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Dealing with Common Cold

Updated on October 1, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

Nature Provides---When We Don't
Nature Provides---When We Don't

Immunity and Brain Working Together

Before I get specifically to the common cold and its first aid remedies, let me say a few words about illnesses, conditions, and even those minor health discomforts in general, since the great majority of them have a "common" indirect cause---our poor stress management.

In a single sentence it could be said that, since our immune system works hand in hand with our nervous system, anything can befall us, from a hay fever to a cancer, when we allow a prolonged and intense stress to do a number on our health. How we actually get it depends on many other factors, like on the type of stress and our individual biological predisposition.

Of those minor health issues, some folks get constant stomach problems, others get back pain, or headaches, and yet others are constantly prone to colds and related conditions. And of course, these are merely some of the myriad of other things that can go wrong once that we forget for too long that our bodies are not very forgiving about our bad emotions, attitudes, and beliefs.

Needless to say, sickness is an individual experience, meaning that we all may be diagnosed with the same thing but may go through it in a different way. I may say a couple of more words about it in my closing paragraph, but now let's get to our main topic of the common cold.

Staying Away from Already Sick Ones Sounds Like  Right Idea
Staying Away from Already Sick Ones Sounds Like Right Idea

What Causes Common Cold

When we talk about the cause of it, it's worth repeating that it may follow a period of a pronounced stress, possibly coupled with indulgence in junk foods and drinks, a lack of sleep, or an emotional trauma---which will lower the functioning of our immune system.

However, the direct cause of it is one of the several hundred possible viruses (or "viri" for those of you that may be sensitive to the proper Latin). Their ridiculous number is the reason why the medical science has been unable to come up with a vaccine that would be effective against all of them.

Since the condition is not exactly "life-threatening" or leading to one, there is not even much fuss to find a magic cure, and some simple home remedies and practices assist in getting rid of it in a week time or so.

Common cold may get us in any of the seasons, but is particularly prevalent during winter months when the air is dry, causing dryness in nose and mouth, so that mucous membranes there can't fight off those nasty viruses. For that same reason of dryness, smokers are particularly prone to common colds, beside those multiple toxins that contribute to a less than optimal immune system.

Curiously, unlike the folk reasoning would want us to believe, we don't catch cold by "being cold"; however, that should not encourage any of us to dress up lightly on cold days, because in the absence of viruses, we can get ourselves a bacterial infection like pneumonia, or bronchitis, or any other of those more serious diseases.

It doesn't seem to be completely clear how we get those viruses of common cold. Some say we get it from coming too close to an already infected person. Others think we pick them up when the person sneezes or coughs, or it gets transferred by touch.

While trying to stay at a distance from such infected folks may be a good idea, we may never know who in our immediate space could be only a carrier of the virus without displaying it in any way for their stronger than our immune system. So, let's forget about the preventive measures other than the ones suggested at the beginning and involving a good maintenance of our immunity.

Lots of Rest May Work the Best
Lots of Rest May Work the Best

Some Helpful Practices

I wish I could tell you of a magic pill that could blast your common cold right at the onset of it. Just like the condition itself, getting rid of it is an individual experience, with one thing being more effective than the other for different folks.

Other than a whole list of those popular things that come in bottles, you may try steaming. Just boil some water in a large pot, put it on a chair in front of where you sit, place a couple of drops of eucalyptus or lavender oil in water, and cover your head with a towel. Stay like that for as long as you can take it---O.K., no longer than for some 10-15 minutes.

Since resting is good for just about every health issue, make sure you are getting enough sleep. And if you can, also give yourself a break from all current concerns and worries. Promise yourself to "get back to them" once when you are O.K. again.

Just kidding---that could be a good time to realize what those nagging thoughts have done to your health, and take that little warning from your body seriously.

Like grandma used to say it long before your doctor was making it official---drink plenty of fluids to flush those dead viruses and toxins out of your system. And of course, I mean water, not beer. Although, a glass or two of wine has been showing some good results---beside making you feel better, cold or not.

Unless you develop a fever, or your common cold gets upgraded into a flu with cough, aching body and fever---you may decide not to bother seeing a doctor. Just think of those germ-infested chairs, door knobs, magazines, and coughing people in his waiting room, and that may remind you of a possibility of coming home with more than you had before seeing your doctor.

