Head cold is probably the most common illness in the world. Almost everyone gets these colds and it is estimated that the majority of the world’s population suffers from it, at least once a year, usually in late autumn, winter and early spring.
Head colds are caused by viruses, which means that medications like antibiotics cannot cure it. The best way to treat a head cold is to rest, wait until it passes and try to reduce and alleviate the symptoms using simple and natural home remedies.
Symptoms of a head cold
Head colds mostly affect the upper respiratory tract. This means that their common symptoms are related to the nose and the throat, although sometimes they can spread to the lungs as well. The usual signs and symptoms of a head cold are runny and itchy nose and sneezing, nasal congestion and a feeling of pressure and stuffiness in the nose and in the sinuses.
Head cold can also cause sore and itchy throat and swollen tonsils. Mild fatigue, muscle ache, headache and cough are also often seen in people who have a head cold. In addition, this viral infection can cause a fever, usually around 102 F, which is called low-grade fever.
Home remedies for head cold
The first and the most important thing to do when a head cold occurs is to take plenty of rest and refrain from strenuous physical activity.
Nasal passages should be clear and clean, which an be obtained by regularly blowing the nose, using a fresh tissue each time. In order to clear the passages, it helps to flush them with saline solution, using a syringe. It also helps to inhale steam from a bowl full of hot water, which can be combined with essential oils like rosemary, lavender or eucalyptus.
Hot or cold compresses can help with headache and sinus pain associated with head cold. However, since the pain is caused by the congestion, the best way to relieve it is to clear the passages.
Drinking warm tea or soup is also highly recommended. Peppermint or chamomile tea work great, and so does the homemade chicken soup.
The body needs plenty of vitamin C in order to fight the virus, so it is recommended to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, especially berries, citrus fruits, peppers, cabbage and tomatoes. Dairy products should be avoided because they can increase the amount of mucus. Garlic and onions are also recommended, because they have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
As for the sore throat, it helps to gargle with saline solution or with sage tea, which disinfects the mouth and the throat. It is also recommended to take honey mixed with some lemon juice and to allow it to slowly melt inside the mouth.
Other remedies which are known to help against symptoms of had cold include ginger, cayenne pepper, lemon barley water, calamus root powder, eucalyptus, cinnamon powder, echinacea, and many more.