Common cold is a viral infection of nose and throat that can be caused by different viruses, mostly rhinoviruses. On an average, adults may get three to four colds a year but young children may have even more.
Homeopathic Help For Common Cold
Once you get a cold, the instant human reaction is to somehow get rid of it as soon as possible. Allopathic medicines over the counter may provide you with some relief from a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, headache and body ache for a short duration, but the viral infection does not leave your body. The cold, or the viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, recurs and that can be even more frustrating. Here is where homeopathic remedies can be of great help. Homeopathic remedies for colds go to the crux of the problem and ensure that the viral infection is rooted out of the body. They can cure it effectively with no side effects as these are made from natural substances and hence, are completely safe. Also, homeopathic remedies to prevent colds can ensure that there is no recurrence.
Top Homeopathic Remedies For Common Cold
The top homeopathic medicines to treat common cold are Arsenic Album, Aconite, Natrum Mur, Hepar Sulph, Belladonna and Pulsatilla.
1. Arsenic Album – For Common Cold With Thin Watery Nasal Discharge
Arsenic Album is beneficial for curing common cold, especially when there is a thin watery discharge from the nose. Nose may feel stuffy inspite of the discharge which causes a burning sensation in the nose. Most of the time, it is accompanied by sneezing. Those needing it feel worse in cold air. Being in a warm room can provide some relief. Weakness can be marked along with the above complaints.
When and How to use Arsenic Album?
It is a recommended medicine for initial stages of common cold when there is thin, watery nasal discharge. Stuffed nose may attend it. Though it can be used in various potencies, the most frequently used potency is 30C twice a day.
2. Aconite – For Cold Due To Exposure To Cold Air
Aconite is a natural medicine sourced from plant ‘monkshood’. It is undoubtedly the best and most effective remedy when someone catches cold after sudden exposure to cold air, like from air conditioner or in cold weather. The symptoms to use Aconite are scanty nasal discharge with a stuffy nose. Sneezing may also be experienced. The other accompanying symptoms are pain at the root of the nose, headache and fever.
When and How to use Aconite?
This medicine should be the first choice of medicine for anyone who catches cold from sudden exposure to cold air. The recommended dose of this medicine is usually Aconite 30C twice or thrice a day as per intensity of symptoms.
3. Natrum Mur – When Common Cold Starts With Sneezing
Common colds that begin with sneezing are apt be treated wonderfully with this medicine. Along with sneezing, there is thin watery nasal discharge. It may be followed by stuffy nose which may also cause loss of smell.
When and How to use Natrum Mur?
It should be used as the first line of treatment when cold starts with sneezing as the first symptom. The most widely used potency of this medicine is 6X which can be taken three to four times a day at a gap of minimum three hours.
4. Hepar Sulph – For Stuffy Nose
This medicine is most effective to help out cases of stuffy nose. In cases where the nose feels stuffy and blocked, this medicine is known to promote secretions and ease the complaint. To be more specific, it is indicated for stuffy nose from exposure to cold air which causes sneezing. A very particular symptom that may attend is inhaled air feels cold.
When and How to use Hepar Sulph?
If you have a stuffy nose due to cold, this medicine is for you. It will kick-start the nasal discharge and bring relief. It is advised to take this medicine in 30C potency once or twice a day to get good results.
5. Belladonna – When Sore Throat Is Marked With Nasal Symptoms
It is the most frequently prescribed medicine when pain in the throat attends nasal symptoms. It is used when there is watery discharge from nostrils especially one-sided, with sneezing and ticking in nose. Along with this sore throat, painful swallowing, marked redness and swelling in the throat is felt. There may also occur bouts of cough and headache.
When and How to use Belladonna?
This medicine is best for cold that presents with nasal symptoms (like nasal secretions, sneezing) and sore throat with marked throat pain. Additionally, it is also a top choice to manage headache in colds. Use this medicine in 30C potency two to three times a day for relief.
6. Pulsatilla – For Thick Yellow Green Nasal Discharge
This natural medicine derived from plant ‘wind flower’ possesses magnificent healing properties in treating common cold. This medicine is best suited if you are in a late stage of common cold when the nasal discharge starts to change color to yellow green and consistency from thin to thick. Along with this, there may occur nasal blockage and loss of smell.
