Cold is a relatively common medical condition and it can be effectively avoided if the human immune system is functioning properly. However, every day stress and unhealthy diet which does not include proper amount of fresh fruit and vegetables can result in lack of defense against infective agents which consequently leads to cold. There are around 200 types of viruses that can cause cold. The symptoms include runny nose, sore throat and sometimes high body temperature. Headache may be present as well. Fortunately, this condition lasts up to 10 days and it does not lead to significant complications.
Prevention from colds is the best cure. Avoiding contact with sick people and boosting of immune system can be effective measures against colds. Even regular physical activity may enhance immune system.
Best Supplements for Colds
Most people are not aware of the fact that antibiotics actually cannot help in colds. The explanation is rather simple since antibiotics cure bacterial infections and are not efficient against viruses. Still in cases of bacterial superinfection they can be helpful.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a probiotic. It is present in certain dairy products and can be helpful in battle against infections. People who have proper amount of these bacteria are well protected against respiratory infections.
Vitamin C is essential immunity booster and even though it cannot cure colds it can help immune system with eradication of viruses. It is best if one takes additional amounts of vitamin C once he/ she has been exposed to a person suffering from cold ailment. This will result in either shorter duration of cold or a person may even avoid the disease.
Zinc is mineral that is also needed for adequate functioning of immune system. Zinc supplements are great as they effectively protect against certain viruses such as rhinoviruses and can even protect from other infective agents which are responsible for the infections of upper respiratory tract. Zinc lozenges may decrease some symptoms of cold. This particularly refers to cough.
During cold one can consume a variety of herbs. Still precaution has to be taken as improper mixing of herbs or inadequate combination of herbs and supplements may result in certain side effects. Astragalus is only one herb that can be effective in colds. Echinacea can reduce the length of cold and be effective in reduction of certain cold symptoms. Echinacea is most effective if one starts to use it at the very beginning of the disease. A combination of Echinacea and goldenseal is a powerful booster of immune system. Eucalyptus may help with cough. Eucalyptus tea and gargles are good for sore throat. Even oil made of eucalyptus can be used as inhaling vapors to soothe cough and eliminate phlegm. Chamomile is another herb that is highly effective in colds caused by rhinoviruses.
Apart from all the previously mentioned while treating common cold, bed rest and plenty intake of water and other fluids is essential.