How do you cure the common cold?
The common cold (or rhinopharyngitis) is caused by viruses, with rhinoviruses and coronaviruses being the most common culprits. Therefore, the cold cannot be treated with antibiotics.
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This very common condition is more common in young children whose immune systems are still developing.
However, it can affect anyone, especially in the winter months.
The most common symptoms are nasal congestion with or without nasal discharge, sore throat, moderate headaches and mild fatigue.
Drug treatments for colds
In case of fever and/or headache, it is recommended to use paracetamol as a first line treatment.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, should not be used without medical advice: they are not recommended for pregnant women and are contraindicated after the sixth month of pregnancy.
Aspirin should not be given to children under 15 years of age in the event of an acute viral episode, as its use may be linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially very serious condition.
Decongestants, whether administered nasally (prescription, such as Rhinofluimucil) or orally (over-the-counter, such as Actifed Rhume, Dolirhume…) with a vasoconstrictive effect (i.e., they help reduce the volume of the nasal passages) should be used with caution, as they can cause serious adverse cardiac or neurological effects.
In particular, they are not recommended for children under 15 years of age and should not be used for more than five consecutive days.
The Drug Administration regularly renews its warning against these types of products.
See the list of vasoconstrictor decongestants in question.
More natural cold remedies: homeo, propolis, essential oils…
The common cold is a benign disease and there are many natural solutions.
Homeopathy can be beneficial, especially in children (Allium strain 9CH, Oscillococcinum etc.).
Inhalation of essential oils (eucalyptus radiata, pine) is effective during an episode of rhinopharyngitis.
However, these essential oils should not be used on pregnant women, children under 6 years of age and in case of asthma.
Decongestant and anti-bastérienne, the radiated eucalyptus essential oil can also be applied to the skin, massaged into the chest, to free the nose and bronchi (2 drops diluted in a tsp of vegetable oil).
The use of depressant (a product of the hive) as a nasal spray appears to be helpful in combating the feeling of nasal congestion.
The use of isotonic saline solution in nasal washing, available in pharmacies, is recommended to fluidize secretions and eliminate viruses.
We should not leave aside the so-called “grandmother’s” remedies that have proven their effectiveness over time. Thus, an infusion based on thyme, lemon and honey is a classic that is always effective. A chicken broth to which onion, garlic and chilli are added is a pleasant and comforting dish.
Rest, good hydration (drinking two liters of water a day) and the use of “natural” remedies are preferable when you have a cold. However, care must be taken because their use is not without risk.
If symptoms persist beyond seven days, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
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