Get rid of a cold quickly • Treat flu-like infections

Tips and home remedies Written according to the highest scientific standards and checked by experts

Coughs, runny nose, and sore throats can be persistent, but what helps against a cold? The best tips and home remedies to get rid of a flu-like infection quickly and when it makes sense to seek medical advice.

What helps against a cold?

On average, adults get a cold around two to three times a year, and small children twice as often. Most of the time, symptoms such as coughing and runny nose will quickly go away on their own. Nevertheless, it can take up to three weeks for a flu-like infection to completely cure. Colds are, for one, responsible for a large part of the days lost at work. You will get fit again quickly.

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Cold or corona: how do the symptoms differ?

Take action against the common cold at the first symptoms

If you behave correctly as soon as the first cold symptoms appear, there is a good chance that the infection will not break out completely or that it will disappear again after a few days.

Robert Rauch, family doctor from Munich, recommends the following:

  • Drink a lot: That excites them detoxification on, the body can overcome the infection more easily. Warm drinks such as ginger, elderberry or linden blossom tea are ideal.

  • Quiet: If you have a cold, you should take it easy and rest. The immune system is an active, complex service of the body. If it runs at full speed, you feel weak because it takes a lot of energy.

  • Nutrition: If a cold is brewing, plenty of vitamins should be taken in with food. In particular, fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C, such as cabbage, red peppers, oranges, tangerines or grapefruit, should now be on the menu more often. Light dishes should also be consumed, such as soups such as chicken soup with noodles and vegetables.

  • Reduce stress: At the first signs of a cold, it is advisable to avoid physical and emotional stress, that is: stay at home and do not do any sports.

  • Sufficient sleep: Adults should sleep around eight hours a day, especially when the body is weakened. If you feel tired and tired during the day, you should also sleep during the day if possible.

  • Zink: The immune defense can be supported with zinc tablets. After analyzing 16 studies, experts from the renowned Cochrane Collaboration came to the conclusion that taking zinc shortens the duration of illness by at least one day, and taking the trace element as a preventive measure reduces the risk of colds by a third. The scientists found that the effective daily dose is 75 milligrams of zinc. The best effect is achieved if it is taken within the first 24 hours of the appearance of cold symptoms.

  • Alcohol waiver: At the first signs of a flu-like infection, beer, wine and other alcohol should be avoided. The processing puts a strain on the liver and takes additional energy away from the body’s defenses.

  • Fresh air: Warmly dressed or appropriately dressed for the weather, a walk and lots of fresh air helps. The apartment should also always be well ventilated.

Medicines and home remedies: what helps if the cold has already broken out?

Once the cold is in full swing, only symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat or cough can be combated.

  • at sniffles Nasal sprays and drops with decongestant agents have proven themselves: This makes breathing easier and the mucous membranes are better ventilated, which prevents inflammation, e.g. of the sinuses. However, such nasal sprays should not be used for longer than a week, otherwise the positive effect is reversed: the nasal mucous membranes dry out, the nose clogs. Nasal rinsing and inhalations as well as a steam bath relieve colds, clear the sinuses and keep the mucous membranes moist.

  • fever is a sensible defense reaction of the body and should therefore not be suppressed immediately. High fever, however, should be reduced with the help of over-the-counter medication containing the active ingredients paracetamol, ibuprofen or acetylsalicylic acid (do not use these in children). Especially important if you have a fever: drink a lot to compensate for fluid loss. Leg wraps have also proven themselves as home remedies. Adults should seek medical help if the body temperature is above 39.5 degrees Celsius or if the fever lasts longer than two days. It is recommended for children from 38.5 degrees Celsius.

  • Headache and body aches can be alleviated with painkillers (the active ingredients paracetamol, ibuprofen and acetylsalicylic acid are also used here). A cold bath is particularly beneficial when a flu-like infection is beginning. A body that is severely weakened by the disease, on the other hand, is additionally stressed by the heat. In such cases, you should avoid taking a hot bath – not to mention going to the sauna.

  • Lozenges with pain relievers against Sore throat unfold their effect exactly where it is needed. Home remedies such as tea (for example chamomile, thyme or sage), neck wraps and homemade gargle solutions are a good alternative.

  • to cough can also often be contained with home remedies: To relieve the urge to cough, candies, tea, inhalations and a humidifier are recommended (alternatively, simply set up a drying rack with damp laundry). The use of cough suppressants can also be useful, for example, if you are otherwise deprived of important sleep. However, coughing is also an effective self-healing mechanism for the body to secrete mucus, which provides a breeding ground for pathogens.

The best home remedies for a cold

In the pharmacy there are preparations that work against several symptoms of a cold, such as pain, fever and runny nose. In addition, it is important that people with a cold keep themselves warm and drink a lot (preferably herbal tea) and take care of their body. Otherwise, you run the risk of dangerous complications and secondary diseases, such as myocarditis.

When medical clarification is necessary

Most of the time, the body can cope with the rhinoviruses that cause a cold on its own. For some people, however, the common cold is quite difficult. “Sudden high fever, severe cough, severe headache, green or yellow phlegm with a headache, severe exhaustion, severe sore throat – you should definitely see a doctor with this,” advises physician Rauch.

Even people with chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD or asthma, usually react violently and should of course come to the practice if they have flu-like infections. In addition, complaints such as cough, fever and headache are not only typical with a cold, they can also indicate flu or infection with the coronavirus, which can be particularly aggressive. It is advisable to always exclude an infection with SARS-CoV-2 and to do a test if you have cold symptoms. In addition, social contact should be avoided if symptoms occur.

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Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by

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