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The Common Cold

11/08/2010

1. Blowing your nose out actually is worse for you than sniffling it. That stuffy, blocked feeling isn’t excess mucus in your nasal passages but actually swelling blood vessels in the turbinates (spongy shelves inside your nasal passages) that help trap particles trying to enter the nose.

2. Once you have a cold, don’t try and boost your immune system as it results in more exaggerated symptoms. Confronted by a virus, your body releases a complex of chemicals called inflammatory mediators and these chemicals inflame cells and tissues from the nose and throat to the brain. Cold symptoms arise from these chemicals warding off the virus attacking your body, not the virus itself.

3. Breathing warm, moist, salty air is the best thing for your nasal frustration, honey is the best thing for your throat misery and sleep and chicken noodle soup (especially if you’ve got someone who can bring you real homemade stock soup) are the best bets for a speedy recovery. Studies actually show that sleep/rest and taking it easy are the quickest route to feeling better. In reverse, the more stress and unrest you have in your daily life leave you more susceptible to a common virus right along with not washing your hands enough.

Fresh garlic, Echinacea, probiotics, and ginger can help with various symptoms. This sounds crazy, but I’ve proven it works with my fever-prone husband: put a cut onion against the sole of the foot and keep in place by wearing a sock.

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