There’s nothing worse than the tickly nose, the irritating throat and the bunged up head you get when cold season is here. For many people getting over a cold can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and it’s no fun.
We decided to go all in and really find out ways to sort this out.
We reviewed a number of ways to help you get over a cold as fast as humanly possible, as well as looked at ways to prevent them from even beginning. Some or obvious and some may seem a little but unusual.. so let’s take a look.
So what causes them and how can you recover from a cold fast?
In it’s simplest form, colds are caused by viruses getting into your body.
If you want simple honest advice, then the NHS website resource for colds is good place to start.
The advice is sound, but I’m sure that most people will agree that they want a cold gone REALLY fast, and are willing to try out a number of concoctions, as long as they are safe.
So, in at number 1 is Apple Cider vinegar
(read the last part about apple cider vinegar for an incredible story that might just kill your cold in one day!)
This product has been produced for thousands of years. Nobody can really say for sure how long but there are countless anecdotal stores that claim people drank it before the birth of Christ. Even the great Hippocrates was said to have used it 400 years BC for it’s many medicinal properties.
What is it?
In a simple form, it is Apples, fermented by crushing them and adding in good bacteria. This turns it into alcohol and then a seconds fermentation with acetic acid turns it into apple cider vinegar. You can read more if you want at the Wikipedia page for apple cider vinegar.
How to get over a cold fast with apple cider vinegar.
- Take a glass of water.
- Shake your apple cider vinegar bottle
- Add a teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar
- Add sweetener or lemon juice to the drink to help sweeten the taste.
- Drink at the first sign of a cold
- Repeat as many times a day as you wish until you feel better
How does it work?
It is claimed it helps to create an Alkaline state which helps fight diseases and infections.
Benefits of drinking and using apple cider vinegar:
- Rich in enzymes & potassium.
- Support a healthy immune system.
- Helps control weight.
- Promotes digestion & ph Balance.
- Helps soothe dry throats.
- Helps remove body sludge toxins.
- Helps maintain healthy skin.
- Helps promote youthful, healthy bodies.
- Soothes irritated skin.
- Relieves muscle pain from exercise.
So if you go by the claims, you can see it does a lot more than just deal with colds.
(The “thousands” of fantastic reviews on Amazon help back up the real benefits of this product).
*** And now for an INCREDIBLE story. If this is true then it looks like you might just be able to get rid of a cold in one day using apple cider vinegar!
Using Braggs ACV a lady got rid of her cold overnight using Braggs apple cider vinegar.
She simply followed the following method:
- 2 tablespoons of the vinegar taken every 4 to 6 hours.
The next day her cold had gone.. and since sharing it with her friends and family many of them have also said how effective this remedy was.
Mix it in a glass of water and add some Apple juice if you want to help sweeten the taste to mask the vinegar taste.
Just make sure that the one you choose comes “with the mother”, as apparently this is where a lot of the real goodness is, within a small cloudy part. (Shake the bottle before using it).
In at number 2 is “Juicing”.
Imagine if your body was FLOODED with 4 to 10 times as many vitamins and minerals as you could possibly eat each day.
- Your body would be packed solid with many disease fighting ingredients.
- You wouldn’t need to take any vitamin supplements whatsoever.
A juicer is a bit like a blender but without the pulp.. leaving just the juices.
You can get straight juicers that are cheaper, or go for slow masticating juicers like the Aicok one below that presses far more juice out of the pulp, and you get more goodness from it as a result.
While you may not be immediately set up to get going with this, it’s definitely worth considering for future reference.
Is it worth juicing to fight a cold?
My most recent cold was extremely minor compared to many other previous colds, and it barely bothered me for 2 or 3 days then was gone.
I put this down to diet, lifestyle and the juicing I do.
In my opinion, I am firmly of the belief that getting your body jammed full of healthy goodness is the best way to let your body fight colds and diseases itself.
So why juice?
When you use a juicer machine, you are taking away all of the solid material and extracting the pure juice from the food.
In the juice is where all the vitamins and minerals are stored,
All the nutrients go straight into your body and are absorbed almost right away.
In other words, you are getting the benefit of eating maybe 5 times as much fruit and veg as you could physically eat in a day.
For example, our morning juice consists of:
- 5 carrots
- 2 medium oranges
- 2 apples
We don’t get it perfect every day. Sometimes you can taste carrot more, but most of the time it is the oranges you can taste.
We throw in the ingredients which takes under 2 minutes to do, and then pour it into a jar with a lid on, and it lasts for a few days in the fridge.
