Common Cold

Though not serious, common cold is one of the most miserable and frequently occurring infections that our body is subjected to. Not only does it exhaust the body physically, but takes a toll on every day functioning too.

What is Common Cold?

Common cold is a mild viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, sinus and upper airways). It begins when a cold virus attacks the lining of the nose and throat by attaching itself to it. The body's defense or immune system tries to fight these germ cells by sending WBCs (white blood cells). Unless the body has earlier faced the exact strain of the cold virus, the attack fails. So the body's defense in turns resends another set of WBCs. This causes inflammation and also increases mucus secretions, therefore, the runny nose.

Fight Common Cold Naturally

The Most Common Symptoms Of Common Cold Are:

  • Sore or Scratchy Throat: You feel like scratching the insides of your nose and throat.
  • Nasal Congestion: The 'heavy' or 'full' feeling inside the head and the difficulty in breathing.
  • Fatigue: Common cold often leads to feeling drained out and have no energy to carry out every day activities
  • Watery Eyes: When the eyes are very runny and might burn a little
  • Headache: These are very common when you have a cold as the congestion causes immense pressure on the sinus, making the head hurt
  • Sneezing: During colds, one might witness bouts of sneezing too.
  • Fever: Though common cold rarely causes fever (especially in adults), in case there is fever and that too above 101, your doctor needs to be immediately consulted.

Common Cold In Children And Women:

In adults and older children, the cold may last for about a week but in younger children (six months onwards), the cold could last for as long as two weeks because in children the sinus, ear drainage channel, and bronchial tubes are very small, so they easily get obstructed by the mucus and the swelling, therefore not only making them more likely to catch the cold virus but also reservoirs of it.

Did You Know: Women in their lifetime catch cold more often than men, given that they spend more time with children.

How Does Common Cold Spread?

Getting wet or sitting in a chilled environment is not reason enough for you to get a cold. However, these conditions make you very susceptible to catch a cold virus.

You can catch a cold virus either by touch or air:

  • If you are near a person who has cold and is sneezing, coughing or blowing his nose then you might end up inhaling the droplets of virus that his sneeze or cough releases.
  • You touch your eyes, mouth or nose after you've touched something that is contaminated with the virus like a book, phone, doorknob etc. Once the virus is passed on your skin, it's just a matter for it to be transported to your own mucous membranes inside, through touching your nose, or rubbing your eyes, or eating food with your hands. A virus can normally live for 3 hours on the skin or other objects.

Note: People are most contagious for the first two days of their cold. After the first week the cold is not contagious. Though it may vary from people to people

Fight Common Cold Naturally

Unfortunately, there is no cure for a cold, though there are enough OTC medicines and home remedies to relive you of the discomfort.

  • Drink fluids, Preferably Hot:Drinking a lot of water prevents dehydration and keeps the throat moist. It also breaks up your congestion.
    • Chicken Soup Helps Common Cold: It is believed that chicken soup is one of the most effective fluids that one should consume when they have cold. The fumes from the hot soup, loosens the nasal passage and helps the body fight the cold virus. The soup contains cysteine, which helps in thinning the mucus. The soup provides easily absorbed nutrients.
    • Tea Mix With Honey For Common Cold: Honey with a cup of tea has the same effect as the 'chicken soup'. It loosens the nasal passage and helps you breathe better. Even spices & herbs (have aromatic oils with anti-viral properties) are added to tea. Add tulsi, ginger and pepper while preparing your tea and see it doing wonders.
    • Jaggery Water For Common Cold: Add jaggery, black pepper and cumin to water and allow it to boil. This solution provides immense relief from chest congestions
    • Flaxseed Juice As Common Cold Remedy: Boil the flaxseeds in water until it thickens. Strain it. Add a few drops of lemon juice and honey to the strained water. When consumed, it provides relief.
    • Honey And Lemon Juice Helps Common Cold: If honey is added to lukewarm lemon water, it helps bring cold and cough under control.
    • Turmeric And Milk- Best Home Treatment For Common Cold : This is a popular and effective way to fight a cough and common cold. Add a dash of pepper powder to it to make it more effective.
    • Honey And Brandy For Common Cold: Brandy keeps the chest warm while honey fights the cough. A teaspoon of both together is enough. You can also apply some brandy on the chest before sleeping.
    • Carrot Juice: Carrot Juice is very effect in fighting cold and coughs.
  • Gargling- Very Helpful For Sore Throat From Common Cold: Salt-water gargle is a tried and tested age old therapy especially if you are suffering from throat pain or sore throat which is one of the symptoms of common cold. Adding turmeric works out better as salt and turmeric fight cough and cold. You need to gargle as frequently as possible daily to get quick relief. Salt water gargle can prevent the symptoms of common cold from worsening if it is started immediately after the onset of common cold.
  • Lemon, Cinnamon and Honey Syrup: Take some honey in a pan, fill it to half and put it on a double boiler till it thins. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a few drops of lemon. This syrup helps fight cold.
  • Ginger and Salt To Fight Cold: Add salt to ginger pieces and chew on these. They help fight a sore throat, cold and cough.
  • Saute Garlic: Saute a few garlic cloves in oil and consume it when warm. It helps fight cold and cough.
  • Ginger Tulsi Mixture: Take the juice of ginger, add crushed tulsi to it and some honey. It gives instant relief from cough.
  • Steam Inhalation-Best Remedy For Blocked Nose From Common Cold : Nothing works more quickly than a nasal steam or a steamy shower. It loosens the nasal passage and makes you feel better instantly. A steamy shower relaxes the body and moisturizes your nasal passages.
  • Hot Packs: Apply hot packs around the sinuses. In case you don't have a hot-pack; you can take a wet towel and microwave it for thirty seconds.
  • Blow Your Nose Often: It is important to blow your nose regularly than sniffling mucus back into the head. But blow gently. Blowing hard can cause ear-aches.
  • Using Saline Nasal Sprays: It helps clear congestion due to cold.
  • Rest: Most importantly take enough rest. Staying warm and rested gives your body enough energy; at the same time channelize it to fight the invaders. The fight in itself taxes the body so it is important that you give your body some rest.

Though for a common cold, you might not run to your doctor, yet occasionally it stays for longer than it should and that is the first sign that you should consult your General Physician.

Simple Home Remedies for Common Cold to Treat Naturally 3D Video

How To Prevent Common Cold From Spreading?

There are some things that could be done to prevent the cold from spreading further. Like coughing or sneezing into tissues, washing your hands regularly, keeping the house, office, surrounding or surfaces clean, using disposable towels and using our own set of cutlery and utensils.

Common Cold Prevention:

There must be some truth in the saying "Prevention is better than cure" and who really wants to catch a cold?

  • Consuming Indian Gooseberry or Amla builds your immunity and helps the onset of many disease and infections.
  • Build Immunity: Include healthy diet, avoid eating outside as much as possible. Workout or exercise regularly. Regular practice of Pranayam or breathing exercise can help you prevent catching common cold frequently.

With that: Stay Healthy. Stay Safe!

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: June 27, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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