One hundred and sixty kilometres per hour – that’s the shocking speed a sneeze can clock up, spreading germs to people up to two to three metres away (and no, holding your breath doesn’t help!).
It’s no wonder then that in a recent poll, only 9% of us escaped a cold last year.
But don’t panic if you feel a case of the sniffles sneaking up on you – we have created the ultimate bug-busting guide to soothe sore throats, blitz blocked sinuses, and heal a pounding head in a matter of hours.
Follow this step-by-step plan to beat a cold in just 48 hours:
6:30 am – Stock up on Vitamin C
Woken up reaching for the tissues? You need to dose up on Vitamin C to help reduce the severity of your cold.
Read more: Say no to a cold, boost your immune system
Kick off your day with one or two of the below:
- 1 kiwi = 64mg
- 1 cup strawberries = 89mg
- 1 orange = 96mg
- ½ grapefruit = 38mg
- ¼ melon = 72mg
8 am – Keep warm and dry
While it’s a myth that getting cold and wet can cause colds or flu, it doesn’t help your immune system. Researchers at Cardiff University found that volunteers who spent 20 minutes with their feet in cold water were more likely to develop a cold than those who did not.
We can carry viruses without experiencing symptoms, so getting wet may affect our defences, making it easier for the virus to develop. If you’re heading out in cold, rainy weather, layer up and keep your feet dry!
11 am – Soothe that sore throat
Andolex-C Oral Spray numbs a sore throat and fights infection in just a few sprays.
1 pm – Serve up chicken soup
It’s not just an old wives’ tale – research has found that chicken soup contains a substance called carnosine, which works on the immune system to calm inflammation, easing your symptoms.
Read more: Chicken & barley soup recipe
4:30 pm – Make a cup of sage tea
It’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and an expectorant – ideal for coughs.
Place two sage leaves in a cup of boiling water. Infuse for 10 minutes; strain and drink.
7 pm – Think zinc
Rustle up a chicken, mushroom and broccoli stir-fry. Not only delicious, but it’s also packed with zinc, which supports your body’s defence and repair systems, helping it to battle illness.
Or, top up with Bettaway Betta Zinc tablets (check with your GP before supplementing with zinc though)
8:30 pm – Gargle with salt
Rinsing your throat with warm, salty water can help ease an itchy throat and congestion, while also helping to flush out phlegm and bacteria from the area.
10 PM – Hit the hay
Getting enough shut-eye when you’re sniffling is really important. Deep sleep, in particular, is essential for boosting your immune system to help you fight the virus and repair and restore your body.
Can’t sleep? ‘Ease congestion by sleeping with an extra pillow, as this will help drain your nasal passages,’ says pharmacist Janky Raja.
6:30 am – Get up with ginger
Add a few slices of raw ginger root to boiling water to help soothe a sore throat. It also helps flush out toxins, kills bad bacteria with its anti-inflammatory properties, and may help ward off any nausea if you’re really run down.
9:30 am – Clear congestion
Does your head feel like it’s about to explode? Use Linctagon Nasal Spray – it contains xylitol and saline to help with congestion and give your sinuses some support.
11:30 AM – Rehydrate
When you have a cold or the flu, you tend to lose a lot of fluid through your nose and from a fever, so replenish with Rehidrat.
Increasing your water intake is a must as it will keep your throat lubricated and loosen mucus, too.
1 pm – Eat a tuna sandwich
Rich in selenium, tuna may help protect your body’s cells from damage, while maintaining its defence system by stimulating the production of cells in your immune system.
4 pm – Cure that cough
Dry? Chesty? Tickly? It can be confusing choosing the right medicine for your cough. Vicks Acta Plus treats both wet and dry coughs and soothes a sore throat.
6:30 pm – Turn up the heat
If you’re still feeling congested, try a warm compress on your face to make you feel better.
Simply run a facecloth under hot water, wring it out and place it across the bridge of your nose and cheeks for a few minutes. It will help release any built-up pressure.
8:30 pm – Sip on rooibos tea with honey and lemon
A cup of rooibos tea with lemon and honey before bed can help ease symptoms when you’re feeling under the weather.
Rooibos tea has anti-inflammatory properties, honey’s thick consistency can ease a sore throat, and lemon gives you a hit of vitamin C. Hopefully, you will wake up refreshed and (virtually) sniffle-free.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting medication, you should speak to your doctor (or trusted pharmacist). You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.