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Runny nose, cough, sore throat: better treat cold symptoms individually
Hardly anyone gets away without a cold in the cold season. The associated complaints such as sore throat or cough can usually be alleviated with simple home remedies. But some people also take medication. According to experts, those who do this should better do without combination products and rather tackle the cold symptoms individually.
In the cold season, colds accumulate
In autumn and winter it is not uncommon to catch an infection in wet and cold weather. Because the symptoms are similar, it is not entirely clear to some people whether they suffer from a "simple" cold (flu-like infection) or flu. You can tell which illness is present, among other things, by how quickly the symptoms develop, because a real flu occurs suddenly. If influenza is suspected, patients should definitely go to the doctor. Cold symptoms can usually be alleviated with home remedies. It is important for both infections to always cure them correctly.
Complaints can be treated well with home remedies
A cold usually starts with a sore throat. Then there is a runny nose, cough and sometimes fever, headache and body aches.
The complaints can usually be treated well with home remedies. Various over-the-counter medicines from pharmacies and drug stores are also available.
According to the drug experts of the Stiftung Warentest, those who use such remedies should better not use combination products.
Instead, they recommend tackling cold symptoms individually.
A price comparison is worthwhile for cold preparations
The Stiftung Warentest has put together 50 useful resources in the magazine "test". These can be viewed for a fee on their website.
According to the experts, a price comparison is worthwhile for many cold preparations. For example, for cough medicine with the same active ingredients, the expensive product costs up to three euros more. There is also potential for savings with snuff sprays or pain relievers.
In general, if you tackle the common cold virus with sprays, tablets and juices, you should have no illusions.
The preparations neither make you healthy nor shorten the suffering. In the best case, they alleviate the symptoms.
Combined preparations that fight different symptoms at the same time are assessed by Stiftung Warentest as unsuitable.
"The funds are not put together in a sensible way and can lead to side effects," explains Dr. Gerd Glaeske, pharmaceutical expert at Stiftung Warentest.
Rather fight each symptom individually
The well-sold and intensively advertised combination products such as Grippostad C, Aspirin complex or Wick MediNait promise to alleviate various symptoms at the same time and therefore contain several active ingredients.
However, since symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose and cough often occur in succession and at different intensities, the drug experts at the Stiftung Warentest found combination medicines for the common cold to be unsuitable.
Treating everything on suspicion using the watering can principle is not necessary. In addition, there is the problem that the combination of different active ingredients in the same drug is associated with an increased risk of side effects.
[GList slug = ”10 home remedies for cold”]
Some consumers rely on plant-based cold remedies such as cough reliever with extracts from ivy or thyme, herbal teas, essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint and camphor.
Remedies from the coneflower herb (Echinacea purpurea) have a reputation for strengthening the immune system and protecting it from infections.
Umckaloabo is also popular. The root extract from a South African geranium species is said to protect mucous membranes and kill bacteria.
Umckaloabo is approved for acute bronchitis.
It is important to remember that even the best remedies can only relieve cold symptoms. An infection is almost always caused by viruses. And no herb can grow against the approximately 200 known pathogens.
No medication suddenly removes the symptoms. The body has to do this with its own defenses.
Adults usually need seven to ten days to get fit again. Children whose immune system is still developing are usually ill for longer and more often: up to ten infections per year are normal.
Much can be done to avoid infections as much as possible. The Stiftung Warentest has put together a few tips for this and also explains - if you catch a cold - how the time of suffering can be relieved.
It is particularly important to wash your hands thoroughly: you should wash your hands several times a day for 20 to 30 seconds. Shaking hands should be avoided during the cold period.
With alternating showers, saunas and Kneipp treatments you can harden the body and make it less susceptible to infections. These measures are only recommended for healthy people.
Wet towels on the heating and plants in the room as well as regular ventilation humidify the room air. Heating air dries out the mucous membranes and makes them more susceptible to viruses.
In the event of illness, you should allow yourself rest if possible. Lying on the sofa or in bed helps the immune system to fight off the infection.
It is also very important to drink a lot. Ideally water, unsweetened herbal teas or juice spritzers. This prevents fluid loss in fever and also helps to loosen mucus.
Warm vapors also moisturize the airways and loosen stuck mucus. The classic way is with a kitchen pot and towel. Herbs or some essential oil can be added to the water.
Sucking cough and other (if possible sugar-free) candies stimulate the flow of saliva - and saliva in turn contains various body-specific defenses against the common cold.
Fever can be reduced with calf wraps. In adults and children, this is usually only necessary from a body temperature of 39 degrees.
Soak cotton towels in lukewarm water, wring them out and loosely wrap them around your lower legs. When the towels are warm, they can be removed. You can repeat this up to three times. (ad)