The common cold is a mild viral infection that affects the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. The nose is often blocked or running, and there can be sneezing, sore throat, and a cough.
Conventional Medical Treatment for the Common Cold
It is usually stated that there is ‘no cure’ for the common cold. However NHS Choices says that we should be able to treat cold symptoms by ourselves with ‘over-the-counter’ drugs, although these treatments are not suitable for children under 6 years of age, and are only used to ‘relieve symptoms’ rather than treating the cold. They all come with use restrictions which underline that they are not entirely safe to use. Users are warned to read the patient information leaflets before taking them, and not to exceed the dosage instructions.
Painkillers such as ibuprofen, paracetamol and aspirin are said to be “the only type of medication known to be effective in treating colds” by helping to reduce fever, with a warning that children under 16 years old and breastfeeding women should not take aspirin, and there are warnings about ibuprofen and paracetamol too. Owing to the dangers of painkillers users are recommended to follow guidelines about the ‘correct dose’.
These drugs are suppose to reduce nasal congestion but NHS Choices says that they have “limited effectiveness against colds”, and should not be used for more than seven days because overuse can make the symptoms of congestion worse, and that children under six years old should not use decongestants at all, and children under 12 should use them only under the guidance of a doctor. Oral decongestants can also cause sleeping problems, and can react to some other drugs.
Many people will correctly be uncertain about the value of taking drugs that doctor’s admit have limited effectiveness, come with known dangers to our health, in order to treat a condition that is not serious!
The Homeopathic Treatment of the Common Cold
Note. Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats an individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important. Click here to read more about “Illness Diagnosis”.
Homeopathy works by matching the symptoms of illness with the known symptoms of remedies. These short remedy descriptions may guide you to a remedy that can work for you, but consulting with a qualified homeopath will enhance the chances of a good match. When a close match is found the remedy will work successfully, without any side effects, or adverse reactions.
The remedies, taken from ‘Homeopathy and the common cold’ on the Homeopathy Plus website suggests some useful remedies that that quicken recovery, and aid recovery in colds that have proven to be difficult to shake off. It also has other useful self-help strategies.
Sudden onset and early stage of a cold, brought on by exposure or being chilled by a cold wind.
A streaming cold with much sneezing and watery eyes. The eyes may be burning and sensitive to light but the discharge is bland and does not burn the cheeks, whereas the discharge from the nose is burning and can make the upper lip and nose raw. The patient may start sneezing on entering a warm room. All symptoms are much better for fresh air and worse in a warm room, and towards the evening.
A streaming cold with burning discharge from eyes and nose. Patient is restless and anxious and very chilly with apparent difficulty in keeping warm. Eyes and nose have a watery discharge. There is sneezing, without relief, and the nose feels stuffed up. Symptoms are worse for cold, during the night and better for warmth.
Stuffy colds, with offensive smell in the nose and unpleasant smelling yellow mucus. Dry, sore, ulcerated nostrils. Individuals that catch colds easily at every change of weather and babies with snuffles.
The opposite symptoms to Allium cepa. The eyes are constantly streaming with a burning discharge, whereas the nasal discharge is bland and does not cause rawness of the nose or upper lip. The eyelids are swollen, burning and the cheeks are red from the burning tears. Sensitive to light, the patient is better in the open air and worse inside.
Colds come on slowly and may be heading for the ears or chest. Ferrum phos is particularly suited to the sore throat or that chesty stage before the cold develops into bronchitis. The patient may be flushed in the face and complain of feeling weak or lethargic. Eyes red and inflamed with burning sensation. Frequent colds with tendency to nosebleed.
A cold with flu-like symptoms, such as aching, trembling, a heavy, dull head.
The later stage of a cold, with thick offensive nasal discharge. There is extreme sensitivity to cold, in any form – even a cold wind provokes sneexing and streaming. This will thicken up later to yield discharges that smell like old cheese and are yellow to green in colour.
Tough stringy catarrh is the guiding symptom. Violent sneezing with stubborn congestion and a ropy, stringy or sticky discharge. Eyelids swollen and burning. Good for snuffles in children, especially fat, chubby babies. All symptoms are better for heat.
Patient is sensitive to both heat and cold. There is a great deal of sneezing, especially in sunshine and warm conditions, and this will provoke a profuse burning discharge form the eyes. The nostrils are raw from the burning, profuse discharge, which is likely to be blood-streaked. As the cold progresses, the discharge becomes greenish, fould tasting and he breath offensive.
Streaming eyes and nose with much sneezing. Eyes may be burning, but the discharge form eyes and nose is bland. The copious discharge is clear, like egg-white, for the early stage, but after about three days is superseded by congestion. During the cold, the patient typically loses all sense of taste and smell with tiredness and weakness. They may resent being fussed over and be easily irritated by silly little things. Worse in the morning, from exertion, heat and better for fresh air.
These are irritable people, who don’t suffer fools gladly and everything upsets them- light, noise, draughts, etc. They get stuffy colds after exposure to dry cold conditions and are congested with a dry nose. There is a peculiar picture of being stuffed up in fresh air and at night, although they have streaming noses when inside.
These are outgoing, expressive people who require reassurance. The anxiety about their health is easily placated unlike the Arsen alb patient who will worry endlessly, even after much reassurance. The Phosphorus patient is very prone to nosebleeds and symptoms arise through a change in weather or from moving from heat to cold or vice-versa. Colds which result from being run down.
Colds that thicken up leaving one nostril blocked, with a loss of smell and offensive breath. One sided symptoms are common. The eyes may be itching and burning or stuck together, with profuse yellow-green mucus in the morning and the nose congested at night. All symptoms are much worse in a warm room and relieved by fresh air. The patient will either be weepy and clingy or crave sympathy and attention.