In the cold season, a cold becomes unpleasant, but, unfortunately, quite a frequent occurrence. However, not many of us immediately seek help from a doctor. Now, in most cases, the first thing the sick person does not go to the clinic, but to the pharmacy. Many begin treatment with the so-called "folk" methods, proven by generations, which are still practiced by our grandmothers.
Which of these methods can have a positive effect and speed up recovery, and which are useless or even harmful to the body, let's try to discuss this from the point of view of logic and modern approaches in medicine.
The term "cold" refers to a mild infection of the upper respiratory tract. In most cases, the cause is viruses (rhinoviruses, adenoviruses), occasionally other pathogens (bacteria) can occur. Previously, it was believed that a cold occurs due to hypothermia, so one of the methods of treatment was to warm the sick person. An increase in body temperature activates the production of antibodies and defense cells (the production of interferon by leukocytes increases), inhibits the reproduction of bacteria and viruses. You can go to the bath, if there is no bath - soak your feet in hot water or with the addition of mustard. But at the height of a cold, a bath puts an additional burden on the cardiovascular system, hot air irritates the affected respiratory mucosa, and vasodilation can be accompanied by an excessive decrease in blood pressure. Overheating is especially dangerous at an already elevated body temperature (above 38 ° C). Warming measures include wrapping the patient in warm blankets, but excessive warming of a temperature person, especially a child, threatens to turn into overheating. At high temperatures, it is desirable to be in a well-ventilated room with fresh air to allow the temperature to decrease due to heat exchange with the environment. The warming effect of soaring the legs should increase blood circulation, but local vasodilation leads to the deposition of blood in the lower extremities. This is dangerous for varicose veins and a tendency to thrombosis. It is forbidden to carry out such warming procedures for people with pathology of the cardiovascular system and blood diseases. A contraindication is also pregnancy at any time.
The most common manifestations of a cold are runny nose and nasal congestion. Folk remedies for snot: washing the nasal passages with saline, warming the paranasal region, instilling aloe juice, Kalanchoe or onion pomace into the nose, steam inhalation. Unfortunately, not all of these methods help relieve symptoms; in fact, some of them can be harmful. For example, onion juice can cause mucosal burns. Slow deep inhalation of steam warms up the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract and promotes sputum discharge, but steam inhalations are contraindicated in cases of a tendency to nosebleeds and chronic diseases of the bronchi and lungs, as well as purulent processes in the nasopharynx, paranasal sinuses. Steam inhalation is undesirable for children under 7 years of age, since their airways are narrower than those of an adult, and in case of mucosal edema, serious consequences are possible. The child may inhale hot air too deeply and abruptly, or accidentally grab or knock over a hot pot.
For the treatment of rhinitis in folk medicine, the juice of aloe leaves and medicinal Kalanchoe has long been widely used. Aloe or Kalanchoe leaves are crushed and squeezed through gauze. The resulting juice is used for instillation into the nose in its pure form or diluted with boiled water. Aloe and Kalanchoe juice helps to moisturize the nasal mucosa, and also has anti-inflammatory properties, but there are no medical recommendations for treating the common cold with such herbal remedies.
Saline solutions are good for moisturizing and clearing the nose. Washing with physiological saline clears the nasopharynx of mucus and pathogens. It's a wash! Simply injecting a saline solution into the nose only moisturizes, but does not clear the nasopharynx.
Many doctors recommend using only pharmaceutical products with sea water for washing the nose, as they are optimal in salt concentrationand are more convenient to use. To prepare a homemade solution, it is important not to make it too concentrated: add salt at the tip of a teaspoon to a glass of boiled water. It is impossible to wash the nose with a strong jet pressure, especially for children - this can lead to the reflux of the contents of the nasopharynx into the Eustachian tubes and provoke otitis media. Before using a pharmacy intranasal spray, it is important to read the instructions, whether there are contraindications for age: children under a certain age cannot use sprays. Soft irrigation of the nasal mucosa is more suitable for a child, while directing the jet into the side walls of the nasal passage.
When coughing at home from "grandmother's" remedies, they usually used:
- mustard plasters, cans ;
- syrups, decoctions, teas.
In the old days, at the first sign of a cold complicated by a cough, jars or mustard plasters were often placed. The principle of their action is similar: they cause blood flow to the chest. It was believed that due to the warming and vasodilating effect of this procedure, blood circulation is enhanced and oxygen delivery to the lung tissues is improved. You should be aware that at high temperatures or severe inflammatory processes in the lungs, mustard plasters and cans can aggravate the pathological process. In addition, they cannot be installed above the heart area, on the mammary glands. Too long use, especially in young children with delicate and thin skin, can cause severe irritation or burns.
Medicinal teas, decoctions, or herbal infusions can be used for sore throats as a gargle or taken orally to relieve irritation from a dry cough and to help loosen phlegm from a wet cough. A decoction of chamomile, calendula, coltsfoot, thyme, linden flowers, licorice root syrup and so on will do. All these plants have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects and promote sputum discharge. Pharmacies sell both single-component teas in filter bags and ready-made herbal preparations, for example, breast preparations No. 1-4. honey, lemon, raspberry leaves can be added to tea or decoction.
One of the folk remedies for cough is a mixture of black radish juice with honey, which is obtained in several ways (rub the radish on a grater and mix with honey or place honey in a hole cut in a radish and drink the secreted juice). It should be remembered that herbal preparations can not be used in the presence of allergies. In some cases, honey or citrus fruits can cause or exacerbate an allergic reaction.
As an auxiliary tonic for the treatment of colds, an infusion of rose hips, hawthorn, sea buckthorn, ginseng, yarrow decoction is widely used and tea with ginger root. If desired, honey and lemon can be added there, enriching the body with vitamins and increasing its resistance to disease.
The popularity of herbal remedies is largely due to the fact that people consider them safer and contrast with “non-natural” pharmacological preparations. Any of the selected means should not become a substitute for medical treatment. If you feel unwell, you should consult with your doctor. [thirty].