A scratchy throat, watery eyes, nonstop sneezing, mucus in the throat, and a dripping nose –yes, Tis the Season to catch a common cold, and you just caught it! Sadly, from around October, through to March, you, or someone near to you can expect to catch one.
If you’re a parent you may be all too familiar with these symptoms that seem to sweep through every member of the family at the speed of lightning. You hope it passes as quickly as possible with little drama. Oddly, you might also notice that while certain of your family members have gotten sick, you haven’t caught anything?
The Common Cold
There is a common myth that you can catch a cold from getting chilly or wet. “Don’t go outside with wet hair or you’ll catch a cold.” While this could be true to some extent, the common cold is an illness caused by a very tiny thing called a virus.
So, whether you were chilly or wet at the time of getting sick, it had little to do with it, and more to do with the current state of your immune system. This also explains why everyone around you seemed to catch a cold, yet you remained untouched.
The root of the problem here is called the Rhinovirus, and is said to be responsible for about 50% of colds. In fact, there are more than 200 different types of viruses that can lead to your common cold, and it spreads through contaminated surfaces, from direct contact with someone that has it, and even from infected droplets in the air.
How to Feel Better
If you’ve caught the virus you can expect it to last for 7-10 days. There is no magic cure for it, however, there are a few tips and tricks that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Drinking plenty of fluids and warm soups, upping your Vitamin C intake, and going to bed early, won’t make your cold magically disappear, but it will protect you from getting sicker and help you to heal.
Now is the time to eat plenty of those vibrant orange vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, and lots of turmeric powder. Orange foods are packed with antioxidants and vitamin c that boost the immune system.
Garlic is another powerful flu-fighting food that might smell sick to you, but it’s worth your while taking it, as it’s said to be a natural antibiotic.
Basic cold etiquette would teach you to avoid close contact with others if you’ve been infected, and always cough or sneeze into a tissue or your arm.
If you can’t stay home from work, make the effort to disinfect any surface you may touch, and ALWAYS wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.