Cold Comfort – 5 Top Tips To Ease Symptoms


Everyone seems to have a home remedy for treating the symptoms of a cold, from a hot toddy through to drinking pineapple juice or gargling with vinegar.

The main thing to remember is that a common cold usually clears up on its own.

But there are things you can do to minimise the discomfort.

Take a duvet day (if you can)

It is important to rest and give your body the chance to recover.

Opt for a duvet day if you can, and get as much sleep as possible.

Studies show insufficient sleep depletes your immune system, and extra sleep (going to bed early or grabbing a nap or two) provides a great opportunity for your body to rest and repair.

Take plenty of fluids

Keeping well hydrated will help you flush out a cold.

Your body depletes its fluid reserves to make mucus — but if you drink plenty of water you can help thin it out.

It’s also a good idea to cut back on caffeine and alcohol, too, as they can be dehydrating.

Steam clean

Enjoy spending a bit of time soaking in a warm bath or a hot shower, as the warm moist air can loosen mucus.

It can also help relieve your stuffy nose and clear your head.

Take a supplement

Contrary to popular opinion, vitamin C tablets aren’t likely to prevent a cold.

But studies show 1-2g per day could shorten the duration of your cold and reduce its severity.

It’s the same with the mineral zinc: daily lozenges (150mg) could get you through your cold a couple of days sooner.

Your pharmacy can help

If you would like advice on everything from a decongestant spray to cough medicine, your local pharmacy can help.

The NHS does, however, advise you to contact your GP if your symptoms persist for more than three weeks; your symptoms get suddenly worse; or if you have breathing difficulties or other complications, such as chest pain.

For more health advice from the “Friend”, click here.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.