Stopping a cold before it hits

PHOTO: Stopping a cold before it hits

With the weather Asia has been having, it's no surprise if you feel a cold coming.

Unlike the flu, there are no vaccines against the common cold. And since there are more than 200 viruses responsible for the cold, it is unsurprising that the average adult comes down with it an average of two to four times a year, reports Mayo Clinic.

However, you do not have to succumb to the sniffly noses and the scratchy throats.

Instead consider these tips to help stop a cold before it hits you full on.

Feeling the symptoms?

As soon as you feel the symptoms - a sore throat or a stuffy nose - reach for the water or juice.

Add variation to your liquids by taking clear soups and green tea.

Make it a point to sip them as TCM practitioners believe gulping them down stresses the kidneys.

Home remedies

Home remedies

Gargle warm salt water to help with the sore throat. Just add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. The salt helps reduce inflammation by drawing out excess water.

The salt also helps to clear mucous and irritants from the back of the throat.

Also try honey to ease the cough.

Harley Rotbart, MD, professor and vice chairman of pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine told recommends one to two tablespoons straight from the jar or stirred into tea.

Keep your nose clean

Use nasal washes to cleanse your nose. Saline nasal sprays can also help to relieve congestion or dryness inside the nasal passages.

Another way to keep the nose clean is by taking a hot shower as the warm moisture helps clear the nasal passages.

Within the first two hours

Get the medicines you need. Grab a pain reliever to help with achiness and try Zyrtec and Benadryl to help with the runny nose and watery eyes.


Over the next six hours

Over the next six hours

Rest, rest, rest!

Take the day off from work if possible. Stay at home and sleep. Your body will be able to fight off the virus if you're well-rested.

By stubbornly continuing to work when you are feeling unwell, you hamper your body's ability to repair itself.

But if you have no choice but to go into work that day, make sure you avoid your colleagues as much as possible to avoid passing them your cold.

The first few days are when you are most contagious.

Make it a point to regularly wash your hands or use an alcohol-based disinfectant gel.

Light activity

If you feel up to it try doing light exercises. According to, exercise actually helps boost your immune system but ensure your heart rate is just under 100.

Ending the day right

Ending the day right

Include protein-packed foods like lean meat, fish or beans into your dinner. Pair the protein with whole-grain foods like brown rice.

Do not forget plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables.

The next day

If you feel worse the next day see a doctor.

Fevers, vomiting, bad headaches are signs that you have got more than just the common cold and may need antibiotics or other treatments.

Otherwise, keep up the routine for the next few days, just to be sure you kick that cold for good.