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Common cold

Overview of common cold

The common cold is a viral illness that affects persons of all ages. There are many viruses responsible for the cold.

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There has been a lot of research done for a cure for this condition, but until now, there has been little progress except for some symptomatic relief. The general trend is that it is self-limiting and whether it is treated or not, it stays for a period of a week. On other words, it is commented as, ‘with medication this condition will be cured by 1 week, but without medication, it will be cured by 7 days.’

Common Cold—How, What and Why?

Cold is usually spread by person to person transmission by cough and sneezing in confined spaces. The symptoms of a common cold are comes with a runny nose, tickly throat leading to cough and sneezing, but generally does not affect other parts of the body. There is only involvement of the upper respiratory tract. Usually, there is a headache due to the stuffy feeling and frequent blowing of the nose. Sometimes a cold can progress to involve the sinuses and thus lead to sinusitis. Cold makes one feel very sick and miserable. It causes more discomfort than any serious damage. Many viruses are believed to be responsible for the common cold.

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Treatment Options

Common cold is an illness that prompts frequent use of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications and alternative remedies. A cold can be treated at home with OTC medications.

Treatment of common cold

General Tips to Ease the Suffering in Common Cold

Some of these tips will help in ease the suffering in people with common cold.

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take good rest. The body needs rest to rejuvenate. Get a day off from the school/office/work and relax.
  • Eat fresh vegetables and drink fresh fruit juices.
  • Eat food rich in zinc like pumpkin seeds, oysters and shellfish. Zinc has been found to provide relief in the symptoms.
  • If lots of people in office or school or workplace are suffering from cold take zinc and/or vitamin C lozenges frequently. Vitamin C is believed to boost the body’s defense systems.
  • If you have runny nose, use disposable tissues to remove the secretions. Use of a handkerchief is unhygienic because the secretions are still there.
  • Avoid traveling using public transport during peak hours. This will spread the virus around and the congested air will do no good to you.

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Herbal remedies for common cold



1.Barrett B, Endrizzi S, Andreoli P, Barlow S, Zhang Z. Clinical significance of common cold treatment: Professionals’ opinions. WMJ. 2007; 106(8): 473–480.

2.Simasek M, Blandino DA. Treatment of the common cold. Am Fam Physician. 2007; 75(4): 515–520.

3.Arroll B. Non-antibiotic treatments for upper-respiratory tract infections (common cold). Respir Med. 2005; 99(12): 1477–1484.


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