Sniffles – what helps? home remedies and medicines

Sniffles - what helps? home remedies and medicines

A common cold is usually harmless and will go away on its own, mainly if you actively help your immune system to recover. Therefore, Drugs are unnecessary to treat a cold and a stuffy nose. Home remedies and a few simple tips are often enough to get the symptoms under control. Find out below what helps against a cold and how to successfully prevent a runny nose.

Get rid of colds quickly with these measures.

The first important step in treating a cold is to create the right environment. Therefore, note the following tips to get rid of the cold faster:

  • Ensure a pleasant room climate: rooms that are too warm and dry are not for your stressed nasal mucosa. Set up a humidifier or hang damp towels. You can also put a bowl of water on the heater.
  • Even if the humidity is reduced, especially in winter, remember to air the room several times daily. This is how the “virus-contaminated” air is exchanged for fresh air. The so-called shock ventilation is best suited.
  • Avoid smoky, overheated rooms.


Treat colds: nasal spray.

Nasal sprays and drops reduce the swelling of the nasal mucosa and ensure a peaceful night’s sleep. Some contain sympathomimetics, such as xylometazoline, tetryzoline, or phenylephrine. The active ingredient ensures that the blood vessels in the nasal mucosa contract. The mucous membranes swell, and the nose becomes free again for up to twelve hours.

However, these nasal sprays should only be used for a short time (maximum seven days); otherwise, a so-called rebound effect can occur. Rebound stands for “bouncing back” and means that the positive effect of the nasal spray is reversed, and the nasal mucous membranes swell up permanently without it being used. A drug sniffle develops (a so-called nasal spray addiction ), which in turn is a possible cause of a sniffle.

If you want to use a remedy for a cold in babies or small children, you should seek medical advice: the remedy can affect the child’s heart and circulatory system. It is better to use special nose drops and sprays for small children.

Preparations that moisturize the nasal mucosa are harmless. As a result, the mucous membrane also swells; the viscous mucus is liquefied and can drain off better. For example, they contain natural sea salt.

Other cold medicines

If the mucus is particularly tough, expectorant preparations with acetylsalicylic acidambroxol or herbal active ingredients such as cineol or myrtol are adequate. Mucolytic preparations Medicines for colds should be used in particular if the inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes has also spread to the paranasal sinuses. This allows the connection between the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses to be better ventilated, meaning the inflammation subsides more quickly.

In the case of headaches caused by a cold or to relieve inflammation, according to the package instructions, painkillers with the active ingredients ibuprofen or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) can also help with a cold.

By the way, Since the common cold is a viral disease, antibiotics usually do not help against a cold.


Medicines for allergic rhinitis

For allergic rhinitis, nasal sprays with antihistamines are usually used. The local use offers the advantage that the active ingredient hardly gets into the blood, and side effects occur even less frequently. Alternatively, tablets containing cromoglicic acid can help. These are better tolerated, especially by more minor children and women during pregnancy.

Home remedies for colds

When it comes to colds, home remedies can often do a good job and alleviate the symptoms:

  1. Steam baths with chamomile, mineral salts or marshmallows are home cold remedies. Aniseed, eucalyptus, or sage are also suitable for inhalation. Inhalers have the advantage over the classic “bowl-and-towel” method in that the vapour doesn’t irritate the eyes.
  2. Nasal rinses with sea salt also moisten the nasal mucosa and reduce swelling. For example, use a nasal douche. The rinses loosen accumulated secretions and wash away pathogens from the nasal mucosa.
  3. Alternatively, lie in bed with a warm chest wrap and sweat out the cold. Make the wrap with damp towels, or add cooked mashed potatoes while still warm. I put a dry towel over it, and then off to bed and slept soundly!
  4. Place chopped onions in a bowl or small bag and place by the bed. Although the smell is not for everyone, the essential oils ensure a clear nose.

Drinking helps against colds.

The most important thing is adequate fluid intake. Drink at least two, preferably three litres a day. This moistens the nasal mucous membranes better, and stubborn mucus is liquefied and can drain off better.

With unsweetened herbal teas, you kill two birds with one stone: the hot tea liquefies the tough mucus, and the herbs also unfold their healing effect. For example, try an infusion with fennel, sage, yarrow or dried currants.

Elderberry juice has also proven itself. You can drink it pure or mixed with tea. And, of course, homemade chicken soup also helps  – it is nourishing and contains a lot of liquid.


Cold and homeopathy

In the case of a watery cold, remedies from the field of homoeopathy can be used, such as

  • Allium cepa (onion)
  • Euphrasia officinalis (Augentrost) oder
  • Sodium chlorate (table salt)

Sambucus nigra (black elderberry) is used particularly frequently in homoeopathy for children.

With a cold to the doctor?

Sometimes, the common cold causes more severe complications that require medical advice. When the mucous membrane swells up, and the secretion can no longer drain out of the paranasal sinuses, sinusitis is accompanied by severe headaches and often fever.

The common cold can also lead to an excruciating middle ear infection in children.

Even a “normal” cold is problematic for infants and small children because they breathe almost exclusively through their noses. Sniffles make this problematic. As a result, they may refuse to eat, which can quickly deteriorate their general condition.

You should also seek medical advice if you have these symptoms:

  • if the symptoms last longer than seven days
  • if you have pain in the head, forehead, ears or jaw
  • if you get a high fever
  • if you have a bad cough or difficulty breathing
  • when infants or young children are involved

Prevent colds – 5 tips.

As with all illnesses, the best thing to do with a cold is not to let it get to you in the first place. Observe the following tips to prevent a cold:

  1. Keep your immune system fit with a balanced diet and exercise in the fresh air.
  2. Sleep in a relaxed and well-ventilated bedroom and pay attention to the humidity there.
  3. Keep your nasal mucosa moist by drinking enough and possibly inhaling.
  4. Regular nasal rinses with physiological saline can help flush out pathogens and keep the nasal mucous membranes moist.
  5. If possible, avoid large crowds of people during the cold season to minimize the risk of infection.

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