People claim it is more expensive to juice.
Yes, technically it is, but if you are no longer eating crisps, sweets and chocolates as much the extra cost can go towards more fruits and veggies.
The good news is that it’s not as expensive as you may think. Supermarkets do deals and discounts on larger quantities, and you can often find “wonky veg” in Morrison’s supermarkets at half the price.
So be sure to give juicing a go – you could be feeling much better in the next few days.
Here’s a juicing shopping list to get you started on the road to beating the cold:
- Of course you’ll need a juicer. This Aicok one is great (it’s on Amazon)
- 5 to 10 carrots (is enough for 2 to 4 days for one juice twice a day)
- 4 Oranges will again give you up to 4 days of juice
- 4 medium apples .
- Use half of all the above ingredients, juice it and pop it into a storage jar in the fridge. It’ll do a good 2 to 3 glasses.
For more cold beating juice recipes there are many online, including this one from healthline.
Oh, and remember this. Vitamin C is known to reduce the length of time a cold takes hold of you, so the use of Oranges in your juice is what helps to make the whole more experience far more “pleasant”, if you could ever call a cold pleasant!
In at number 3 is exercise
I’m sure you are probably groaning at the very thought but listen to the reasons why.
Part of your body’s infection beating system is the lymphatic system. It’s a network of nodes and connections that carries white blood cells around the body to help rid it of toxins.
It’s a “proven fact” that exercise helps move the lymphatic system around – the Cancer research Uk website explains this.
Because there are no muscles or beating heart to move the system around, it is helped by exercise.
Your body needs to shift the toxins as fast as possible when it is sick, so help it with exercise.
Walking or any other form of exercise is enough. Be sure to try and keep active as much as possible as soon as you feel the effects of any cold.
One such exercise is called rebounding. It’s essentially a mini trampoline that can be folded away. This one on Amazon is good as it folds when not in use.
Rebounding is actually a great workout. try it you might find it’s something you really enjoy. It’s something you can set up in your house if there is enough head room.
In at number 4 is diet.
Sorry if this makes you sit back in disgust, but the old saying is true:
“You are what you eat”.
- If you eat rubbish foods you feel rubbish.
- If you put rubbish into your body, your body will perform rubbish.
To have a healthy body (one that has a good immune system and is fit and healthy), you must consume healthy foods.
Eating burgers one night, curry another night, oven chips a third night and chinese another night will eventually take it’s toll on your body.
So, at the initial onset of the feeling of a cold be prepared to take the following measures:
- Cut out alcohol completely (at least for a week)
- Cut out the junk food.
- Eat real wholesome foods that are not man made. In other words, foods grown from the earth.
Instead switch to healthy balanced meals such as:
- Pasta salad
- Jacket potatoe with tuna and vegetables
- Nuts, eggs and salad vegetables.
- Meat with 2 portions of vegetables etc.
Just give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised, especially if you combine more than one of these methods together.
In at number 5 is “Echinacea”.
More than just a hope and a prayer, a good few studies have shown that Echinacea does in fact help a little bit towards the issues relating to a cold. However on a side note there have also been a couple of studies showing no gains made from taking it.
What does Echinacea do?
It helps the body create more White blood cells. These are the cells that fight the viruses.
Are there any side effects?
Getting a possible upset stomach might be a result. WebMD explores this product further here.
It’s a best seller in fact and has been used for over 55 years to help stop the misery of colds and flu.
Please be aware though it’s not recommended if pregnant or breastfeeding.
In at number 6 is “Zinc”.
Zinc when studied as an answer to colds and the flu has had mixed results.
Zinc when purchased online has had a number of really positive feedback from verified purchasers.
So when you look at it, Zinc might be useful.
There are some Zinc supplements (that also contain vitamin C) that seem to be very powerful, but it’s whether or not you are willing to try supplements.
According to health.com it will help shorten the time length you have to put up with the cold (not prevent a cold).
If you do take a Zinc product or supplement just take note that a safe daily limit is around 40mg for 3 to 5 days while you have a cold. The best form of getting Zinc is either a capsule or a lozenge.
In at number 7 is “Sleep”.
For a technical understanding, read the US national library of medicine article here.
In short, sleep deprivation suppresses the immune system, and that is the powerhouse that fights any bodily issues from diseases to viruses.
- So the best thing you can do when feeling the onset of any sort of cold is to make sure you are getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep for as long as is necessary.
- Work with your body and help your body to heal itself.
