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jabag11's avatar

What can I eat and drink to get rid of this small cold?

Asked by jabag11 (676points) January 29th, 2011

I have a small cold at the moment, it just got born!! barely, so I really believe I can get rid of it before it gets worse! what can I eat and drink to help get rid of it today?

So far I was thinking 2,000mg vitamin c
hot drinks, anything like tea or hot milk right?
elderberry (i have some)
thera flu syrup, not the drink.

and also other than eating, I am going to just rest today, no talking on the phone since I have somewhat a small soar throat, and I will try to let my body rest.

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27 Answers

Shegrin's avatar

If you like garlic, roast a whole head. Cut the top off, drizzle olive oil over it, and put it in the oven for 30 minutes on 450. Then, squeeze the roasted cloves out of the skin and smear them on toast or crackers. It’s powerful and people will keep their distance for a day or two, but the garlic cleans your blood. It’s a fast-acting natural antioxidant. I’ve been using this remedy for years and a cold never lasts more than a week.

jaytkay's avatar

Vitamin C prevents colds, it does not cure them. Actually nothing cures them. But the kinds of remedies you are looking at can certainly alleviate symptoms.

Like @Shegrin I am a garlic fan. I add a lot of garlic to chicken broth or soup and drink it very hot.

And science backs up the old home remedy:
Chicken soup—as made by grandma—contains several ingredients that affect the body’s immune system, a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found.

Specifically, it has anti-inflammatory properties that could explain why it soothes sore throats and eases the misery of colds and flu

gailcalled's avatar

Lots of fluids, both hot and cold.
Sensible eating
Self-indulgence..meaning to take care of yourself and do what feels best.

By next Sunday you’ll feel like your old self (particularly if you are 19 and male. When is your birthday, anyway?)

jazzticity's avatar

Well, I know you said eat or drink, but my reading and experimentation with colds has come up with this: Your cold is your body being stupid. The infection is minor and meaningless (well, I’m assuming it is). You need to squash your body’s primitive immune system (dolor, calor, rubor, tumor = pain, heat, redness, and swelling). I take first-generation anti-histamines (like Chlorpheniramine) and NSAIDS (like aspirin). Need to suppress that inflammation in your sinus cavities. And that extra mucus your body’s producing—all it’s going to do is spread the infection, triggering more negative reaction from your body. Supposedly, many people infected with colds never show any symptoms. Get rid of the symptoms, and you’ve in effect gotten rid of the cold.

Earthgirl's avatar

The absolute best thing I know to nip a cold in the bud or treat a severe sore throat is ginger tea made from fresh ginger root.
You take about a 2” piece of peeled ginger root, smash it a little to get the juices started and put it in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until it starts to turn golden. The longer you simmer the stronger the tea will be. Drink it as strong as you can take it (it can become quite hot spicy like those Jamaican ginger beers) and as hot (temp wise) as you can. Honey is a good sweetener. Trust me, this really works! You can usually reuse the ginger and get another cup or two out of it.
A friend of mine from St Lucia taught me this little piece of folk medicine.

gailcalled's avatar

@jabag11: Forgot to say that I hope you feel better. And if someone really discovers a way to escort a cold off the set, he will be a rich man.

Rarebear's avatar

Nothing you eat or drink will get rid of the cold any faster.

Kardamom's avatar

I’ve been reading a lot about extract of Elderberry. Prevention magazine seems to suggest that it can be helpful with reducing the time that you are sick. I’ve tried it (at the very first sign of a cold) and so far have been able to knock it out. I haven’t been sick in 4 or 5 years (whereas everyone around me gets sick often). You can read about elderberry here

You should also make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly before you touch any food (and afterwards, especially if you have handled any raw meat). And try not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes or ears with your hands. If you have to blow your nose, use disposable tissues, not hankies, and wash your hands (or use hand sanitzer) after every single time you blow your nose or cough. Try not to cough into your hand, cough into your elbow (less likely to rub your elbow on your face). Of course, wash your hands after you use the restroom.

Keep the doorknobs, fridge and microwave handles, toilet handle and all faucets wiped down before and after you touch them (with antibacterial wipes). And wipe down the counter before and after you prepare your food. Throw out your current toothbrush and get yourself a brand new one.

Drink lots of warm liquids, but try to avoid dairy products, which seem to make you produce more mucous. Drink chicken soup (and add onions and garlic), teas of all sorts (decaf so you won’t stay awake), clear mushroom and vegetable and ginger broth and add a tiny bit of black and/or cayenne pepper which will help to open your nasal passges and helps to numb a sore throat. Avoid citrus juices, as they will actually make your throat sting.

If your throat is hurting, extract of echinachea, although the studies have recently indicated that they are not sure if it helps to reduce the time you are sick, will still have a nice numbing effect on the sore throat right after you swallow it. And you can also gargle several times a day with warm salt water.

If you are feeling achy, a nice hot bath can relieve a little of the pain, just make sure you get dried off and into warm dry clothes and dry your hair immediately.

Make sure you launder all of your sheets and blankets and bed covers right after you are feeling better.

gondwanalon's avatar

I. NEVER admit to others or yourself that you have a cold. This only serves to give strength to the cold bugs. Have a strong attitude in which you vision yourself invincible to the cold. (You are far too tough to be slowed down by a cold).