When and How to use Pulsatilla?
Pulsatilla can be used whenever characteristic thick yellow or green nasal discharge is present. Pulsatilla 30C can be taken one or two times a day.
Note One may use this medicine for about a week’s time in the recommended dosage. Do not exceed self-medication for more than one week. In case symptoms do not get under control within a week’s time, consult a homeopathic expert for the next course of action. In case of any complications, like any lungs-related problem (eg. asthma, pneumonia), it is advised to take urgent conventional mode of treatment.
What Is The Cause Behind Common Cold?
Common cold can be caused by approximately 200 different strains of respiratory viruses. Among these viruses, rhinoviruses are the most common, followed by adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, etc. Once the virus enters the nose or throat, it attaches to the mucus lining and starts multiplying. Our body responds to this infection resulting in inflammation in nose or throat and excess mucus production.
Are common cold and flu same?
Though the symptoms of both these conditions are quite similar, these are two different conditions. Both are caused by different viruses (common cold usually arises from rhinovirus infection and flu is caused by influenza virus) and symptoms of flu are more severe than common cold. Fever, chills and headache with nasal symptoms more commonly point towards flu than common cold.
How Does Common Cold Spread?
Common cold is very contagious spreading via direct contact from sick person to others. The common cold virus can enter the body through nose, mouth or eyes.
Firstly, one tends to catch cold by inhaling virus-infected droplets accumulated in the air from coughs or sneezes of a sick person having common cold.
Secondly, it can spread through hand-to-hand contact with person having common cold.
Thirdly, one can get an infection if he/ she touches a surface or shares an object (like utensils, towels) contaminated by viral droplets emanating from a sick person, and then touch the eyes, nose or mouth without properly washing hands.
What Are The Symptoms Of Common Cold?
The symptoms of common cold start to show up within 1-3 days after exposure to virus that causes common cold. The symptoms include stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough. Some general symptoms like headache, low-grade fever, general fatigue, and body aches tend to accompany. Loss of smell or taste, post-nasal drip (PND) can also be there. The nasal discharge is initially thin and clear which turns thick and yellow/green as the condition progresses. The symptoms of common cold can last from one week to 10 days’ time. The signs and symptoms vary from person to person.
Who Is At Risk Of Common Cold?
Though anyone can be affected with common cold, some factors increase the risk.
1. Age: Although cold can affect people of any age group, young children are the most at risk. This is because the immune system of children is gradually building up and is coping to fight infections. The risk of catching infection increases if a child goes to a daycare facility.
2. Time of year: Though common cold can hit a person at any time of a year, the chances are higher in autumn, winter and rainy season.
3. Weak immune system: People having weak immunity due to some long-standing health issues are more prone to catch common cold frequently.
4. Environment: Being in crowded places like schools, shopping centres, malls, tourist places, etc seems to increase the risk of getting exposed to viruses and catch cold.
Are There Any Complications Of Common Cold?
In most cases, recovery from common cold occurs in a weeks’ time to 10 days without any complications. People having weak immunity might face some complications like ear infections or sinus infection. In some cases, the infection travels downwards and can lead to acute bronchitis (also called chest cold which refers to inflamed bronchial tubes that carry air to and from lungs), asthma (inflammatory airway disease that leads to difficult breathing, wheezing, chest tightness and cough) and pneumonia (inflammation of air sacs of lungs) that need to be treated by a doctor and self-medication should be strictly avoided.
1. Wash your hands properly or sanitize them (if washing is not feasible) to prevent the spread of infection. Do not touch nose, eyes, mouth unnecessarily.
2. Regularly disinfect the most commonly touched surfaces like electric switches, door knobs, etc. Be on guard if someone in the family is suffering from common cold.
3. Whenever cough or sneeze occurs, use tissue paper or elbow bend, wash hands immediately . This will prevent spread of virus from you to others.
4. Avoid sharing objects like towels, utensils with others.
5. Maintain distance from anyone having cold. If you are suffering from cold, stay back at home to prevent spread to others.
6. Build up immunity with healthy diet, good sleep and exercise.