If only the real cold virus were so cute.It's that time of year; everywhere you go there's a constant background rumble of sneezes, coughs, and nose blowing. Cold season is upon us. If it's not you, it's your coworker, friends, or kid ... which means it soon will be you that gets this year's version of rhinovirus.
It's possible that someday, we might be able to do more about the common cold than stock up on tissues and chicken soup. Scientists in the UK say they've come up with a way to help the body's immune system kill viruses after they've already infected a cell.
Any drugs resulting from this research wouldn't be ready for human trials for two to five years, and there's no word on whether it fights the Man Cold, which any woman who's lived with the opposite sex can tell you is about 300 times worse than the colds we get. Until then, if you do catch a cold, here are some natural ways to ease the pain:
Steam: Hot showers, a humidifier, even a steamy washcloth can ease the pain of plugged sinuses and loosen mucus. Dampen a clean washcloth and pop it in the microwave for a minute or so. As soon as it's cool enough to handle, lie down and drape it over your face until it cools ... repeat as necessary.
Honey: It has anti-bacterial properties and supposedly is about as effective as cough medicine in relieving your hacking.
Zinc lozenges: These things taste disgusting, like sucking on a penny, but they are said to help reduce the duration of a cold.
Sleep: It won't ease your symptoms by itself, but it will help your body fight off the virus and make you feel at least a little more human.
Tea and soup: The warmth helps loosen congestion and feels soothing, and consuming plenty of fluids helps thin mucus.
If you're not feeling better in about a week, see your doctor: you could have a sinus infection or bronchitis.
Have you had a bout with the cold yet this fall?
Image via googlisti/Flickr