The common cold is a viral infection associated with a large number of viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs.
Sore throat and stuffy nose, with a watery nasal discharge at first, then becoming thicker and coloured. A low grade fever and headaches are common. A loose or dry, hacking cough often occurs as the cold “goes into the chest”, and may persist for up to several weeks.
Colds may be complicated by bacterial infections leading to sinusitis and ear infections, and may progress to bronchitis or infrequently pneumonia.
During the first twenty four hours of a cold with a high fever, choose between Aconite, Belladonna, and Ferrum Phosphoricum.
If the symptoms fit Belladonna but it doesn’t help use Ferrum phosphoricum.
Allium cepa is the most common medicine for colds in which the eyes and nose run or drip like a faucet.
Give Kali bichromicum if the main symptom is pressing pain in the sinuses and root of nose. The discharge will usually be thick, greenish-yellow, and stringy.
If the symptoms come on after overwork or anger, and if the person is very impatient and irritable, look at Nux vomica.
Pulsatilla is good for a ripe cold with thick yellow green discharge, changeable moods, and a whiny, clingy disposition.
Give Arsenicum album for a cold with a watery, irritating nasal discharge in a chilly restless person who seems anxious and needy.
People who need Mercurius are sensitive to both heat and cold, with yellow green mucus and bad breath.
Self Care and Home Remedies
1. Drink two to four cups of hot ginger tea. Boil three slices of fresh ginger in two cups of water fifteen minutes.
2. Avoid dairy products, wheat, bananas and oatmeal because they increase mucus production.
3. Vitamin C (500mg every two hours, up to 3000mg per day) in the first stage of the cold.
4. Beta-carotene: 50,000 IU per day.
5. Zinc: 30mg per day.
6. Zinc lozenges if there is a sore throat.
7. Garlic capsules, two every four hours.
8. Nasal wash with one-fourth teaspoon salt to one cup warm water once or twice a day. For the nasal wash, snuff a small amount of salt water from a cupped hand into the nostrils. Tilt your head back closing the throat, let the water drain into your mouth and spit it out.