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Fighting Common Cold By Resting

µ contribution for a healthier world!

When you realise that you are about to catch cold, consult a doctor. You cannot be sure of type of virus causing symptoms similar to common cold! Common colds are caused by more than hundred different type of viruses. Most common virus causing common cold is rhinovirus. Common cold is less severe than Influenza (flu). Flu is caused by Influenza viruses. Previously doctors, nurses, paramedics used to differentiate the flu from the common cold. In recent history we used to worry about Swine flu, Bird flu etc. Now-a-days the whole world is under siege by COVID-19 caused by a novel (new) corona virus named SARS-CoV-2. Some symptoms of the COVID-19 overlaps with the common cold as well as the flu.

Taking zinc supplements may not reduces the chances of contracting common cold. But if zinc is taken within 24 hrs of the onset of symptoms, it may reduce the duration and severity of symptoms.


  • you may have other related problems (symptoms) like sore throat, fever, sneezing, headache etc.,
  • one of the nostrils is more congested than the other one,
  • sinus (cavities in bones around nose and eyes) may make cold even more problematic in some people.

Paracetamol or some NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like ibuprofen may help with pain.

Please ask a pharmacist or a doctor before taking an NSAID particularly if you are a senior citizen, pregnant or breastfeeding lady, have some other health issue or want medicine for a child.

Antibiotics are ineffective in common cold which is a viral infection and not bacterial infection.

An average adult may contract two to three colds a year. An average child may get more than four. Chances are more during the winter.

You don't have to follow all the following advices as you may not be having all the materials with you.

What TO DO:

  1. REST MORE THAN USUAL, that helps your body utilize conserved energy fighting cold.
  2. GENTLY BLOW YOUR CHOCKED NOSTRIL by blocking the other one. If you are really unable to tolerate blocked nose, ask a doctor for a decongestant nasal drop.
  3. DRINK cup-ful of WARM WATER or fluids many times (total not less than 6-7 glasses or 1.75 liters everyday for adults; which helps mucous/discharge flow).
  4. Wear scarf etc. to cover head and neck.
  5. Drink 1/2 cup light green tea or kāḍā (काड़ा) 4-5 times (Boil water with peaces of garlic, ginger and clove, dip a green tea-bag and keep it in thermos flask).
  6. You can use warm salt water to gargle if you have sore throat. Kids should not be taught to gargle while they are sick.
  7. Rest in a slightly ventilated (but not cold) area/room.
  8. Inhale steam coming from boiling water.
  9. Rub a little balm on forehead, throat, nose, chest etc.
  10. While lying on bed keep the congested nostril up by turning either on left or right.
  11. Little bit of light exercise (yoga), only if you are not tired or warm; just to help proper blood circulation.
  12. Inhale/smell oils like eucalyptus (nīlgirī), or vinegar.
  13. Inhale fumes of turmeric powder (called đhūnī in India).

Discuss which of the above advice you plan to follow with a health care professional and be careful while doing something for the first time. Start with a little. It is better if a healthier and caring person is nearby while you are following any of the above advices.


  1. Blowing nose hard (will cause ear-ache).
  2. Sleeping or lying under direct and cold air stream (from Air-coolers, fans etc.).
  3. Excessive labor/exertion/tension.
  4. Cold shower.
  5. Letting your hair (& body) remain wet after taking showers.
  6. Exposure to excessive heat (dehydration).
  7. Smoking.
  8. Drinking alcohol.


  1. Going to office, school or crowded places,
  2. sharing cups (balm bottles!), utensils.
  3. Eating too much greasy/oily food,

There are some electric steam inhalers available. Choose one which is less powerful as you can face it for longer!

You may like to use (electric) heaters if you feel cold. For lots of people living near equator the room temperature below 23°C is not comfortable! Even if you live away from equator you may like to maintain room temperature more than 18°C while suffering from flu/cold. Do not use heaters (or stoves) that generate CO2.

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