once every night for a month, acts as an excellent medicine for colds.
Common Cold treatment using Turmeric
Turmeric is an effective remedy for colds and throat irritations. Half a teaspoon of fresh turmeric powder mixed in 30 ml of warm milk, and taken once or twice daily, is a useful prescription for these conditions. Turmeric powder should be put into a hot ladle. Milk should then be poured in it and boiled over a slow fire. This mixture should then be drunk by the patient. In case of a running cold, smoke from the burning turmeric should be inhaled. It will increase the discharge from the nose and provide quick relief.
Common Cold treatment using Tamarind and Pepper
Tamarind-pepper rasam is also considered an effective home remedy for a cold in South India . Dilute 50 mg tamarind in 250 ml of water. Boil the diluted tamarind water for a few minutes with a teaspoon of hot ghee and half a teaspoon of black pepper powder. This steaming hot rasam has a flushing effect, and should be taken three times a day. As one takes it, the nose and eyes water and the nasal blockage is cleared.
Common Cold treatment using Vitamin C
Regular intake of vitamin C-75 mg for adults and 35 mg for children-will prevent the common cold. If, however, a cold has already appeared, large doses of this vitamin will relieve the symptoms and shorten its duration. He estimates that one to two grams (1000 mg to 2000 mg) per day is approximately the optimum amount of this vitamin for this purpose. His advice is to swallow one or two 500mg tablets of vitamin C at the appearance of the first sign of the cold and continue the treatment by taking one to two 500 mg tablets daily.
Home Remedies for Stuffy Nose
Inhale turmeric fumes, for this tie some turmeric in a clean cloth and light it. Boil some water and allow it to cool, now add ¼ teaspoon table salt to it. Put 2 to 3 drops of this solution in your both the nostrils before meals and going to bed. Mix natural apple cider vinegar and water in equal parts. Boil this solution in a pan, when the fumes rises lean over the pan and inhale the fumes. Prepare a solution using 4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and Pine Essential Oil, 3 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and 7 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Inhale vapors of this solution by putting it on a cotton ball or an aromatherapy diffuser.
Dietaries for Common Cold
Abstain solid foods, drink fruit and vegetable juices
During the acute stage of the cold, when fever is present, the patient should abstain from all solid foods and only drink fruit and vegetable juices, diluted with water.
Well-balanced diet of seeds, nuts
After the acute symptoms are over, the patient can gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Avoid meat, fish, eggs and starchy foods
It is advisable to avoid meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and starchy foods.
Other Common Cold treatments
Mild sunbath, fresh air, deep breathing, sound sleep etc
Other useful measures in the treatment of a common cold are a mild sunbath, fresh air and deep breathing, brisk walks, sound sleep, and adjustment of one's clothes and habits to the requirements of the season so as to nullify the effect of weather fluctuations.