How does a cold occur?
A cold (doctors often call it a flu infection) starts slowly with a burning sensation in the nose, sneezing and a watery runny nose that can later become firm and yellow-green. There is also a sore throat, hoarseness, dry cough, later with sputum. The temperature is below 38°C, after 5-7 days it can develop into bronchitis, sinusitis or inflammation of the middle ear.
Do we catch cold more often in winter?
Yes, but it is also because at this time of year there are more microbes in the air, less light and the body has to work harder due to the temperature difference between inside and outside. Dry air for heating is added to this.
We also often spend time with other people in close proximity in enclosed spaces. Viruses can migrate faster.
Now it is especially important to protect yourself from infection. This also includes frequent hand washing.
How to prevent?
- pay attention to a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, so that the body has all the necessary vitamins and minerals in sufficient quantities
- drink enough: teas such as ginger tea, elderberry or linden flower tea are particularly suitable, as they stimulate the immune system
- alternating hot and cold showers invigorates and activates the immune system – but only if you haven’t caught a cold yet
- wear temperature-appropriate clothing
- exercise a lot in the fresh air
- Sport strengthens the immune system
- get enough sleep
- Avoid stress, dry heating air and drafts and always ventilate well.
What to do if you get caught?
- drink a lot to release mucus, eg use herbal teas with thyme or sage and sweeten with honey
- Inhaling hot steam stimulates blood supply to the mucous membrane, and a hot bath with essential oils helps relaxation and clears the respiratory tract.
- To avoid dry air from heating that dries out the mucous membrane, place a bowl of water and a drop of essential oil on the radiator
- Walks in the fresh air (not if you have a fever)
- warm compresses for the calf help against fever
- Avoid stress so that the body has the strength to fight the virus
- Chest packs, such as those made from hot, mashed potatoes, relieve coughs
- it also helps with cough: cut the onion into cubes, boil it with sugar on low heat, let it stand for a while, strain the drink through a cloth or coffee filter and take a spoonful
- Chicken soup strengthens the body’s defenses
Why is chicken soup so good at fighting colds?
Chicken soup blocks certain white blood cells in the body, so-called neutrophils, which are jointly responsible for inflammatory processes, and are released in large quantities during viral infections, including the common cold. This was discovered by studies at the University of Nebraska.
And this is also proven: chicken soup contains the protein cysteine. And it has an anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect on the mucous membrane. In addition, chicken broth contains significant amounts of the mineral zinc, which is bound to the protein building block histidine. With this combination, zinc, which helps with infections, should be especially easily absorbed.
Recipe for chicken soup with rice for 6 people
- 1 chicken for soup
- 1 onion
- 1 bunch of greens for soup
- 2 tablespoons of parsley
- 2 cups of rice
- 3 teaspoons of instant vegetable soup
- salt and pepper
- 3 liters of water
Place the water in a large soup pot and bring to a boil with a pinch of salt. Place the chicken in the pot without the giblets and add a little pepper. It should be cooked on low heat for about 1 and a half hours. In the meantime, wash the greens for the soup, clean the onion and finely chop everything.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Put chopped vegetables and rice in the pot and season with vegetable stock. After about 20 minutes, the rice and vegetables are ready.
In the meantime, clean the chicken from bones and skin and add bite-sized pieces to the soup. Let them cook for a while. Sprinkle with some parsley before serving.
If you want to increase the anti-inflammatory effect of chicken soup, you can cook a piece of ginger root or some chili, depending on the taste.
Or is it an allergy?
Cold, flu or allergy – how to tell the difference when the symptoms are cough and runny nose?
These questions may help:
- Do you suffer from red, itchy and watery eyes?
- Do you sneeze often?
- Does the pain get worse when you go outside?
- Is your nasal secretions clear and runny?
- Did the parents have allergies?
If most of the answers are “yes”, it is probably an allergy – an allergist or ENT doctor can clarify this.