How to get a good night sleep?
- Listen to your body. If you find yourself drifting off asleep on the sofa at 9pm (and you normally go to bed at 12) then go to bed instead of trying to stay up to watch your recordings of Eastenders, rewinding several times.
- Unwind an hour before bed. This means dimming the lights, taking a bath and switching off phones or laptops. Your body needs to get into the rhythm of sleep.
- Melatonin is usually produced as your body’s routine of going to bed starts. If you have bright lights and artifical computer screens this disrupts the production of Melatonin.
Wikihow has a nice illustrated guide showing several methods to unwind before bed.
In at number 8 is “Water”.
Up to 60% of our body is made up from water. So can you imagine what would happen if that number dropped ? Your body would be doing all it could to try and replace that water.
When you have a fever or virus your water levels can drop through sweating. For other illnesses you can lose fluids through vomiting or diaorrhea, but for the common cold, all you need to do is make sure you get what you would normally drink.
There is no reason to drink lots and lots as many people commonly think.
If you drink too much water you are putting yourself at risk of water intoxification, also known as Hyponatremia (which is potentially fatal!). You can read an interesting article about this where a woman was admitted to Kings college hospital in London who almost died from too much water.
So just get your normal intake to keep your electrolyte and blood levels balanced.
The NHS recommends 6 to 8 glasses of fluid each day. This should be the likes of water, tea, coffee, cordial (mixed with water) etc. Avoiding alcohol is helpful, as it can dehydrate you.
Your body needs to be at the best it can to perform the best it can.
In at number 9 is “Bananas & Cinnamon”.
Bananas and cinnamon I hear you say?
The first two main reasons are that they help you drift off to sleep, essential in the fight against a cold.
- Cinammon is packed full of healthy antioxidants and antibacterial properties. This helps you fight the cold virus.
- Bananas are rich in Potassium and help restore lost electrolytes through sweating and or sickness.
Bananas also provide a good fast boost of energy.
Don’t go over board with bananas though as they can lead to more mucus being created if you have too many. 1-2 a day is more than enough.
This Banana and Cinnamon tea recipe will help you enjoy a long all night deep sleep:
In at number 10 is “Garlic”.
A number of clinical studies have shown that eating some garlic can reduce the severity of a cold by over 60% and reduce the length of time that you suffer from it.
That sounds like a good result.
In a nutshell, add Garlic cloves to your food.
- Crush it first and let it stand for 10 minutes before preparing.
- If you can stand more than one clove then this seems to be more beneficial.
If you can’t stand eating raw garlic, choose an Allicin supplement like this one on Amazon (the active ingredient in garlic)
If you want to read more in-depth about the wonder of Allicin, you can read that here.
In at number 11 is “Probiotics”.
Increasingly, the use of Probiotics is being recognised as a way to help fight the common cold.
The friendly good bacteria helps to boost your immune system.
However before you get too excited about this, the results are nothing to get excited about.
However if you’ve exhausted all other avenues it can’t harm to try and increase your good bacteria through some of the Yogurts widely available or simple bio culture probiotic capsules. These ones are highly recommended on the Amazon website.
According to Web MD in this article, taking probiotics is looking more and more likely as a possible way to reduce the issues with colds.
And we all want that don’t we.
Probiotics are typically considered as a way to deal with stomach issues, vomiting, diaorrhea etc., but research shows it may well help out a cold.
A few different trials have led to these findings, however we feel this isn’t perhaps as exciting as most of the others in this list. Including this in your regime won’t do any harm, and I don’t see why you can’t include it and combine it with all of the other cold busting methods for super fast recovery.
In at number 12 is “Over The Counter Medicines”.
A “proper” list of “cold beating methods” just wouldn’t be complete or fair if we didn’t include medicines, tablets and sprays etc. that help people make a difference.
The above methods are not what you would call standard ways to bet a cold. They are quite different. Even though many peoiple say they work, if you just want medicine that works and you want it now, I totally get you.
So, I will outline what are (what I believe) to be some of the main proven products that actually make a difference.
- Sudafed blocked nose spray – does what it says. Un-stuffs a blocked nose really fast
- Sterimar blocked nose spray – 100% natural sea water product, no chemicals whatsoever!
- Sterimar nose and sinus relief – if you are feeling muggy in your head
- Echinaforce – sore throat spray containing Echinacea
- Jakemans throat and chest lozenges -suck and get relief
- Colloidal Silver spray – for a wide range of health benefits (this gets a lot of very high rated reviews)
What are the typical “normal” recommendations for dealing with a cold?
