Good Ideas for Battling the Cold Virus

Updated on October 3, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Fighting the Common Cold

Palliative measures that seem to help in fighting cold viruses the most are some of the following:

  • Rest! Your body needs to recover and getting extra sleep and resting will help this process. Take some days off from work to help yourself and prevent the spread of disease to your co-workers.

Fighting the cold virus
Fighting the cold virus | Source
  • Humidify the air you breathe. Viruses thrive in dry environments.

Inhale some steam by using a bowl of hot water and placing a towel over your head so that you can get the full benefits of that humid air into the mucous membranes of your nose and mouth. Some people add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the bowl of steaming water for added effect.

There are humidifiers that can be purchased for just such a purpose.

Alternately enjoy a steamy shower and stay in the shower stall inhaling that soothing steam for a while. That should alleviate some congestion.

Electric humidifier
Electric humidifier | Source
EasyComforts Room Humidifiers, Set of 2
EasyComforts Room Humidifiers, Set of 2

I have found the use of room humidifiers to be of great value when the air is dry and when fighting off maladies like the cold or flu. It is easier to breathe in the humidified air.

 
  • Gargle often to treat sore throats.

A half teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water is a good natural antiseptic remedy. This can be done often throughout the day.

Drinking fluids like hot tea with honey and lemon in it can also help ease painful throats.

An ill man taking a gargling mixture for a sore throat. Coloured aquatint, 1827.
An ill man taking a gargling mixture for a sore throat. Coloured aquatint, 1827. | Source
  • Enjoy warm and hot liquids throughout the day.

Yes…that old fashioned remedy that you have undoubtedly heard of from many people (perhaps even your mother or grandmother)…chicken soup…is truly good for you.

The extra fluid is important and it as well as other hot liquids will help relieve nasal congestion and loosen phlegm while soothing membranes which are irritated by coughing.

Chicken Soup
Chicken Soup | Source
  • Using hot or cold packs around your sinuses seems to help.

Did you know that you can use a package of frozen veggies wrapped in a towel for an instant cold pack?

After the vegetables are thawed they can always later be made into more warming and healthful soups!

  • Use a Neti Pot for help in clearing out sinuses.

That warmed salt water that helps to irrigate nasal passages really helps!

Neti pot
Neti pot | Source
Simply Saline Neti Pot Nasal Sprays and Strips Kit with Refills, 50 Count
Simply Saline Neti Pot Nasal Sprays and Strips Kit with Refills, 50 Count

I have used a Neti Pot with great success. As a matter of fact in my case it works to clear a sinus infection as fast or even faster than the antibiotics I used to use. I like the idea of using the salt water in place of antibiotics.

 
  • Use extra pillows under your head at night if you are having difficulty sleeping due to congestion.

It will make it a bit easier to breathe.

Pillowcase drawn over an Orthopedic pillow
Pillowcase drawn over an Orthopedic pillow | Source
  • In addition to the measures taken above be sure and wash your hands frequently! This should be a good health habit in any case, but if not...this is the time to start.

  • Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing and if that is unavailable cough into your elbow. Normally you will not be touching other things with the inside of your elbow and infecting others.

Using a tissue or hankerchief to cover ones nose when having to blow it or even sneeze.
Using a tissue or hankerchief to cover ones nose when having to blow it or even sneeze. | Source
  • Try and avoid flying on airplanes when you have a cold virus. That is not only good for the surrounding passengers in that enclosed space who would be exposed to your illness but the altitude changes can cause increased pressure in your eardrums which can result in pain and in worst case scenarios even cause a rupture leading to hearing loss. Be safe rather than sorry!

I hope that if you come down with the dreaded cold virus, these useful tips will be of value to you or in helping others you know.

  • Important! Be sure and read about Reye's Syndrome if your child catches a cold or other malady. Avoid using aspirin to bring down fevers in children.

What do you most often do when fighting off a cold virus?

See results

Here are some videos that you might find of interest.

The first comes from a doctor who calls himself a functional medicine nutritionist. He claims that he can drastically limit the duration of a cold if one follows his advice.

For those who already have symptoms, Dr. Joseph Mercola offers an inexpensive treatment idea. I had never heard of it before, but apparently it really helps according to anecdotal evidence from many people who have tried it. Take a look here:

Using Hydrogen Peroxide to treat a cold..

There are many ideas from different sources as to how best to manage and treat cold symptoms. This last video suggests healthful foods to eat when feeling ill. This makes good sense to me!