2. Attack the cold as where it is attacking you which is your throat with regular applications of Chloraseptic® – Lozenges, Sprays. This will relieve your sore throat pain as well as kill the cold bugs. Stay well hydrated.

3. Try to be as active as you can. Even do light exercises as this will keep your circulation of interstitial fluids (lymph fluids) moving. This is good to clear out your immune systems by products of its battle with the cold bugs.

Your body is like a Hummer and the cold bugs are like tiny bumps in the road. Hit them hard and move on.

Good health!

tranquilsea's avatar

exactly @Rarebear ! But if people feel better by popping pills and drinking tea….

Plus I don’t think our immune system is stupid. Try being someone with zero immune response and see just how fast the common cold can cause ridiculous problems for you.

Earthgirl's avatar

Rarebear, I think you are a doctor, no?
But I respectfully disagree. I think getting rest, and drinking plenty of fluids, plus using Ginger tea to clear mucous from your throat is just the sane way to approach it versus waiting it out. At the very least helps with the symptoms without having to resort to unnecessary drugs. Anything that strengthens your immune system has got to help, doesn’t it? Just going by personal experience.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Earthgirl I’m no doctor but I believe the only thing that strengthens the immune system is when the immune system gets a workout via bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Well that and making sure you are eating healthy and exercising.

I read recently that getting out there and exercising can actually help minimize the length of a cold. I can’t provide sources.

Earthgirl's avatar

tranquil sea The point is that yes, people DO feel better drinking tea. I am in agreement about not using pills and letting the cold, virus or whatever run its course. I agree that that will strengthen your immune system over time. Hell, you have the bacteria, cold virus or whatever already. So no matter what you do it’s going to strengthen your immune system by making you more resistant. I think taking care of yourself better while you are in a weakened condition helps to shorten the misery, that’s all.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Earthgirl I was responding to your sentence “Anything that strengthens your immune system has got to help, doesn’t it?”

I am in agreement with you that drinking something that soothes your throat can temporarily make you feel better but I don’t think that drink will strengthen your immune system.

Earthgirl's avatar

I think taking care of yourself improves your immunity. I would refer you to this summary if you are interested.

janbb's avatar

I’m with Dr. Rarebear on this.

Earthgirl's avatar

just for the record, I don’t think that drinking ginger tea strengthens your immune system :)
Just recently my husband was sick with a terrible coughing cold. I had the dry cough starting and I didn’t want to come down with what he had. I woke up with a sore throat and right away I made myself some ginger tea. It helped. The sore throat went away. The next morning, again I had a sore throat. Again I had ginger tea and again it went away. Now my husband is on week 2 of his hacking cough and generally feeling miserable. I am fine. Yes, I have good resistence. Who knows why, I have more antibodies against whatever it is that he had. I have no ax to grind here, nor do I need to be the smartest person in the room. I know anecdotal evidence counts for nothing, I would never give any sort of medical advice, even as far as supplements or vitamins to take. feeling a little defensive here

Cruiser's avatar

Gargle 3 x’s every day with 50/50 vinegar and warm water, then heat and eat chicken soup you will be all better in 48 hours

incendiary_dan's avatar

Garlic is most powerful raw. Crush a bit onto some food just before eating, in addition to what others have said about garlic.

jazzticity's avatar

I frankly don’t understand all the talk about infection. This is not influenza we’re talking about. A cold is a very minor infection by the rhinovirus. However, many times, the body will overreact (exactly as it may to pollen) and cause cold symptoms. A physician would be hard pressed to distinguish a cold from allergies. It’s the same thing. The body is overreacting and causing inflammation in the sinuses. That inflammation is not what’s going to eventually eradicate the rhinovirus. Only higher immune functions can do that. So the upshot is, you want to treat the symptoms, since you can’t do anything about the cause anyway. In the case of the cold, the symptoms ARE the problem.

So, sure, tea and whatever home remedies work for you are going to attack the problem directly, since germs have almost nothing to do with this.

boffin's avatar

NyQuil with a Scotch chaser…

The Scotch gets rid of the yucky NyQuil taste….

incendiary_dan's avatar

@jazzticity Yea, that’s why I always recommend garlic, too. In addition to the immune boosting and being a mild antibiotic, it’s also an anti-inflammatory.

YARNLADY's avatar

While nothing can help you get rid of it, many of the suggestions offered can help with the symptoms and discomfort. Drink orange juice, take tea, get plenty of rest, etc.

faye's avatar

Milk can cause more mucous so I wouldn’t drink it. I never suffer from colds because I treat the symptoms immediately and with no mercy. As @jazzticity said. Cold viruses are commonly gone in about a week.

samuelclark74's avatar

You’ll probably won’t be able to cure a cold in a day, but what you can do is let your body rest, drink plenty of fluids and get some vitamin C in your system either by taking vitamin tablets or by eating rich in vitamin C foods like citrus fruits(lemons, oranges etc) and red peppers.

geri73's avatar

tylenol will take the edge off, i know it works for me when i have the flu.

RweenieKW's avatar

to prevent a cold (and slow it down or stop it when you feel it coming on) massage teeth and gums with salt every morning. Get a tongue scraper and do that too. Then find out about a Neti and use that. I have felt a cold coming on several times over the past few months and have really lessoned the symptoms by using these yoga based purification methods. and of course drink plenty of fluids, get rest and all that too!

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