|Posted on January 12, 2017 at 3:25 PM|
Do you have that horrible, lingering cold that's going around? You know, the one with cough, congestion, runny nose, sinus pressure, ear pressure, and/or fever, that has been lasting for weeks? Here are some tips to help you get over it quicker:
For adults and children who are over the age of 6:
1. Decongestants: I recommend Afrin nose spray and pseudoephedrine (the real Sudafed); I do NOT recommend phenylephrine because it has been shown in recent studies that it doesn’t work! These can only be used for 2-3 days; after that, they will cause rebound congestion.
2. Mucolytics (for thick mucus): guaifenesin (Mucinex) will thin out mucus, so this is great to help you cough out thick mucus that feels like it’s stuck.
3. Cough suppressants: Dextromethorphan is a great cough suppressant and will help you sleep, so if your cough is keeping you up at night, I recommend this one.
Remember: If you take a mucolytic with a cough suppressant, you thin your mucus but then decrease your ability to cough it out, essentially making you drown in your own mucus. (The infection will likely settle into your lungs and could lead to pneumonia, which nobody wants!)
Supportive care (for all ages):
1. Tylenol (for pain and fever) and/or ibuprofen (for pain, fever, and inflammation). Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be taken every 4 hours and ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) every 6; if you find you need something in between, it is ok to alternate as long as you wait at least 4 hours between Tylenol doses and 6 between ibuprofen doses.
2. Saline nose spray, Netti pot / Neil Med sinus rinse - once or twice a day is usually all you need, but you can do it more often
3. Eucalyptus, menthol, and Vicks - great for cough suppression and to help you breathe easier, especially at night. Apply to the chest and/or bottoms of the feet.
4. Tea with honey, lemon, and ginger - the honey is a cough suppressant (the only cough suppressant that actually works in children and is safe), lemon for vitamin C, and ginger is a decongestant. Remember, no honey in babies who are less than a year old because they can get botulism (a deadly disease); after 1 year of age we have enough stomach acid to kill the botulism spores that live in honey so it’s safe.
5. Humidified air / steam - to break up thick mucus
6. Fluids (especially bone broth and herbal tea)
7. As much rest/sleep as possible
8. Wish Garden herbs makes a great herbal tincture called “get over it” and another called “kick-ass immune” - these are great when you are first starting to feel sick
9. Acupuncture +/- Chinese herbs - I recommend Teresa Sullivan or Suzanne Stricker
10. Chiropractic care (especially for sinus and/or ear pressure) - I recommend Hillary Rowenhurst, Birchann Paffenbarger, and/or Amada Reiss
11. Homeopathy - I recommend Dr. Kathi Fry or Margo Gasta
And one last thing - the most common way that colds and other viruses spread through households is through bathroom towels, so if someone is sick, make sure they use their own towel to dry their hands and face in the bathroom!