In no way is this information intended to take the place of your doctor's advice. This health information offered above is simply a starting point for consideration and discussion with your medical professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Peggy Woods

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      • Peggy W profile image
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        Peggy Woods 4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Dianna,

        Hope your husband feels better soon! An extra pillow or two can be very helpful at times.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 4 weeks ago

        My hubby just caught a cold this weekend so your advice is going to be put into action. Your pillow suggestion is one I find very helpful when coughing and breathing are an issue.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Mary,

        It is so interesting to hear about all the different home remedies to ward off and/or treat colds. I had never heard about the bit of salt on the tongue. Thanks for your comment.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 8 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        We had been taking Vitamin C and I gargle but only in the morning. I should do that more often. My Vietnamese friend told me to put a bit of salt on my tongue and let it melt and you won't have any cold. I am wary of this, though, because of the danger of taking too much salt.

      • profile image

        Peggy Woods 8 weeks ago

        Hi Jackie,

        That is really interesting! Wouldn't it be wonderful if it was that simple to cure a cold or the flu. Certainly worth a retry!

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

        I read at FB that using a drop of peroxide in the ears could prevent onset of colds and flu or wipe them out within 10 to 12 hours after using the drops. I woke last week before daylight with something, sure seemed like flu and I did not remember the peroxide until about noon to put in my ears. Well I had the stomach thing going on and I took three imodiums for that but by bedtime, 11 or 12 o'clock I was well. No sore throat, cough or anything.

        Guess I will have to try it again to know for sure but thought I would share this just in case.

      • profile image

        Peggy Woods 2 months ago

        Thanks for commenting Sp Greaney. Hopefully you stay clear of any cold virus this winter.

      • sangre profile image

        Sp Greaney 2 months ago from Ireland

        Good practical advice. Nice tip about the humidifier too. Good to know for next time.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 2 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi ptosis,

        What a shame! I hope that you can find some zinc lozenges or nasal swabs soon to help you. It works best when just coming down with cold symptoms.

      • ptosis profile image

        ptosis 2 months ago from Arizona

        Wanted to zinc today! But I went to 2 different stores and can't find it!

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 2 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Dolores,

        Another way to use the zinc is via the nasal swabs. Have you ever tried using those? I have used the zinc lozenges in the past but they certainly affect taste buds. Now I prefer using the nasal swabs instead. Hydrogen peroxide can certainly bleach items, so duly noted.

      • Dolores Monet profile image

        Dolores Monet 2 months ago from East Coast, United States

        Hi Peggy - loved all the tips. I am a big believer in the use of zinc lozenges taken at the first sign of a cold, or if someone else in your home has a cold. I just use the store brand. Also, listening to the hydrogen peroxide advise, I suggest that you don't do this while wearing your favorite pjs. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach out color and put permanent spots on garments.

      • profile image

        Peggy Woods 3 months ago

        Merry Christmas to you also Jackie. Stay well and enjoy the new year ahead.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 3 months ago from The Beautiful South

        Merry Christmas, friend, and the best new year ever!

      • profile image

        Peggy Woods 4 months ago

        Hi manatita44,

        Extra Vitamin C is always good as are your other suggestions. Wishing you good health!

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 4 months ago from london

        Well done Peggy. Some of Dr Mercola's and the other naturist ideas I practice: garlic, honey, macro-molicular doses of Vit C; rest; sleep; ginger and so forth. I like the idea of taking the apple cider and echinacea together.

        A very educational piece for those with colds. Great work.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 5 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Patricia,

        The last thing you need right now would be to come down with a cold. Hopefully those nasty viruses will not make a visit to you or any of your family members. Stay well. Battling sinus problems is enough! Hopefully you will find some relief from that. Hugs and prayers to you!

      • profile image

        Peggy Woods 5 months ago

        Hi Roberta,

        Hopefully you will have no need for these remedies in battling a cold this fall and winter season.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 5 months ago from sunny Florida

        Keeping fingers crossed that I do not need to follow any or all of your suggestions. I have not had a cold in many years. But as I have mentioned sinus stuff and allergies have become my daily companion....poohie. But truthfully I would rather put up with those rather than a cold. I usually do not feel bad and with a cold one does.

        Take care of you and yours...Angels are tirelessly headed your way ps

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 5 months ago from the short journey

        Thanks for these good reminders. This time of year I do not want to breathe out in public, but it's a rather difficult thing to keep at on a consistent basis. If the inevitable hits, these tips are helpful ones.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 5 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Jackie,

        You are correct. It pays to do all we can to avoid catching colds in the first place.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 5 months ago from The Beautiful South

        Great time of year to come across this. Got to do all we can to stay away from those awful colds! Gonna go watch your videos now.

        Thanks!

      • profile image

        Peggy Woods 7 months ago

        Hi Dora,

        What you wrote is true but when we are are afflicted with a cold virus we must do everything possible to recover from it as soon as possible. No need in prolonging the misery.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

        Sometimes when the cold hits, we're even too miserable to think. Thank you for sharing these helpful reminders. A good post to keep handy.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 9 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Greetings Nyesha,

        These are all old tried and true methods for battling the dreaded cold when it afflicts us. Thanks for your comment.

