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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.

© 2016 Peggy Woods


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    • profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 weeks 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 Isaac Weithers 5 weeks 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

      Peggy Woods 3 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 3 months ago from USA

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

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 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 3 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

      Peggy Woods 6 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 6 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      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

      Peggy Woods 9 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 9 months ago

      Read this before but am back. I have HUGE allergy 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

    • profile image

      Peggy Woods 10 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 10 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

      Peggy Woods 10 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 10 months ago

      Great advice! I hate colds!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 10 months ago

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

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 10 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

      Peggy Woods 10 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

      Peggy Woods 10 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 10 months ago

      Good advice and just in time for the season.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 10 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 10 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

      Peggy Woods 10 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

      Peggy Woods 10 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

      Peggy Woods 10 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 10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

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

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 10 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 10 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 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

      Peggy Woods 10 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 10 months ago from North America

      That photo would make me feel better immediately!