Most of us get a cold at least once a year. Since flu season is in full bloom, I thought I’d share a special routine I implement whenever I start feeling a cold coming. Usually this kind of an infection starts at the throat and slowly spreads through the nasal passages, and might even get further complications such as a fever and a cough. The first 48 hours (starting from the sore throat/stuffy nose stage) are very important because this is the time to help your immune system as much as you can in its fight against the infection. Below is a detailed description of the above-mentioned routine:
-hot tea with honey and lemon to soothe the throat;
-mustard bath or a salt bath (pour some iodized salt or powdered mustard into a small tub of hot water; soak feet in this water for 30 minutes; and remember: slight prickling sensation=okay, burning sensation=second degree burns);
-eat some raw onion – this should temporarily sterilize the throat and the nasal passages of any bacteria (Note: People with stomach problems can replace the onion by rinsing their throat with warm water with salt);
-crackers and chicken noodle soup;
-drink more hot tea;
-layer up; wrap yourself in blankets and sweat;
-after about 30 minutes of sweating, change into dry clothes, drink more honey tea and sweat some more;
-at night, sleep for at least 10 hours;
-in the morning, take a steaming hot shower (loosens the mucus);
-after the shower, dry up and dress quicker than usual as to not let your body get cold;
-dress comfortably and again, layer up;
-eat a healthy meal (this means it should include protein – low-fat meat such as chicken for example – and vegetables/salad) every 4 hours; snack on fruit in between;
-drink plenty of water;
-always keep your feet dry and warm;
-Optional medicine for a cold without any fever/cough: antibiotics for 5-10 days (will need a prescription);
-Required medicine for complicated cases:
· If you feel a bad cough developing, take antibiotics for the first 5 days and only then start taking the cough-specific over-the-counter syrups, gel capsules, etc. Taking the cough stuff too early would be useless anyway because, well there’s not much phlegm build yet to have to get rid of. Also, take it easy on the cough suppressants – I personally believe those do more harm than good: I’d rather cough more frequently but for fewer days rather than cough rarely and have to cough for a month.
· If you have a fever and/or a headache, immediately take something with paracetamol in it and try to sweat as much as you can by resting under lots of blankets and drinking hot liquids in double your daily intake.
At the end of the initial 48 hours against the flu, when my immune system should be fighting with the aftermath of the infection on its own, I find it helpful to take some time to get life back flowing through my body by doing an intense 1-hr workout plus 30 minutes of stretching/yoga.
P.S. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor but am merely sharing my own experiences and research.