We all know that colds in the summer suck. On Monday afternoon, I began showing cold symptoms (runny/stuffy nose) by that night I was in full-on sick mode with fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, trouble breathing, you name it. I felt too “sick brained” to drive all the way home (I work about 30 miles from home) and this amazingly sweet guy I’ve been seeing lives smack dab between my house and my work. He offered to take care of me for the night. Worried I’d get him sick, I asked if he was sure, about 30 minutes later I was at his house and he was almost done making me a bowl of soup!
My average cold lasts somewhere between 1 and 3 weeks. My typical ways to treat a cold are as follows:
- Take zinc tablets, usually Zicam (for a speedy cold recovery)
- Drink water until I can’t anymore (to re-hydrate from cold sweats and to help the body fight the sickness)
- Take Tylenol (Acetaminophen) (helps to lower fevers)
- Take the maximum allowed dose of day/night quill (to generally help calm the cold symptoms)
- Mucinex (for that gross cough and sniffles)
- Live off of Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup (as chicken noodle soup in general – not just Progresso brand, has a mild anti-inflammatory effect, soothes the throat when warm, and helps to clear nasal congestion. It’s also very healthy)
- Drink “Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat” herbal tea with about 1.5 tsp honey (helps soothe sore throats and tastes pretty good)
- Go through a box of tissues (getting it out of the system by gently blowing the nose seems to help get better faster – presumably because you are helping get the virus out of your system rather than letting it continue through your body)
This time, I was able to feel better in about a week (I have a very mild cough now after barely being able to breathe the past few days)
- Had about a half a bowl of soup with freshly chopped garlic, chili peppers, and fresh onion. (I’ve never thought of putting garlic, chili, or onion in the soup, and I really didn’t think it would help but I’ll be doing this every time I get a cold.)
- Garlic – Research suggests that garlic is a natural antibiotic and antiviral (among other things). For example, the guy I was with ate a bunch of garlic while taking care of me, and he barely got sick at all after about 48 hours of direct contact with me being sick.
- Onions – As a rich dietary source of quercitin (a powerful antioxidant) onions were once used as a homeopathic remedy – and I can see why.
- Chili Pepper – Although I knew Cayenne pepper is very healthy, I would have never guessed that chili pepper would do anything. Honestly I’m not sure if all it did was help clear my sinuses as hot food often does, it still made me feel a heck of a lot better!
Although I also took Tylenol (Acetaminophen), cough drops, drank herbal tea with honey, and went through a box of tissues, I didn’t have my usual tea, nor did I take any over the counter medications, I still got over my cold faster than I can ever remember.