Cold - the more natural cure
The common cold is a more or less harmless disease, predominantly caused by the rhinovirus but also by the corona virus and RSV. The typical symptoms are a sore throat (often the first symptom), a runny nose, nasal congestion and cough (effective or dry).
After suffering the first symptoms of a cold, it can take up to 4 days till people start feeling better. Usually fever does not occur and is rather a symptom of a flu.
People try to support their healing process by taking a nasal spray for a decongestion of the nasal mucosa and a cough syrup (expectorant) to support coughing up the mucus. Additionally simple analgesics/painkiller take away the limb pain.
Cold patients, who do not have to time to rest, have to work and attend appointments, tend to take so called "medical cocktails" with two or more active ingredients against cold. A typical example would be a combination of a painkiller, an ephedrine analogue (for decongestion + to feel "fitter") and a cough blocker, although the cough blocker is disadvantageous, when having an effective cough.
These options are just some of many options to support the healing process. With more experience people learn how their body works and what is helping most effectively.
Nevertheless, sometimes people still need help and advices.
As a pharmacist I try to listen to the patients complaints and try to find out their current "situation" as well as their preferences in terms of medication. Each patient needs an individual treatment and so do I.
Since I am sick these days, I realized, how differently I treat myself during a cold. Not better, not worse, just different.
As a friend of natural products I fight my sore throat with tea, preferable sage tea. Sage has proven to be an effective herbal drug against sore throat due to its antibacterial property. Thats why sage drops are also high on my list, since sucking drops keep the throat moist.
The last time I used a nasal spray was over 15 years ago. Nasal sprays contain medical compounds like Xylometazoline, which stimulate adrenergic receptors and with that cause a decongestant effect. However, nasal sprays with this or similar ingredients can cause an addiction if used inappropriately (e.g. longer than a week).
A nice alternative represents mint oil. The pure etheric oil of the mint is something like a universal remedy and is an enrichment for every household. Three drops in 300 ml are enough to inhale the etheric oil and free the nasal and bronchial airways. The etheric oil also helps to relieve the mucus in order to be coughed or snorted out more easily.
Further, the oil can also be used internally against gastrointestinal complaints (3 drops in a glass of water) and externally against muscle pain and headache (massage it on the temple).
Against limb pain ibuprofen is my means of choice. It's important to keep in mind, that ibuprofen is an acid and should be taken after a meal. As a expectorant/cough reliever I prefer ivy or thyme syrup, the chemical alternative ambroxole or bromhexin is also effective and a good choice.
Medication can be a valuable support during a cold, but in the end, the immune system is fighting the disease. Therefore, drinking and resting are the most important things to overcome the cold. The more time you give your body to recover, the earlier you are back on your feet.