5 misconceptions about the common cold

5 misconceptions about the common cold

  • News
  • Posted on 11/24/2021

    4 min read

    Covid-19 is not the only disease circulating at the moment, the common cold is also very present around us. This infection of the upper respiratory tract is very widespread, but yet little known; here are the misconceptions about the common cold.

    Catching a cold causes the common cold

    Colds are more common in winter, but depending on Slate.fr, the main reason is not what we think: it is not the falling weather temperatures that cause the common cold. The change in temperature could certainly change the lining of our throat and windpipe, making it prone to virus infection. But the main reason we catch more colds in the winter is because we spend more time indoors at this time of year, in contact with other people and in enclosed spaces.

    Zinc to fight the common cold?

    A study published in the BMJ November 2 indicates that zinc could help reduce symptoms and decrease the duration of respiratory infections. To reach this conclusion, the researchers observed and compared data from 28 clinical trials involving 5,446 adults.

    Scientists noticed that compared to a placebo treatment, the symptoms disappeared two days earlier with the use of sublingual or intranasal zinc and the results were even more marked for more severe symptoms like fever. Note, however, that side effects such as nausea or irritation of the mouth and nose were more common in people who took zinc.

    In case of a bad cold, you should always go to the doctor

    False ! In the event of a cold, the general practitioner will only be able to prescribe paracetamol and nose washes with physiological serum. A cold sometimes lasts a week. However, you can make an appointment for a consultation if you are not sure whether it is a cold, for example when after 4 days the nasal discharge is thick and there are other symptoms like aches or pain in the sinuses as it could be sinusitis, for example. If you need sick leave, you can also go to the doctor.

    Essential oils can do nothing against the common cold

    Here again it is a received idea, inhalations constitute an interesting therapeutic approach to fight against the affections of the ENT sphere and which affect the respiratory tracts such as bronchitis, rhinitis, or even the common cold! Indeed, the active principles of plants enter directly into the place of infection, which quickly relieves symptoms.

    “We have a double action: first etiological, that is to say that thanks to inhalation we will target the cause of the infection for example by inhaling essential oils antiviral (in case of cold or flu ); and symptomatic, that is to say that thanks to inhalation, we will target the symptoms related to the infection and treat them such as calming the cough, facilitating expectoration in case of abundant secretions etc. “, summarizes Dr Laure Martinat, doctor and naturopath graduated in phytotherapy and aromatherapy, author of “Bach flowers: the reference guide“(ed. Guy Trédaniel) in a previous article.

    Dr Martinat advises in particular to combine three essential oils: tea tree, peppermint, as well as eucalyptus globulus. 30 drops of tea tree, 30 drops of eucalyptus globulus and 12 drops of peppermint are mixed in a tinted glass bottle, and mixed well by shaking the bottle. Once done, heat water until simmering and pour it into a bowl or mug with one to two drops of the mixture. Finally we use a clean cloth to make what we call a fireplace, we keep our eyes closed and we inhale for ten minutes. We start again 3 to 4 times a day for 3 to 5 days. Warning: this process is reserved for adults and adolescents, and is contraindicated in pregnant and breastfeeding women also in cases of asthma, allergy, as well as a risk situation of epilepsy.

    Consult a general practitioner online

    Garlic, an ally against colds?

    Garlic is a food that has many medicinal properties! It is also recommended in the Mediterranean diet. It would be particularly effective against infections: a study relayed on the site of Cochrane and conducted by Australian researchers reports the follow-up of 146 participants over a three-month period. Half took a placebo tablet while the other half ate a garlic tablet, then all of them wrote down in a diary when they had cold symptoms.

    “During the three-month period, there were 24 occurrences of the common cold in the garlic group, compared to 65 in the placebo group.” can we read in the document. However, “when the participants had a cold, the duration of the illness was similar in the two groups”. Further research is needed to validate this result, the researchers say.

    It is important to remember that putting garlic cloves in his nose to “decongest” him as preview on Tik Tok is not recommended, especially since they are likely to irritate very sensitive mucous membranes, indicates the ENT doctor Dr Bhattacharyya who answers the questions of the site Shape. The risk: causing severe irritation, even contact dermatitis in the nose. Another risk is that the garlic could get stuck in the nose, which would aggravate the congestion. The doctor advises, however, to crush a clove of garlic in hot water to inhale the vapor from a distance. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.