Since this is the cold and flu season– and since I just got over a cold– I figured that I should reveal some of my techniques for fighting a cold. I must admit that I am extremely aggressive when it comes to my own prescriptions, and many times I may not always stick to my regimen as faithfully as I describe. Because of this, do not think that these are tried and true methods. They are, however, methods that I have found work best for myself whenever I get sick.
- Drink lots of liquids. Try to avoid diuretics such as coffee that contain caffeine as it will pull out more liquids than you put in (you don't want that). I do find that tea is a good exception because most of the time it does not have as much caffeine as coffe, and I can put a cough drop in it– especially if the cough drop contains menthol (helps the nose).
- Have a regimen of medicine that you take on a routine basis. I typically take an antihistamine during the day as it does not make me sleepy– then take a decongestant in the evenings so that I don't have to worry about things dripping down my throat when I sleep. If I have a cough, I will take an expectorant during the day so I can clear out my lungs– then take a suppressant during the evening so that I do not have coughing fits that keep me up all night.
- Suck on a cough drop and candy. Many times either my nose is stuffed up, or I have a cough, so sucking on a cough drop helps. I have found that after many cough drops my mouth is either dry, or it tastes funny… so I switch from time to time to a hard candy such as a watermellon Jolly Rancher.
- Gargle, brush gargle. There are two types of gargling that I do nasal and throat. Mix up your warm salt water in a cup. For the nasal gargle, take a straw and cyphon some into it and drain it into your nose. Don't swallow the salt water, but try and keep it in your nasal cavety. Blow your nose when you are finished. Then do the throat gargle as you normally do. Once you are done gargleing, brush your teeth. When rinsing after brushing, swish some salt water in your mouth. Repeat the throat gargle to complete.
- Take vitamin A. This is good for the mucus membranes. Don't take too much as this vitamin is fat soluble.
- Eat fruit. This gives you vitamin C as well as puts something other than liquid in your belly.
- Take a hot bath. I always say: "Feed a fever and Kill a cold"… so raising your temperature actually helps (me anyway). After your bath, wrap yourself up to stay warm (you don't want a chill).
- Drink Soup. This adds the necessary salt to your system as well as keeps you warm.
- Keep a positive attitude. It is said that if you are not emotionally well, it is harder to get physically well. So, be positive you'll get better soon.
My colds typically last about five days (though this last one lasted twice as long). Day one is when I notice I have a cold. Day two is when I have a stuffy nose. Day three is when I have a cough. Day four is when I am finally clearing my lungs and nose. And day five I am just exhausted from the ordeal. Since I have not really neglected my own home remedies, I never know if what I do makes my colds shorter or longer in length.