Health & Beauty Recipes > Colds and Sneezes

Colds and Sneezes

Mountain Rose Herbs
Mountain Rose Herbs offers a wide range of dried herbs and spices.

No cure or prevention for the common cold has ever been discovered. There are vaccines which protect against specific strains of influenza but when the sneezing and sore throats of an ordinary cold start we know we are for at least a week of discomfort.

It can be difficult to tell if what you have is a cold or the flu but generally speaking the flu makes you feel unwell whereas a cold is more a succession of uncomfortable symptoms. Flu comes on quickly with a general feeling of illness whereas a cold usually starts with sneezing or a sore throat. Both are caused by viruses and neither can be helped by antibiotics although they can help with secondary infections associated with colds and flu.

Children get up to ten colds a year whereas adults, who have greater immunity, tend to catch fewer. We probably all experience more colds than we realise but some pass with very few symptoms.

There are several measures worth trying in order to avoid colds and flu. It is now thought that what was previously dismissed as an old wives tale has some truth in it. Although just being chilled doesn't cause colds and flu it can lower your resistance and make you more susceptible to germs already in your nose. The old idea of "wrapping up warmly" is in fact a good one. Pull up your scarf so that the air you breath in is warm.

Sneezes and coughs expel viruses from the body which land on the sufferers hands. The viruses can then be transferred to doorknobs and keyboards and picked up by the next person who touches them. Hand washing is therefore a very good practice especially if you are in the company of someone who has a cold.

Aim to avoid infection by taking care of your general well-being. Stress and a generally unhealthy lifestyle may make you less able to fight off cold and flu germs. Regular exercise, plenty of sleep and relaxation can help to combat stress. A healthy diet, avoiding too much junk food eaten at irregular times should also help to avoid a succession of winter woes. Some people take garlic capsules which they believe help to ward off infection and echinacea supplements which are reputed to support the immune system. Multivitamin tablets and cod liver oil are also said to give some protection.

Obviously it isn't always possible to avoid infection from cold and flu bugs but if the worst happens what better excuse for a few days under you duvet out of the cold, rain and snow? Stock up on your trusted over-the-counter remedies, plenty of magazines and tissues and stay out of everyone's way. Struggling on regardless does no one any good excpet the cold or flu virus which has an absolute field day if taken into the work place, spreading rapidly from person to person and making the original carrier most unpopular.

See also:

Garlic Capsules
Potter's Cattarrh Pastilles