The Cure* for the Common Cold

 I have this theory that once you get sick in college, you never fully regain your health. You kind of just fluctuate between very sick, kind of sick and barely sick.

Well, it’s November now! That means midterms, colder weather, and the resurgence of that “very sick” stage. And, of course, your sickness will always come at the least convenient time. So whether you have a friend coming to visit or you just want to be 100% for whatever Halloweekend Part II festivities await you, here are some steps to help you get back to that “barely sick” level that we all lovingly endure.

*Okay, so maybe not the ‘cure’, but a great way to fight it off in a week.

To Fight the Cold in General:

1. Take your medicine regularly Follow the dosage instructions on your preferred medicine and take it promptly and regularly. Also do not stop taking it right when you feel better. Continue to take it a day or two after your symptoms go away to ensure your lasting ‘health’!

2. Do you have spring allergies? If you do, they may be the cause of, or may be increasing, your cold symptoms. Fall allergies are a thing too, so be sure to treat your allergies on top of treating your cold with these tips, regardless of the fact that it’s only November and not April!

3. Vitamin C Whether it be in the form of a vitamin supplement, Emergen-C, or some freshly squeezed OJ, get a healthy dose of Vitamin C a day (see the sore throat section for exceptions).

4. Catch some extra Z’s I know you have a midterm tomorrow, but I guarantee that going to bed at 2AM after cramming in Lau will NOT help. Getting 2-3 more hours of sleep will guarantee you a few more REM cycles, which will make you well rested and healthier so that you can actually focus during the test.

5. Hydrate! Water is your best friend. Try to finish off at least two nalgenes a day, your body will thank you for the extra fluids.

To Fight Congestion:

1. The Neti Pot The Neti Pot kind of freaks some people out, but I personally swear by it and praise its magical powers. The Neti Pot is a type of nasal irrigation where you fill a special container with a saline solution and pour the contents into one nostril, and it pushes through all of your congestion and comes out the other nostril. Okay, it sounds disgusting but you will feel 10 times better when you can actually breathe out of your nose again and not be a weird mouth breather.

2. Getchyoself a large pot Fill it with water, boil the water, get a towel and place it over the back of your head so that none of the steam can escape. Then put your face is about 2 feet from the pot and alternate breathing through your nose and mouth. It feels a little like torture and you will sweat up a storm, but after about 15-20 minutes of this you will be able to breathe like a normal human being. Hey, it’s also great for your pores!

3. Nasal spray A great way to unclog that shnoz. You’ll look like a bona fide dork doing it, but hey, it’s worth it.

To Fight a Sore Throat/Cough

1. Do not use medicated cough drops They just numb your throat and it only helps temporarily. Just don’t use them regularly. Use natural cough drops like Ricola, you can suck on those babies all day for some cough relief.

2. Avoid acidic things Acidic and citrus things can irritate your throat. This applies to using lemon juice in your tea and drinking OJ. To get your vitamin C fix, avoid the OJ or Emergen-C and just go for a supplement!

3. Avoid caffeine The caffeine dries out your throat! Drink decaf tea with lots of honey to lubricate your throat.

4. Avoid dairy! As much as you think some cold ice cream soothes your throat, it just adds a lot of gunk and phlegm and you’ll be coughing up a storm later on.

Lindsay Lee

Lindsay Lee

Lindsay Lee (COL '16) was an economics major with a Spanish minor. She served as the senior editor of 4E for Spring 2013 and Fall 2014 and was also the online editor for The Hoya.
Lindsay Lee

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