What Do You Really Need In Your Medicine Cabinet This Winter?

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It is always good to be prepared with a fully stocked medicine cabinet for treating common ailments at home. This is especially so in winter. With over 200 common cold viruses alone, it is more than likely that at least one member of your family will fall ill at some point over the winter period.

Like any illness, we can’t choose when a cold will strike, so being prepared with the right remedies at home is essential for acting fast to relieve symptoms. And, let’s be honest, there really is nothing worse than finding yourself in a chemist or pharmacy partially dressed in your pyjamas asking for help!

Dr Roger Henderson

Dr Roger Henderson Pic: www.stantonphotographic.com

Olbas ambassador and GP Dr Roger Henderson shares his top cold-fighting essentials so you can stock up and be prepared to treat snuffles and sniffs this year.

1 A selection of nasal decongestants

Young woman inhaling chamomile tea steam as an alternative therapy or traditional cure.;

Pic: Shutterstock

Having a selection of nasal decongestants is always a good idea. Nasal congestion can last up to 10 days and, for most, a blocked nose won’t stop us in our day to day lives, so it is important to have suitable products for all the family.

A nasal spray is a great option for when you are on-the-go. It is easy to use and a quick solution to offer nasal relief. When you are in the comfort of your own home, a decongestant oil is great as it can be popped onto a hanky to be inhaled or placed in various out of reach areas, allowing the room to fill with the relieving menthol vapour. Menthol is a popular ingredient because of its antibacterial and relieving effects, an ingredient that can be found in many over the counter nasal decongestant products, such as Olbas Oil. Olbas Oil is a special mixture of pure plant oils, with ingredients including clove oil, eucalyptus, juniper berry and cajuput. It’s the combination of these ingredients which releases those famously soothing and relieving natural vapours. You can even try adding it to a bowl of steaming water to inhale the vapours, another great way to ease any congestion. Make sure to always read the label as some products aren’t suitable for children or infants.

2 Pain relievers 

When suffering with a cold, often your body will ache, never mind the headache associated with congestion. Being prepared with pain killers like paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin, which are highly effective at helping to combat general pain, are definitely worth stocking up on.

3 Thermometer

Closeup shot of a woman looking at thermometer. Female hands holding a digital thermometer. Girl measures the temperature. Shallow depth of field with focus on thermometer.;

Pic: Shutterstock

When faced with an infection or virus, our body temperature will go up to help fight the virus as the warmer we are, the less favourable the environment for the bacteria to flourish. Having a digital thermometer in your first-aid box is helpful in detecting illness, especially with little ones who might not be able to communicate how they are feeling.

4 Natural remedies

Honey in a bowl and coating a stick

Pic: Shutterstock

When a cold strikes, you needn’t always reach for medicine. Simple traditional remedies can be effective in relieving symptoms – honey and lemon and salt water, for example. Although these aren’t cures, they are all effective in easing cold symptoms.

Honey is very soothing when mixed in a hot drink and some even suggest that it acts as a mild cough suppressant. And salt water can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, which in turn makes them hurt less by helping to loosen thick mucus that can gather there.

Olbas Oil Bottle

Olbas Oil Inhalant Decongestant, 12ml,
                                                 £4.49 from Boots.

The Olbas range

The Olbas range includes Olbas Oil, Olbas for Children, Olbas Inhaler Stick, Olbas Nasal Spray, Olbas Menthol Pastilles and Olbas Bath ensuring there is an Olbas product suitable for the needs of all the family.



Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!