Common Cold is one of the common upper respiratory tract diseases. Though it affects billions of people on a global scale, it is scarcely life threatening. Cold lasts for a span of 10 to 15 days and recedes on its own. It affects two groups of people the most:
- Young children because their immune system is still in the developmental stage.
- Seniors because their immunity decreases with old age.
An average adult will experience 2-3 episodes of cold annually while children experience up to 5-10 sessions of cold. If cold is left untreated in its early stage, it could lead to some secondary infections like:
- Ear infections and
Surprisingly, there is no cure for cold. It is treated symptomatically. Many people believe that if a patient receives some antibiotics, it will help treat the disease. But, it is not true. Being aware of this misconception, doctors continue to pacify with placebos. Such needless administering and side effects of antibiotics can do more harm than good. However, there are certain home remedies for cold that can help you have instant relief from the discomfort.
Types of Cold Virus
Cold is a composition of more than 200 different types of viruses while each virus projects unique symptoms. However, the commonest types of virus are as follows:
- Rhinovirus, which is the culprit in most cases (30-80% to be precise)
- Human coronavirus (15% approximately)
- Influenza virus
- Human respiratory syncytial virus, and
Causes of Common Cold
- Cold is highly contagious and is brutally viral. It successfully adapts to almost all living conditions. Especially, in the low humidity zones where the virus is in its apex form. It propagates via airborne droplets when the infected person coughs or sneezes.
- It can also spread when a person encounters contaminated objects. However, body contact is the eminent method for a virus to spread easily.
- It affects the children who partake in social activities at school where they mingle with others who are infected. When the host brings these viruses home, they quickly spread to other members of the family.
- The infectious ability of the Rhinovirus is dominant for the initial three days since the acquisition of the virus. After that its potential ebbs away allowing an opportunity for healing. Although it is a popular belief that cold weather is the contributing factor for cold, however, this fact needs a citation, as only certain viruses causing cold is held accountable for cooler air in the respiratory area.
Symptoms Of Cold
Patients experience the following symptoms initially:
One may also experience secondary symptoms like:
- Muscle ache
- Fatigue and
- Loss of appetite
Cold accompanied by fever is not common among adults, but it is prominent among children and infants. The color of your nasal secretion will vary from opaque to dark yellow-green hues.
In the initial stages of cold, you will experience chillness, fatigue supplemented by sneezing and headache. These symptoms will progress within 16 hours of virus attack, and will last up to 3 weeks. In most cases, it is normal for a post-viral cough to persist among patients (especially children).
15 Best Home Remedies For Cold
We are listing the cold remedies in reverse chronological order.
15. Betel Leaves
Only a few people are aware that natural betel leaves can cure cold (or the symptoms and discomfort that comes with cold). According to Ayurveda, this 7-vein leaf has immense medicinal values. The leaves are heart-shaped and are widely grown in Southeast Asia. The active compounds in betel leaves are responsible for its chemopreventive and antioxidant activities. Certain pharmacological effects of chewing betel leaves include a good saliva flow, better muscular stimulation, and improved mental efficiency. To treat your cold using this herb, follow the recipe written below:
- Step 1: Take a fresh betel leaf and tear them into small pieces.
- Step 2: Add these torn leaves into a small pot containing water.
- Step 3: Boil them for a while.
- Step 4: Add a pinch of pepper powder and a few pieces of freshly cut ginger into it.
- Step 5: Strain it. Drink a cup of it every day until your cold heals.
How Does This Work?
When fresh betel leaves are crushed, it releases a natural phenol called chavicol, which is admired for its antibacterial or antiseptic properties. When consumed, it can heal discomfort that comes with cold. To read the complete information, check this research paper.
Betel Leaves Are Not Good, If:
- You have oral cancer.
- You have stomach ulcers and acid reflux.
- You suffer from tuberculosis, migraines, urticaria and epilepsy.
14. Basil Leaves And Pepper
These leaves have immunomodulatory properties. If you are suffering from any infection, you can have basil (or tulsi) leaves. Your garden will come to your rescue. It is the best bacteria-combating herb to heal clogged ears, a discomfort that comes with cold. Follow the steps given below to try a remedy using basil leaves and pepper.
- Step 1: Take two teaspoons of basil leaves and half a teaspoon of pepper.
- Step 2: Join both of them and put them in a blender.
- Step 3: Boil the mixture for ten minutes and steep the mixture.
- Step 4: Let the mixture become warm and drink the mixture for four times a day.
How Does This Work?
Basil leaves contain a rich amount of polyphenolic flavonoids (orientin & vicenin). The main health beneficial oils in this herb are eugenol, linalool, terpineol, limonene and citral (all these compounds are well-known for their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties). Basil leaves reduce the inflammation by killing the bacteria & viruses.
Black pepper, on the other hand, can induce sweating to bring down the temperature. It contains a compound called capsaicin, which can flush out the toxins and other infection-causing agents from the body.
This Remedy Is Not Good, If:
- You are pregnant.
- You are breastfeeding
- You had surgery, or
- You are going to have surgery (stop it two weeks before the schedule).