      • Journey * profile image

        Nyesha Pagnou MPH 9 months ago from USA

        Here, you share many great ideas for preventing and recovering from colds. Thanks for sharing!

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 9 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Rajan,

        These may be old fashioned simple tips for combating the common cold, but they make sense. Glad you liked them.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 9 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        I like these useful natural tips to combat the common cold. Thanks for sharing.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 12 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Audrey,

        So glad you found this article to be of good use. Thanks for your comment and the share.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 12 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Peggy you've cut right to the chase bringing the best solutions for kicking a cold fast. Loved Dr. Axe;s video and subscribed to his you tube channel and newsletter.

        I'll be ordering the room humidifier. Thanks so much for this great article. Sharing it.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 15 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Patricia,

        I suffer with allergies also. Do try using a neti pot if you are unfamiliar with it. It truly does help! Hope you feel better soon. Sending blessings your way along with virtual hugs.

      • profile image

        Patricia Scott 15 months ago

        Read this before but am back. I have HUGE allergy issues...it seems they just have not gone away this year. So am going to see if I can find some tips here that will help with those too.

        Hoping all is well with you and your family, Peggy. I hope you realize the impact that your concern and kind words bring to each of us.

        Sending many Angels and blessings and hugs your way once again this morning ps

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Susie,

        I had never heard of that hydrogen peroxide tip either. Guess it is worth a try. Nice to hear that you seldom suffer with colds. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope you are enjoying this holiday season of year.

      • profile image

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago

        Hi Susie,

        You are fortunate that you seldom are bothered by colds. Keep doing what you are doing! That Hydrogen Peroxide tip was a new one for me also. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • colorfulone profile image

        Susie Lehto 16 months ago from Minnesota

        Great tips, Peggy. I had not heard of the Hydrogen Peroxide use in the ear for combating colds. I will remember to try that if I get a cold, but that is so rare for me. I guess I live a healthy life-style, and I'm sure it helps that I stay home taking care of my, Mom, and we just aren't out in public.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Robert,

        Hope they recover soon.

        Hi Audrey,

        You are not alone. I think that most people hate getting colds.

      • profile image

        Audrey 16 months ago

        Great advice! I hate colds!

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 16 months ago

        Yes, a couple of people I know are under the weather now.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Robert,

        Good advice for anytime of year but since this is the season when many colds and even flu viruses seem to thrive, I will happily accept your compliment. Thanks!

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Genna,

        Glad you liked this. I also found it interesting to know about the hydrogen peroxide. Thanks for your comment.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi FlourishAnyway,

        That is a shame that anyone would be working over you that close and be sniffling the entire time. If she HAD to go to work she should have at LEAST worn a mask.

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 16 months ago

        Good advice and just in time for the season.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 16 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

        Hi Peg. I wish everyone would read this. I can't tell you how many times I have visited a client's offices where employees have arrived at work with terrible colds. And you are so right about hot chicken soup. Airplanes can serve as Petri dishes for passengers. I never knew about the hydrogen peroxide. Good tips for all.

      • profile image

        FlourishAnyway 16 months ago

        Great suggestions which I hope I do not have to use this year, Peggy! The last few days I've been watching to see if something will develop because when I had my eyebrows waxed recently the technician had a cold and she was leaning over breathing and sniffling on me the whole time. I do swear by that Neti!

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Linda,

        I love being able to use Judi Gullickson's cute Shih Tzu photos to illustrate some of my hubs. She is generous in allowing me to use them. Glad you enjoy them as well.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Bill,

        Sounds like you are a very healthy guy if you are never plagued with getting sick. That is great! Yes...I also liked that photo of the guy gargling. Was happy to find it to illustrate that point.

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Patricia,

        So sorry to hear that you have come down with a cold. Not fun any time of year. Feel better soon. Good luck with that bone marrow drive. Sounds promising!

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I agree - the first photo is so cute! Judy provides some great pictures.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

        It's hard to argue with any of this, Peggy. If I ever do get sick, and odds are against it happening, I'll remember these suggestions. Loved the picture, by the way, of the guy gargling.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 16 months ago from sunny Florida

        O yes.. I needed to see this today. I have the only cold started that I have had in six years!!! Poohie. And I have to go to work today....however I will take your advice and do as many of these things as you suggest...have already begun the gargle.

        Sorry for the delay in getting back to you...we have been getting ready for the Bone Marrow Drive on Saturday, December 10th. Response has been overwhelming....if you get a chance view the new video I posted...it is one my daughter did earlier this week...and other media have contacted and interviewed her as well and are pumping up interest.

        Take care of you and yours and many blessings and good wishes at this special Christmas time. Angels once again are finding their way to you . ps

      • Peggy W profile image
        Author

        Peggy Woods 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Patty,

        It is a cute picture, isn't it! Hope you are enjoying this holiday season of year and are staying healthy.

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

        Patty Inglish 16 months ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        That photo would make me feel better immediately!

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