Coughs & Colds

The common cold while still eluding a complete cure can be made less intense by trying the following:

*Your runny nose and sneezing may be more allergy related than bacterial. Many allergies we acquire along the way, we are not necessarily born with them. Spring and Autumn are peak allergy seasons due to pollinating plants, if your sneezing is ongoing an allergy test might be a good idea. If you are diagnosed with hayfever (allergic rhinitis) there are pharmaceutical, herbal and mineral suppliments and medicines that can control the symptoms. Nasal toiletting with saline water can also flush away the irritants in your sinuses. Vacuuming regularly can reduce household dust which many are allergic to. Dehumidifyers can reduce mould and mildew which are also common hayfever triggers.

*Sometimes irritation to the facial nerves are caused by muscular tension in your upper neck, I have been surprised on several occasions how much an osteopathic adjustment, acupuncture or massage has greatly relieved symptoms that felt very flu -like.

* Raw garlic can noticably relieve cold symptoms too, chop finely and sprinkle on your food. Use at least one clove at a time. Garlic can not only dry your sniffles it can give your physical energy a boost too. If you suffer from stomach ulcers or gastric erosion do not use garlic.

* If your cough has advanced to you waking up expectorating thick mucous in the morning, shower with the plug blocked so warm water accumulates in the shower pan. Then add a few drops of eucalyptus, ti tree or wintergreen oil and use your foot to swish around the water. Doing this will turn your bathroom into a big herbal steam inhalant chamber. This is much safer, convenient and more comfortable than filling a bowl with hot water and leaning over it with a towel over your head.

* One of the easiest ways to avoid catching a cold is to keep your fingers out of your nose. Disposable sanitised hand wipes are a useful thing to keep in your bag or pack to wipe your hands with after pushing a shopping trolley, using someone else’s computer and using public escalators or hand holds on buses and trains.

*It is better to use a mucolytic medicine rather than a cough suppressant when going to bed of a night time. Mucolytics make the thick sputum runnier and easier to cough up of a morning. Cough suppressants (mistakingly known as cough medicine) just allow the sputum to collect in your lungs which will make you  cough even more.

* If you keep contracting colds your immunity may be low which can be caused by a disease, lack of rest, poor nutrition, smoking and stress. Inhaling drugs is not helpful either. Carry a small bottle of ti tree or eucalyptus around with you and regularly take a good sniff up each nostril, it has an anti bacterial effect. Do this immediately after you have walked through someone’s sneeze radius. Be nice to yourself.

* In Chinese medicine ongoing respiratory problems can relate to suppressed grief, I have met a number of people who only became asthmatic immediately after the death of a loved one, divorce or losing a much valued career.

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