The aptly named common cold hits nearly every one of us on a regular basis and once a single family member has it, it can spread quickly and viciously. While the cold itself is relatively harmless it still presents almost crippling symptoms. The common misconception is that you can fight a cold, essentially getting on with your life and trying to ignore the problem. This is much more likely to prolong the agony as a pose to beating it. In preference to turning to the pharmacist there are natural ways to reduce the recovery time and relieve the nagging symptoms of a cold.
The misconception that exercise will help to sweat out a cold is misleading. The body needs to be able to fight the cold infection and by exercising or being excessively active you are reducing its capability to do this. Resting allows the body to fully combat the cold virus. The immune system and various immune functions within the body are strengthened or generated during sleep. It is these that will help your body beat the cold.
When suffering from a cold the body is susceptible to becoming dehydrated. In order to prevent this it is absolutely essential that sufferers drink plenty of water. The recommended eight glasses of water a day is the absolute minimum that you should be aiming to drink when suffering from a cold. For this reason, water can help to further strengthen the immune system and subsequently beat the infection.
It may sound something your mom or your grandmother would try to convince you but it is widely believed to be true. However, too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea and possible even kidney stones. Many proponents of vitamin C as a cold remedy would argue that 1,000mg every hour is not damaging and will help to reduce the time a person suffers from a cold. However, it has been medically proven that 250mg has the same positive effects as any larger dose with fewer and less severe side effects. The best way to obtain this level of vitamin C is through fruit juices because this also provides a good source of extra fluid.
Garlic is another age old herbal remedy for colds. It helps to strengthen the immune system and is also a good antiviral. Putting garlic in meals will help to prevent colds and can also reduce the suffering time of patients. The best way to consume the garlic is freshly ground and raw. Many people would find this a struggle, especially because a lot of people eat as many as three or four cloves as soon as they show symptoms of a cold.
Elderberries may look harmless but to the cold virus they are far from it. It is a powerful antiviral as well as being a highly effective prophylactic. As an antiviral it can help to stave off the actual infection causing the cold, and its prophylactic properties strengthens and rejuvenates the immune system. Elderberry and blueberries are among the best varieties of fruit a cold sufferer can eat for these very reasons.
The Immune Systems Role
You will have probably noticed that almost all of these remedies are strongly based around the strengthening of the immune system. This is because there is essentially no cure for the common cold and we are forced to rely on our bodies to fend off the infection. In order to do this, the immune system needs to be as strong as possible and the stronger it is the less suffering will be required.