By Giulia Guerrini, lead pharmacist at digital pharmacy www.medino.com
1 Take a steamy shower (or hot bath)
This is an easy, quick way to go about tackling a bad cold and is actually very effective. Taking a steamy shower (or hot bath) will not only help to relax any muscle aches you’re experiencing as a side effect of your cold, but will also help to moisten sinus passages and ease nasal congestion. If you are taking a bath, you could also add some drops of peppermint oil or aromatic bath salts to ease your headache and open your airways.
2 Gargle paracetamol or salt water
Depending on the severity of your cold, you will likely be experiencing a sore throat as a result of coughing, which can be uncomfortable at best and downright painful at worst. Gargling warm, salty water (about half a teaspoonful) a few times a day will help loosen mucus in the throat, while gargling soluble paracetamol can help relieve the pain associated with a sore throat.
3 Consider over-the-counter options
There are many cold and flu medication options out there – both available on shop floors, over the counter, or from digital pharmacies like www.medino.com – but the age-old combination of paracetamol with decongestants and cough suppressants (like Day and Night Nurse, a favourite among many) will work to relieve symptoms and/or discomfort. You might also want to try a nasal spray that will help clear your blocked nose, such as oxymetazoline hydrochloride or similar.
4 Have hot liquids
Chicken soup is the classic remedy for anyone suffering with a cold, but really any hot liquid (including tea, or in particular freshly ground ginger and lemon mixed into a hot drink) is effective at tackling a bad cold; the heat of the liquid helps your body to clear out mucus, which ultimately helps fight against the causes of the virus.
5 Stay hydrated
While hot liquids are effective at lessening the symptoms of a bad cold, you must ensure that you stay hydrated at all times with water, too. It’s important to replace any fluids you may have lost as a result of the cold (from fever, for example), and water is also thought to loosen mucus.
6 Eat well
Eating well is probably more of a preventative action to catching a cold than a treatment, but ensuring that you eat lots of prebiotics – fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds for example – will help strengthen your immune system to fight back against colds. What’s more, taking lots of vitamin C (whether by eating citrus fruits or taking physical tablets) can help to shorten the length of time you have a cold.