If you have been spared the struggle of the early autumn onslaught of the flu you are one of the lucky ones. But you don’t have to depend solely on luck any longer to ward off that sniffy ordeal! We are here to guide you through an extensive battle plan to hold off that common cold and get you through it with a little bit more ease should it already have sneaked up on you.
You’ve probably heard of the multitude of home remedies and gurgling methods, breakthroughs originally achieved in medieval times. But what home remedies actually work? And what supplements are going to help you beat that cold?
We are going to go through it all and debunk the myths to find true weapons against this plague.
Let winter come!
VITAMIN C AND THE COMMON COLD
We’ve all heard it, Vitamin C is your trusted companion in the battle against the cold. So come October, people rush to buy more of those ascorbic acid goods. They are meant to boost your immune system and help you fight off all ills that winter brings. While some uphold that it only truly works as an anti-flu cure if you take it in ultra-high doses, there is a wide consensus that Vitamin C supplementation should be an integral part of your health plan.
But is the hype really true? How vital is Vitamin C really for you and your wellbeing?
While a true deficiency in Vitamin C does entail a slew of horrific symptoms such as scurvy, most people have no problem finding the necessary amount of about 80mg a day, far off scurvy territory. Today, we take in enough vitamin C with our regular diet for a normally functioning immune system and body. While vitamin C supplements don’t tend to hurt, they also don’t help much either.
So where does this misconception come from? While we learned about Vitamin C through the scurvy cases on the open sea some three-hundred years ago, it wasn’t until the 20th Century that the renowned scientist Linus Pauling dug a little deeper into the importance of Vitamin C and found it to be the key to longevity and health. Relying not on his studies but on his personal improved feeling of vitality at the time and his wish to live longer. The Vitamin C myth was born and persists to this day.
So what does Vitamin C supplementation do for you? A Cochrane review of close to 30 studies looking at people with the flu taking the normal daily dose of Vitamin C found that it reduced a colds length by 8 percent. So if your cold lasts five days, it might be shortened by about 10 hours taking Vitamin C supplements.
Is there such a thing as too much Vitamin C? Generally, a higher intake of Vitamin C won’t do any harm. Anything higher than 2,000 mg a day however, could lead you to experience stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and may lead to kidney stones.
So in effect, you should be well supplied with adequate amounts of vitamins and other vital nutrients through a healthy diet full of vegetables and good quality produce. It may however be helpful to add supplementation if the person is at high risk of frequent exposure, such as children and the elderly.
HELP! – PREVENT, DEFEND AND FIGHT
If you catch a cold, you can expect to be sick for up to two weeks. It is going to be rough, no doubt. Nothing can cure a cold, but there are some things you can do to ease your symptoms and keep you from feeling miserable. Here’s a look at some common cold remedies that we recommend:
Stay hydrated. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevent dehydration.
Rest. Your body needs to heal. Sleeping enhances encoding, consolidation and recall in your bodies immune system. Encoding is when the recognizes the foreign bacteria or virus and prepares for battle. Consolidation involves gathering and consolidating information about the foreign invaders. Recall is when the body files this experience away in case this same bacteria or virus returns. The recall is what makes people immune to getting viruses like the chicken pox multiple times.
Soothe a sore throat. A saltwater gargle can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in a glass of warm water will do the trick. Be careful with small children though, they have trouble gargling correctly.
Combat stuffiness. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops and sprays can help relieve stuffiness and congestion. If you need a full-on fix try a nasal spray with the ingredient xylometazoline. It shrinks the blood vessels and reduces the swelling to open up your nose like nothing else. If you have trouble sleeping due to a stuffy nose, ask your pharmacist or doctor about this option and its use.
Relieve pain. You are going to feel sluggish throughout, but if you truly need some pain relief, can take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, the run-of-the-mill painkiller options. Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers and make sure it is appropriate to use yourself with your doctor or pharmacist.
Sip warm liquids. A cold remedy used in many cultures, taking in warm liquids, such as chicken soup, tea or warm apple juice, might be soothing and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow and replenishes the liquids lost through your respiratory system and sweating.
Add moisture to the air. A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily, and clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wash your hands regularly. The number one thing you can do to stay healthy and ward off the flu season is as simple as remembering to wash your hands often. You could subject your phone and your water bottle to the same treatment just to be sure.
Keep your throat warm. Keeping your respiratory system and air ways warm is crucial to keeping that influenza virus at bay as it thrives when temperatures drop in your nose and throat. Donning a scarf and drinking tea even before the flu hits is very helpful and makes your winter even more cozy.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Although usually minor, colds can make you feel miserable. It’s tempting to try the latest remedy, but the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Rest, drink fluids and keep the air around you moist. Remember to wash your hands frequently. Also be sure to check out the Cold Killer at Roots in Velocity Enge if you’re feeling under the weather, which provides the healthy nutrients and minerals to help keep your immune system working at its best.
We are no doctors here and we don’t play them on the internet, so we urge you to consult a doctor or pharmacist for advice for treatment options if you feel in the grips of a cold or if your symptoms worsen. We hope you have a happy and healthy Autumn.