Flu season has started, and for many students that means staying at home battling through the long list of debilitating symptoms.
Carolyn Crampton, a clinical nursing instructor on campus, says that the best remedy for the common cold is to start off the day by drinking a lot of fluids. Eating chicken noodle soup helps as it includes an antiviral component effective in treating viral infections.
Most colds are caused by viruses, the most common being the rotavirus which takes about two days for the symptoms to occur. Many of these viruses are on classroom and bathroom door handles, or buttons in an elevator. “Use your elbows to open doors and your knuckles to push elevator buttons” Crampton said. “Do not [then] touch your eyes or face as it spreads the cold.”
Another way to treat colds, more specifically sinus infections, is to use a Neti Pot to break up the mucus clogged in the nasal passages Crampton said.
According to Web MD, a Neti Pot is a ceramic or plastic pot filled with saline solution to rinse the nasal passages and reduce any irritation to the upper respiratory system.
The Neti Pot works, according to Web MD, because tiny hair-like cells called cilia attached to the lining of the nasal passages push mucus to the back of the throat or out of the nose. The saline solution from the Neti Pot helps improve the performance of the cilia to remove any irritants causing the sinus infection.
Crampton says that any way to get steam up in the nostrils is an effective way to clear nasal passages as moisture is a key element in clearing the sinuses.
Rocky Stevenson, a UCC clinical nursing instructor, says that his best advice would be to take lots of fluids, get plenty of rest, and eat well. The key factor of cold prevention, according to him, is take lots of fluids. When people are severely congested, their airways dry out, and they tend to breathe in the dried up mucus.
That’s why plenty of fluids such as water, juice, or hot tea are important elements in rehydrating body and preventing the respiratory system from infection.
When it comes to home remedies, Kaya Maliglig, a second year UCC student, suggests taking lots of multivitamins for the common cold and drinking apple cider vinegar for strep throat. She says, when she got strep throat, it took her doctor about a week before giving her the proper diagnosis, so in the meantime she was gargling apple cider vinegar.
“Being that I was sick for such a while I thought I would do some home remedies to combat that [strep throat],” Meliglig said. “I gargled apple cider vinegar mixed with a hot cup of water and I gargled that every night and every morning for a week. My throat felt substantially better.”
According to the website Earth Clinic, what makes apple cider vinegar such an effective home remedy are the various acids, mineral salts, and amino acids which work together to combat many types of ailments. Among the powerful active ingredients are various vitamins and minerals which are helpful in uplifting the immune system. It is even effective in detoxing the body, stimulating thinking, regulating blood pressure, and fighting infection.
Meliglig says after gargling apple cider vinegar she felt much better, as she found relief in the soothing nature of the warm water mixed with the acidity of the cider. “I could at least talk or at least eat and drink without having the major pain that I was having before,” Meliglig said.