Stop drinking tea and take your prescription already!
Last week, I had the worst cold ever. I couldn’t move, not even to reach out for my phone. While trying to find any quick cure, I looked for some medication lying around at home, but there wasn’t any. My brother, being as sweet as he always is, tried to help me with some “homemade” remedies he knew. He told me to drink a glass of natural orange juice and have a big bowl of chicken soup. I was reluctant to do so but also desperate, so I had orange juice and a delicious hot soup. Of course, it didn’t work, so I had search for a way to survive this hideous cold without meds, and let me tell you, it was awful.
You know, it is that time of the year when our nose gets drippy and our throat sores like hell. Catching a cold is probably the biggest proof that the winter season can be anything but magical. Even if we don’t get sick, having people around us coughing and sneezing is not fun either, and when we're the ones who caught a cold, we try almost anything to get rid of it. Why? Well, mostly because colds are frustrating. When we have to deal with headaches, high fever, and shivers, we want to be cured as soon as possible. That’s why most of the time, we end up looking for remedies that actually don’t help us at all. You’ll be surprised, but some of these are:
It's not that vitamin C won't help you, but most people recur to this particular remedy when they're already sick. Vitamins won't cure a cold, but they can prevent it. Since this is an active antioxidant that the body uses to keep you strong and healthy, taking a daily dose of vitamin C can significantly reduce the frequency, duration, or severity of a cold. Unfortunately, it won't cure it. It's more of a preventive option to make the cold a little more bearable.
This one’s not as surprising, but it’s still important to point out why. Menthol ointment is an ideal option to ease particular symptoms, such as heavy cough and irritated nose. The thing is that, a couple of years ago, a viral email suggested that a Canadian research revealed that using the ointment on children’s feet would help them get rid of a cold. Ridiculous as it sounds, it became a popular practice. The National Research Council of Canada stated that this wasn’t true and encouraged people to stop trying this weird remedy.
This particular remedy is probably the most popular, as well as the most nonsensical too. Having huge amounts of soup while being sick will never cure you, not even if your grandma made it with all of her heart (sorry, guys). Although chicken soup can actually be helpful because while being sick we need to eat healthy and have a lot of liquids, it will never cure a cold.
The problem with herbal remedies is that, despite helping us feel a little better for a while, many people think that because they’re natural, they're magical remedies that will cure anything. Well, news flash: they’re not. Nevertheless, extracts of these plant can help minimize the symptoms. This is because extracts of echinacea can increase the number of white blood cells, the ones that actively fight infections. Very much like the chicken soup, echinacea can help you stay as healthy as possible while being sick, but it won’t make the cold disappear.
Steam has been used as a cold remedy for different reasons. Even though steam won't cure a cold, our body is 60% water, so this element can make a lot for our health. It can moisturize a dry nose, dilate blood vessels (which improves circulation), reduce the cough reflex, and liquify nasal secretions. Steam is actually not that bad. It's just that it won't make the cold magically disappear. But you might as well take a shower and prevent the cold from spreading!
I know that it may be a bummer to find out these remedies don’t work as you thought they would. But that’s okay, because now you know when you’re actually taking care of you, and when you’re not. If you want to cure a cold, pay a visit to your doctor and ask them what will work for you.
You might also be interested in reading: