Cold wisdom on the touchstone

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Which home remedies actually promise relief from colds?

Almost every German suffers from a cold at least once in the course of the year. With the beginning of the colder season, the first cold wave regularly rolls over the country. There are numerous home remedies available for treatment, but not all keep what they promise.

Warm beer, hot milk with honey, hot lemon or as much vitamins as possible. Numerous cold wisdom promise relief from cough, runny nose and hoarseness. While some are helpful, some can even have a negative effect.

Cold cannot be treated with medication Numerous home remedies promise successful treatment of the annual cold. In contrast to bacterial infections, drug therapy with antibiotics is excluded here and the viral infections of the upper respiratory tract only respond to drugs to a limited extent. The need for alternative treatments is correspondingly high. Fortunately, a cold - also known as a flu infection - is usually relatively mild. The disease is usually over after two weeks at the latest. A cold is characterized by symptoms such as sore throat to sore throat, runny nose, headache, body aches, coughing and possibly fever.

Warm beer, vitamin C or hot milk with honey - what actually works? One of the best known home remedies for colds is the increased intake of vitamin C in the form of tablets or fruits. Orange juice and hot lemon are therefore still extremely popular for cold treatment. Contrary to the myth, according to current research, vitamin C has no positive effect on the course of the disease. Hot milk with honey, on the other hand, can significantly alleviate the sore throat and thus has a positive effect. Combating a cold with heat treatments in the sauna is rather counterproductive, since the extreme temperatures put additional strain on the body. Even rather curious cold remedies such as warm beer have no proven effect and alcohol can be a burden for the body. Sport is also counterproductive, as the body needs rest to recover from the viral infection.

Other home remedies for colds In naturopathy, drinking iodine water is known as an old home remedy for starting colds. Drinking water, to which a drop of ten percent iodine tincture has been added, is intended to regulate the fluid balance of the nasal mucous membranes and to counteract the onset of runny nose. Alternatively, the intake of Schüßler salt no. 14, potassium iodatum D6, is also used. Inhalations and steam baths are also considered as home remedies for colds, and the corresponding inhalation devices can also be borrowed from the pharmacy. In a steam bath, the head is held over a bowl of boiling water and covered with a large towel. The rising steam should be inhaled for up to ten minutes. To increase the positive effect of the steam bath, a little table salt or Emser salt and a tablespoon of dried thyme herb or sage leaves can be added to the water.

Cure the cold with rest, sleep and relaxation

Some cold home remedies actually relieve the symptoms, but they can't fix the cause of the cold. This has to be done by the body's own defenses, which require a lot of rest, sleep and relaxation. If you notice signs of a cold in yourself, you should take time out to get back on your feet. Going to work in spite of the cold may not only prolong the illnesses, but also favor infection of others. (fp)

Also read about colds:
Cold wave: Persistent cough is common
Medicine cannot do anything for colds
Full nose even without a cold
Ear candles: a relief for colds and stress
Dangerous pain reliever aspirin & paracetamol
Prevent colds: Vitamin-C offers hardly any help
Zinc as a helper against colds
Self-treatment for colds

Photo credit: Benjamin Thorn /

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