There is a big difference between chronic colds and the flu. The common cold may be incomparable to the flu or influenza but treatments to reduce symptoms of the cold and the flu seems to be the same. The common cold is a mild infection which is caused by a virus; the flu is a much severe infection which is caused by the influenza virus. The flu is not just a simple infection; it can cause an acute respiratory illness that can spread to the lower portions of the lungs. There is no cure for the common cold while the flu occurs every year staring late fall to the winter months.
Here are some of the most common natural treatments to reduce the symptoms of the chronic cold and flu:
1. Take a rest of work and household chores. Rest is the best way for the body to recuperate especially when you have colds or the flu. Avoid any activity that will require you to exert much effort, forgo any fitness or exercise regimen for now.
2. Reduce fever with OTC medication or use cold compresses. Take a tepid sponge bath to reduce fever and dress lightly to allow moisture to evaporate from the skin.
3. Increase fluid intake. You can actually increase fluids by also eating fruit, taking soups or even eating vegetables. Water is ideally the best fluid to take but it lacks electrolytes that can nourish the body and help revive you when you are sick. Choose commercially available drinks like Gatorade or any sports drink but do not consume energy drinks that contain caffeine or taurine.
4. Children who have the flu may also feel weak after vomiting or decreased appetite. Replenish lost electrolytes and fluid by taking ORS or oral rehydration solutions which are available OTC in most drug stores.
5. A blocked or a clogged nose is one of the most common symptoms of the cold and flu. Reduce this by using steam inhalation instead of taking medication that has untoward side effects. Prepare a pot with boiling water and place water in a basin. Inhale the steam; you can make this more effective by placing a towel over your head to let all the steam in. You can do this as often as you need to reduce blocked airways especially before bedtime. Showering in hot water can also improve your breathing and reduce blocked airways.
6. Take lozenges for sore throat which is a common symptom in chromic colds and flu. You may also take honey tea or chew on ginger to instantly reduce sore throat.
7. Eat well even if you have decreased appetite; try to eat small servings of fruit, cooked vegetables and soup. If you feel nauseated or vomiting, you may snack on crackers or light meals instead.
8. Monitor your fever, any pains or worsening conditions may be an indication of a complication. Consult your doctor for high fever that would not go away or for prescription medication to treat cough and colds.