Article written

  • on 19.01.2011
  • at 05:36 PM
  • by Jessy Troy

Remedies to Help You Tackle the Cold and Flu This Winter

Jan19

Description: glass_of_water.jpgAlthough there is no cure for the common cold and influenza has to run its course, there are several remedies you can use to shorten the duration of either illness. If you take proper care of yourself during the cold, winter months, you can also minimize the chances of you coming down with a cold or the flu.

Remedies to Help You Feel Better

If you’ve come down with a severe cold or respiratory flu, you probably feel miserable and you may have some trouble breathing due to inflammation or congestion.

Some of the best remedies to help you feel better and shorten the length of your illness include:

  • Salt water gargles. Gargling with a mild salt water solution will temporarily soothe the throat and help break up mucous.
  • Saline nasal sprays or a neti pot. These are both used to rinse the nasal passages with tepid salt water, which will reduce inflammation and help clear out mucous. After using a salt water solution in the nose, gently blow your nose to get rid of the loosened materials. Using saline sprays regularly are also a good way to flush many cold germs out of your sinuses.
  • Taking Tylenol, Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can alleviate a fever and ease the many aches and pains of a cold or flu. Be sure to take them with plenty of water and follow the dosing directions on the package.
  • Drink lots of fluids to prevent the dehydration that is common with the cold and flu. Stick with clear liquids rather than anything too thick to prevent thickening of mucous. Clear broths, hot lemon water with honey, and water are all good choices. Try to avoid drinking sugary soft drinks or anything with caffeine.
  • If coughing is keeping you up at night, try an over the counter cough suppressant/expectorant.
  • Use a humidifier to help relieve chest congestion and soothe the nasal passages. Air that is too dry will irritate the throat and nasal passages, leading to inflammation that can cause a cycle of symptoms.
  • They’ve actually done studies that prove an old stand-by, chicken noodle soup, can help shorten the duration of an illness, so load up on this healthy, soothing meal.

Ways to Minimize Your Chances of Getting a Cold or Flu

While nothing can protect you 100% from cold or flu viruses, there are sensible steps you can take to minimize the risk:

  • Use a humidifier in your home. Cold viruses thrive in cool, dry environments, so a bit of moisture in the air will reduce the number of cold germs able to survive in your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use a good hand sanitizer. Most germs are spread through touch, and you touch your face throughout the day without realizing it. Tuck a small container of no-rinse hand sanitizer into your purse or the car’s glove compartment.
  • Use disinfecting wipes to regularly clean items come into contact with, including your cell phone, home phone, earphones for MP3 players, countertops, door knobs, etc. When you’re out shopping, take a small pack of disinfecting wipes with you so you can wipe off the handles of shopping carts.
  • Regular use of saline sprays or neti pots isn’t addictive. It is a simple way to clear your sinuses and reduce any inflammation, but it also washes away congestion and will help you slough out many germs that enjoy living in your sinuses.
  • Taking vitamins that help boost the immune system, such as vitamin C and the B complex vitamins can reduce the chances you’ll catch a cold or flu from others.
  • If you have a compromised immune system or are at risk for serious complications of the cold or flu, consider wearing a mask when you in a group of people.

Although there are no guarantees that you will be able to dodge the cold and flu this winter, taking some simple steps to safeguard your health will greatly reduce the chances you will fall prey to viruses. And if you do get sick, a few simple steps can help relieve your discomfort and quickly set you on the road to recovery.

Shelly Towns is a freelance writer for a medical supplies company.  Shelly is a published author and spends most of her time thinking about SEO and viral content.

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    Humidifiers and salt water works wonders!

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