As winter settles in so do coughs and colds, they can leave us feeling run down and tired. They make a dark, cold time of year into something even more miserable. With the year we’ve all had, the last thing you want is to be coughing all the time.

In this blog, we will explore what a cold is and our best home remedies to perk you back up.

What is a cold?

The common cold is the general name for a collection of over 200 different viruses that attacks the upper respiratory tract, mainly focusing on the nose, throat and sinuses. Symptoms of the common cold include:

  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Headache

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Mild fever (high temperature)

As it is a collection of viruses that all-cause similar, or identical, symptoms there is no vaccine that can cure a common cold. The most common cause of a cold is rhinovirus, which accounts for up to 80% of colds.

Myth: You can catch a cold by spending too long outside in cold weather.

Fact: Colds are viruses and are typically transmitted through airborne droplets caused by an infected person coughing and by contact with an infected surface. Frequent handwashing and use of soap can do more to prevent a cold from spreading.

Myth: If I go to my doctor they’ll give me antibiotics.

Fact: Colds are caused by viruses, antibiotics can’t do anything to them. Antibiotics work by attacking the bacterial cell wall or by preventing bacteria from multiplying. Viruses have an ultra-tough protein coat that allows them to attach themselves to healthy cells and overwrite the cells DNA to propagate themselves.

Myth: You’re only contagious before you show symptoms.

Fact: Unfortunately, you’re still contagious for up to 5 days after symptoms start.


Top Ways To Get Rid Of Coughs and Colds 

Home Flu Remedies

There are loads of ways to treat colds and coughs at home, everyone has that one family recipe that’s been passed down through the generations and is a sure-fire way to get rid of that dry cough.

Here are a few we know about:

Cough remedies:

  • Honey tea – mix 2 teaspoons of your favourite honey with hot water. You can add lemon to taste.
  • Ginger tea – add 30g of fresh, sliced ginger to hot water and allow to steep. You can add honey or lemon to taste.
  • Warm fruit juice – your favourite flavour natural fruit juice mixed with hot water
  • Inhale steam – set your shower or bath to ‘hot’ and allow the bathroom to steam up.
  • Breathe in the steam until your breathing loosens. Best for a wet, phlegmy cough.
  • Saltwater rinse – mix a ½ teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm, not hot, water and allow it to
  • Cool. Use this mix to gargle. Again, this is a good one for a wet, phlegmy cough.
  • Use a humidifier overnight – over winter we are more likely to leave the heating on to keep
  • Warm but it draws water out of the home. Dry air is more likely to aggravate a cough
  • Mint or menthol cough drops

Cold remedies:

  • Plenty of rest – getting enough sleep will make you feel better in a way nothing else will.
  • Keep warm – this will help relieve the muscle aches that colds can cause
  • Stay hydrated – every time you cough or sneeze you’ll lose water, drinking a favourite hot drink can simultaneously soothe a cough and keep you properly hydrated
  • Use over the counter decongestants, painkillers and anti-inflammatories to relieve symptoms