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How to beat the common cold

Updated on November 21, 2012

Are you fed up with catching colds?

Do you want to hear about a medically proven but little known treatment that has revolutionised my life and the lives of nearly all my friends that I've recommended it to?

Why don't I start by telling you a little bit about myself.

Growing up, I always used to suffer from colds. I'd get a cold at the start of the winter. It would start with a tickling sore throat, then a runny nose, and then a lingering cough. Sometimes, the cough would keep me up for hours at night.

However, when I was studying for my PhD at Cambridge University, a medical doctor recommended me one medicine that has revolutionised my life. I have barely suffered from a cold since.

After Cambridge, I moved to Rome and then London. I would travel on the metro or underground, surrounded by people coughing. But by taking this inexpensive, over-the-counter medicine, I never got a cold!

Surprisingly, very few physicians suggest this treatment, despite the robust medical evidence to support its use. I dearly hope it will have the same positive effect on your life as it has on mine.


To beat the common cold, you need something active against virus particles

There are over 200 viruses that cause the common cold.

Unfortunately, viruses are hard to kill. Unaided, your body typically takes 7 to 10 days to clear the cold virus, by which time you've missed out on life! Antibiotics won't help either - they are useless against viruses and only effective against bacteria.

However, there are medicines that kills viruses. The treatment I'm about to describe is often given to immune compromised patients in hospitals, to prevent them from getting ill.

Never get a cold again
Never get a cold again

Corsodyl (chlorhexidine) is the virus killer

The "virus killer" that nukes the common cold is an antiseptic called Corsodyl (chlorhexidine). If you gargle with it, as soon as that sore throat starts, the virus particles will be blasted into oblivion.

"Chlorhexidine is active against various bacteria, viruses, bacterial spores and fungi. It kills the micro-organisms associated with various mouth and throat infections"

You read right... it is "active against viruses" and those include the viruses that cause colds!

In general, Corsodyl is used for mouth infections and is generally provided in the UK by dentists. However, it is just as useful against those virus particles that are sitting at the back of your throat, giving you those symptoms of a cold. The active ingredient (chlorhexidine) is used in hospitals to protect immune compromised patients.

Gargle with Corsodyl
Gargle with Corsodyl

How to treat the cold

This is the most important part of the article. Please read carefully.

Ok, this is incredibly easy. I do it in the shower. I do it while I'm hanging my laundry.

As soon as you feel a sore throat or cold developing, take the recommended dosage of Corsodyl given on the bottle, and gargle with it in the very back of your throat. Gargle hard for 2-3 minutes.

Personally, I always feel much better immediately after gargling! And friends have said the same thing!

However, I don't want to make this out to be a miracle, as there is only one miracle maker. In truth, you'll need to keep gargling, maybe once or (at most) twice a day, until you are convinced that the risk of the cold has gone.

Note that because Corsodyl is generally used for treating mouth infections, the instructions will say to rinse your mouth with it. Don't do that; you'll want to gargle at the back of your throat. Also, you won't want to use it every day, instead, only use it when you have a cold or feel one developing.

It is important to always have some Corsodyl close on hand, so that as soon as the sore throat or cold symptoms start, you are ready to kill it!

Get the "cold killer" from Amazon

The particular product you are looking for is Corsodyl Mouthwash (not Daily Fresh). It will generally ship from the UK. Buy it... gargle it.

Corsodyl is safe to use

Before starting to gargle with Corsodyl, you'll probably want to read the Netdoctor website below, to convince yourself that it is very safe and very effective.

As long as you only gargle with it once (at most twice) a day, and only when you have a cold, or feel one developing, you are highly unlikely to experience any of the (very mild) side-effects.

Also note that gargling with Corsodyl was recommended to me by my physician.

Extensive scientific review: Don't waste your money on Vitamin C
Extensive scientific review: Don't waste your money on Vitamin C

Side note: Don't waste your money on Vitamin C

Divert you money from something that doesn't work, to something that does work!

I'm a scientist, and I like to base my decisions (as far as possible) on science.

So let's get something very straight: According to the scientific literature, Vitamin C is not a useful treatment for colds!

Here's an extract from a publication that reviewed and synthesised the corpus of scientific literature on Vitamin C:

"Our literature review revealed that vitamin C is not effective at preventing the common cold in the general adult population; however, it is effective at preventing colds when consumed regularly by athletes training in subarctic conditions"

So, the only people for whom Vitamin C makes a difference are Pentathletes in Iceland. That's not me! If it's not you either, you can start investing your money into a treatment that really makes a difference!

You can buy Corsodyl from eBay or Amazon. It will generally ship from the UK. If you aren't in the UK, it really is worth the wait to receive. I always have some on hand, so that as soon as I feel a cold brewing, I can smash it down.

Get the "cold killer" from eBay

The particular product you are looking for is Corsodyl Mouthwash (not Daily Fresh). It will generally ship from the UK. Buy it... gargle it.

A final personal note

Wow, I've talked a lot about Corsodyl!

You'll be relieved to hear, however, that I have no business connection with GSK who manufacture it.

Quite simply, Corsodyl has changed my life. I have gone from always having colds, to nearly never having colds! I hope you can experience the same.

I was inspired to write this Lens earlier today, when I gave a work colleagues a sample of Corsodyl to gargle with. Another colleague, who I had recommended it to last year, overhead me talking about it, and she said "Yes, it does work, my boyfriend always uses it now!"

What do you think?

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      second 20 months ago

      I discovered the effect of the 0.2% chlorhexidrine mouthwash solutions by trial and error. I had read about someone using Methylene blue for fighting tonsillitis, so I tried to clean and wrap my tonsils in boro glycerine, but the positive effect was dissapointing.

      But then, I heard about chlorhexidrine as a powerful mouth disinfectant, so I tried it for gargling. And the effect was amazing! As soon as my throat starts hurting, a few gargles over 2 days or so, especially right before going to sleep, and I'm back on my feet.

      Any 0.2% mouthwash solution works for me, there are more than one out there.

      My only disagreement is related to the mechanism of action. I suspect that what is does is cleaning the surface bacteria from the throat and upper respiratory tract mucosa, allowing the immune system to clean the bacteria it can reach.

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      Usa 2 years ago

      Sadly you need a perscription in the us and it costs about 2.5 more than in the uk...