THE COLD IS CAUSED BY DIFFERENT STRAINS OF VIRUSES THAT CAN TURN INTO OTHER SEVERE ILLNESSES IF NOT TREATED PROPERLY.
PHOTO CREDIT: NATALIE HABER
By Negeen Amirieh
Junior Annie Sullivan lays in bed with an empty tissue box on one side and cough drop wrappers on the other. Lips chapped, red nose and a lost voice. Drained and restless is what you call the common cold.
We may not be able to cure the cold but we sure can lessen our misery of it.
“You can not fully treat the cold, but you can minimize the symptoms,” Director of Student Health Center and nurse practitioner Jacqueline Deats said.
The cold is caused by different strains of viruses that can turn into other severe illnesses if not treated properly.
It all starts with a runny nose or a sore throat, so the faster you can catch those irritating symptoms with various natural treatments, the sooner you can feel good again.
WebMD gives the top six ways to treat the cold naturally.
Get as much sleep as possible. Eight hours of sleep is not enough, you must take naps through out the day and allow your body to direct its energy toward the immune battle by lying down under a blanket. Make sure to sleep with an extra pillow under your head to help with the drainage of nasal passages. Even if you can’t sleep just lie down and do something relaxing like watching your favorite television show.
“I take naps all the time but I find sleeping for longer hours is more effective when I am sick because it rejuvenates me throughout the day,” said junior communication studies major Mady Strahl.
Fluids, fluids, and more fluids. Hot water will be your best friend through this painful period we call “the cold.” Herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint can keep you hydrated while other teas and coffee can boost your energy, but is not necessarily good for hydration. A great hot remedy is warm water with lemon and honey because it helps loosen congestion and can prevent hydration.
“The first thing I do when I get sick is heat up a nice hot cup of hot water with lemon and honey because it helps soothe my sore throat,” sophomore business administration major Kelsey Kopp said.
Chicken soap is not only delicious and comforting, but it has been proven that it limits the production of certain white blood cells, which actually contribute to the many cold symptoms.
GARGLE WARM SALT WATER
Put a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water for at least four times daily to reduce the tickle in your throat. Gargling warm salt water will calm down a sore throat and bring temporary relief.
Hop into that hot shower and let your body relax before you take that long nap. Steamy showers help moisturize your nasal passages and soothe the body. It will actually helps you clear a cold quicker so make sure to turn the knob to a hot temperature so that the bathroom can steam up. If you feel dizzy bring a stool or chair with you and sit under the hot water.
“I put the temperature hotter than usual to steam out the bathroom, which clears out my sinuses and helps me breathe easier,” sophomore business and journalism major Doug Close said.
BLOW YOUR NOSE ONLY WHEN NECESSARY
When having a stuffy nose, it is natural to want to constantly blow your nose because it helps to clear the nasal passages of excess mucus, but blowing too hard or often can lead to other problems. This can lead to a buildup of pressure due to trapped mucus. The best way to blow your nose is by pressing one nostril down (shutting it) with one finger and gently clearing the other one.
Wash your hands to keep yourself clean and to make sure you don’t get other people sick.
“You can only get a cold from the particles from a sneeze or a cough and when we get exposed to those particles, we catch the cold, so make sure to wash your hands to prevent spreading the virus,” Deats said.