Anyway, a shot of brandy and a couple of garlic cloves would do more for you than any of his fancy chemicals that he may prescribe.

Whatever Works
Whatever Works

Real Remedies or Placebo---but They May Work for You

The purpose of this article was not to provide you with a dozen of those home remedies, most of which you already know about---but rather to emphasize the enormous importance of keeping your immune system in a good shape. Even that you probably know, and now I am only reminding you of it.

Common cold will subside on its own after running its course, whether you swallow any of those pills or not. In my humble estimate, much of that stuff has more of a placebo effect than providing a boost to your immune system. But of course, I might be wrong, and it wouldn't be my first nor the last time. Be my guest and take again whatever worked for you the last time.

Maybe it was a mega dose of vitamin C, or Echinacea tea, or ginger tea. Gargling with salt water might help. Not to forget our grandma's old and never failing remedy---the warm and tasty chicken soup prepared by your loving spouse who insisted that you just sit and relax.

Being served, cuddled and pampered can do wonders. If I didn't know any better, I would say that we occasionally invite those viruses as temporary guests, just to enjoy that special status at least for an unforgettable while.

A Good and Frequent Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine of All
A Good and Frequent Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine of All

Happier Spells Healthier

As for myself, I don't know what to say, but for some strange reasons no viruses like my company too much, as it's very seldom that I catch one of those "common" colds. Maybe because being an individualist I am not too crazy about anything that's "common", lol.

I like showing my body that I trust it, so I spend my rare bouts with common cold pretending as if nothing is wrong. If I didn't sneeze, with my nose somewhat resembling that of Rudolph's, you might never suspect that I got a cold. I may even step up my joking, laughing, and insisting on doing extra household chores.

A stubborn dude, I am telling you. I almost said "old dude" but then I changed my mind, because some of those ever lurking viruses may be looking for those over 70 who take their age seriously. Not me, you little microbial bastards, so go to my next door neighbor and get high with him smoking pot; make him cough some of that garbage out---he may even look better after sweating it out a little.

So, here I come to the end of my common cold story. I guess it was not a common one, I mean resembling anything else that you could easily find online---with that whole bunch of helping pills, drinks, rubbings, and alike.

All that could be good stuff though, I just don't practice much of it. Apparently coconut oil is also good for viruses and bacteria, beside doing all that goodness for brain---so maybe I am benefitting there as well to stay clear of these little and bigger maladies.

Well, no matter what you do, folks, cheer up, and that will be your best medicine ever.


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    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      20 months ago from Canada

      Linda---Sorry I didn't catch your comment in time, as well as couple of others here. Sometimes HP fails to notify about new comments, I have noticed that on few occasions.

      Being a biology teacher you know so well what emotional homeostasis does to our well being, so I am happy you just added my article to that fund of useful information.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      20 months ago from Canada

      Rachel---No, I am not planning to catch a cold, LOL, and although I don't drink either alcohol or milk to prevent it, I am a happy camper and that helps in my case more than anything. My mind keeps me well.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      20 months ago from Canada

      Theresa---I am happy you liked the article, and yes, in my book health is all about nurturing our immune system mainly by maintaining a sound stress management.

    • Theresa Jonathan profile image

      Theresa Jonathan 

      20 months ago from Maseru, Lesotho

      What a cheerful article! Thanks for emphasizing on prevention.

      Yes, each time a person dwells on the negative thoughts, talks and environment, it is like opening doors to allow invaders to damage your sacred body. The body is a pure energy and such negativism pollutes and makes it vulnerable. I like this.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      I Val, Speaking about common colds, I just got over one. And, of course, they come at the most inconvenient times. Home remedies do work. It reminded me when I read about your. I come from an Italian family and the Italians have a remedy for just about everything. My father swore by boiling red wine with honey and a shot of whiskey and apple peels. It would kill anything that was growing in you, believe me. Another remedy was warm milk with a shot of whiskey and honey. That one was really good. Thanks for the information. I hope you don't get a cold.

      Blessings to you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your advice about keeping the immune system strong is excellent. A healthy lifestyle can help us in so many ways!

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      MsDora---It's so good to see again your friendly, smiling face! To those that you are mentioning---who obviously need an excuse like a common cold to apply my advice---CHEERS!, and forget about that garlic part!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I know several people who will cheer for your suggestion: a shot of brandy and a couple of garlic cloves (because of the brandy). Very good suggestions altogether.


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