Mythbusting: How to kick a cold

The frosty weather has heralded the unwanted return of the common cold.  During the average lifetime, each one of us will suffer from the unforgiving symptoms of a cold up to 200 times. Whether it is a runny nose, sneezing, a chesty cough or a pounding headache, it seems there is no escaping it.

It is known as the ‘common cold’ for good reason; it is one of the most widespread infections out there. The average person will suffer with its symptoms for a staggering five years of their life span.

The common cold is a virus and always has to run its course before you’re back to your fine self.  Although there is no known cure for it, below are some treatments that can help put you out of your misery. Some in the form of old wives tales that you have probably heard your grandparents swear by and others that just sound frankly bizarre.

Chicken Noodle Soup: The chicken soup theory is probably one of the most common old wives tales. Research has fully supported the idea that it actually has some medical significance. Apparently it can help to open the airways when you breathe in the steam from the warm soup, clearing nasal congestion and reducing inflammation.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is always one of the main remedies suggested, claiming to increase infection-fighting white blood cells. Extensive research, however, has proven it does little or nothing in helping to prevent colds and can only slightly reduce symptoms.

“Feed a cold, starve a fever”: Staying hydrated and eating well should be a priority. When you’re experiencing the wrath of the ‘common cold monster’ in all its glory, there is no excuse in aiming to achieve your five vegetables/fruits a day as well as eight glasses of water. The nutrients will give your immune system that boost it really needs. It will make the old wives proud.

“Going out with wet hair causes colds”: Does anyone else remember this being screamed at you by your mam when you were younger? Although it does seem to make sense, viruses are the causes of colds, not cold air.

Echinacea – The Herbal Remedy: According to the largest ever clinical study of the remedy, Echinacea can prevent colds. Taking three doses of the remedy, either in liquid or capsule form, for four months has been proven to reduce the risk of getting a cold.

By Niamh Doherty


Image: Illona via 

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