Tips to minimise the duration of a cold

Tips to Minimise the Duration of a Cold

Published May 26, 2014

The common cold is certainly common. In fact, it’s the most common cause of illness in children and adults.1


Colds are a type of upper respiratory tract infection usually caused by a virus. They can occur at any time of the year but are most common during winter.

The cold virus spreads through tiny air droplets which means you can catch a cold if a person with a cold sneezes, coughs, or blows their nose near you. You can also catch a cold if you touch your nose, eyes, or mouth after you’ve touched something contaminated by the virus, such as a toy or doorknob.2Regular hand washing helps reduce the risk of catching or spreading a cold.


Symptoms of a cold may include:

  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Red eyes
  • Occasional fever

Usually a cold needs to run its course while the immune system works to help the body recover. But there are some additional things that you can do to help minimise the duration of a cold and offer symptomatic relief.

Helpful tips to help relieve the symptoms and shorten the duration of a cold

  • The herb Echinacea may help relieve the symptoms and shorten the duration and frequency of the common cold.
  • Vitamin C may help to reduce the severity of symptoms and the duration of colds.
  • Eat well to ensure you’re giving your body lots of good nutrients to help your immune system.
  • Garlic helps to support a healthy immune system and helps relieve mucous congestion. Include some in your diet or take it as a supplement.
  • Keep up your fluids. Warm drinks can soothe a sore throat and dry mouth. Try a hot ginger and lemon drink.
  • Nasal sprays or steam inhalations may help to relieve nasal congestion.
  • Get extra rest while suffering a cold. Your body will be telling you to take it easy. Listen to it.

Contact your healthcare provider if you have problems breathing or your symptoms get worse or do not improve after 7 to 10 days.

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