The normal advice given by the likes of your local Doctor, or the NHS are that a cold is going to last a few weeks, and with the right sort of activities by you, you can start to feel better in 1 to 2 weeks.
(I don’t know about you but that is far too long).
The NHS advice is to make sure you:
- Plenty of sleep
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Keep yourself warm
- Gargle with salt water if you have a sore throat
- Take painkillers that contain Paracetamol and Ibuprofen to ease any pains or aches
- Inhale steam or any one of the over the counter nasal sprays to help relieve a stuffy nose.
They also give the following advice for if things haven’t improved:
See your GP if:
- Symptoms haven’t improved after 3 weeks
- You are suffering from any chest pains
- You have a low immune system (due to Chemotherapy for example)
- You have any concerns whatsoever about your child’s condition
- You are suffering from any other issues, or have any other complaints such as chest pains, diabetes etc.
Finally they also add to this with:
- Try to keep fit and healthy to fend off a cold
- Wash your hands regularly with warm water
- Do not share a towel with someone who already has a cold
- Do not touch your eyes or nose, as this can help the virus to spread
- Use tissues whenever you cough or sneeze to trap the virus, and then throw the tissue away quickly, and washing hands.
Closing thoughts on cold prevention
Please note these are my own personal thoughts but there is merit in what you are reading.
A cold is a virus. If your immune system was incredibly strong and fighting fit there’s a good chance it can fight off a cold really fast.
Therefore I personally believe that it is important to:
Be energetic and undertake daily exercise.
- When you move your body you are moving the lymphatic system and helping your body get rid of toxins. PLus not only that, you also feel a hundred times better when you are fit and healthy.
- Start out with small attempts. So park your car further away when you visit the supermarket and power walk from and to your car. Take the stairs instead of the lift in a shop. get the wi-fit out or old weight loss DVD and give them ago.
Eat really well
- I appreciate that cost will always be a factor but things can be purchased fairly cheap these days.
- Get rid of all man made processed foods. microwave meals, pizzas, takeaways, crisps, chocolate etc.
- Try to include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet
- Look into juicing – you can consume a much bigger quantity of fruit and veg and gain the nutrition from that, without physically trying to shove 4 whole cucumbers down your mouth each day plus 10 carrots and so on. You can buy wonky veg from supermarkets that is cheaper (30p a bag in Morrison’s supermarkets)
Deal with any alcohol drinking you may have
- Drastically cut down your alcohol intake. It really isn’t that good for you, and the money you save on not drinking alcohol can be put towards buying more fruity and veg for as juicer. You might be interested to read about a lady who decided to cut alcohol out completely, and her journey on how she felt after 100 days. (hint she slept better, was less stressed, more productive, lost weight, had better clearer skin and so much more!)
- Drinking too much can also cause you to become paranoid, see this scary article from drinkaware.co.uk who explain all about the bad effects alcohol can mess with your brain chemistry , cause anxiety and so much more.
Drink the right things
- Essentially water is all you need to think about. Buy yourself a water filter to filter out much of the stuff that gets added to water. Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day, and this means ideally water-based fluids (so Tea, coffee or cordial squash drinks are fine).
Try using a Neti pot
- If youve never used one before try not to screw up your face at the thought. It’s simply a vessel to carry a saline solution up through one nostril and back out the other, washing the nasal passages and clearing out the Mucus as they go. For many people the effects can be life changing as they can immediately breathe clearly and without a tickly nose! I use this Neilmed neti pot and the Neilmed rinse sachets.
- To use the neti pot you ideally ant some cooled boiled water (but in all honesty I never do this, but know I should do this to avoid any infections from contaminated water. Mix 1 or 2 sackets into some warmish water inside the neti pot. Swirl it round to mix it. Lean your head forward a little bit, over the sink, and tilt your head a bit to one side. Place the neti pot spout to the uppermost nostril and if you get the angle right it will start to drain out of your lower nostril. When empty, blow the nostrils with tissue, and repeat on the other side
Here is an instructional video showing how to use the Neti pot.
Remember this procedure helps clear your nose and helps stop the tickly feeling, and hopefully you can get a good night’s sleep!
Try all of the above and see if you can do it for 100 days. You might just surprise yourself and never look back.
Getting a cold is no fun. Why let it beat you?
If you’ve got any proven ways to clear a cold we would love to hear from you! You can comment below with your cold beating tip and help share the word for others who are suffering from a bad cold.