common head cold

Like clockwork, April rolls around, and with the change of season, so too comes the blocked-up sinuses, the razor-sharp sore throat, and the endless coughs. So predictable. It feels like there are about as many head cold “cures” as grains of sand by the ocean, varying from classic over-the-counter medication to herbs and supplements. The truth is, there is no cure for a cold, but there are definitely ways that you can speed up the healing process! Most of them have merit, but does one remedy have more merit than another?

Let’s go through a few, so that you can work out which course of action you’re going to take next time you’re drowning in tissues and self-pity!


vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin D and vitamin C are very well known for remedying cold and flu symptoms. All three are heralded for boosting your immune system, and deficiencies in each can actually be the cause of any viruses that slip through the keeper of a consequently compromised immune system.

The right supplements are a great way of fast-tracking the length of a cold. There can be no one in the history of the world who has ever endured a cold without someone telling them to take zinc, vitamin C and/or vitamin D, in order to knock the cold on its head. Chances are they already knew…but people like to be helpful. 

Over-the-counter medication: 

for the time-poor, cold and flu medication is far more favoured than any other remedy to alleviate symptoms. There are plenty of reliable medications on the market, packed with ingredients like paracetamol and ibuprofen to alleviate symptoms. Codral Day and Night is one of them, offering fast and effective relief for all symptoms relating to colds and flu. Medication like this is particularly valuable for head cold sufferers as it curates ingredients that are suitable for daytime and night respectively. This keeps the ingredients that cause drowsiness out of the daytime medication, and reserves them specifically for the night!

Medication like Nurofen Cold and Flu is another effective antidote for symptoms of head colds, where ibuprofen, the chief ingredient in Nurofen, is especially good for reducing inflammation, which is the source of many cold and flu symptoms. The fusion of Nurofen’s staple ingredient with phenylephrine hydrochloride (which relieves a blocked nose), acts as a comprehensive relief from all symptoms related to colds. 

Any cold and flu medication will target the aches and pains that often accompany a cold quickly, as well as dry up congested sinuses and relieve discomfort from fevers and headaches. It’s really no wonder that it’s one of the top forms of remedy for a cold! 


For more severe cold and flu symptoms, it could be a result of a bacterial infection, rather than a virus. Something like sinusitis, which presents the same (or similar) symptoms as a cold, but should not be treated in the same way. Antibiotics are often the only way to ride out the infection as quickly and painlessly as possible. 

As the doctor instructs, it is important to finish the course! Not finishing it can result in the multiplication of remaining bacteria, where it can build up a resistance to the medication, and take even longer to recover from the infection. 


You’re really playing the long game with this one, but sure enough, some people do swear by a change in diet in order to alleviate symptoms! Foods like bone broth are an excellent source of fluid and electrolytes. Bone broth can be easily incorporated into foods and beverages, making it easy to digest. Soups, risottos, stews - even hot chocolate - can be a great way to make sure you are getting bone broth into your diet. The collagen-packed broth can also aid a speedier recovery!

Spicy foods are also a great remedy for blocked sinuses, as well as ginger and garlic. 

Honey is not only helpful in tea to remedy sore throats (typically paired with lemon and ginger), but as a singular ingredient honey is known for its anti-bacterial properties. 

A humble glass of water (or 20) is imperative whilst you’re losing fluids with a runny nose. Something like coconut water (which is loaded with electrolytes) will ensure you replace lost fluids quickly. Gargling salt water is also a great way to kill bacteria that might be causing a sore throat!


It may sound ridiculous, but there is something to be said about it. Viruses have an end date! Your body is sending you a message to rest, so submitting to the instruction and just letting it do its thing will force you to spend a few guilt-free days on the couch, or in bed, catching up on every show you’ve not got around to watching! It is, by no means the efficient way to ride out a cold, but many believe that the body will heal in its own timeline, without the assistance of pharmaceuticals and natural remedies.

A common head cold will usually last a week to ten days. For many, waiting it out and letting it run its natural course is not the end of the world. 

These days, taking a RAT test is synonymous with the development of cold and flu symptoms. You get a runny nose, you take a test. Got a nasty cough? Take a test. Overcome with fatigue…or all of the above? Time to take a RAT test. 

As we’ve all discovered, Covid presents very differently in everyone. So as with a head cold, any of the above methods could help to soothe symptoms of Covid. And sometimes, none of these will do much good at all!  

Whether it’s Codral Day and Night, bone broth, time, or all of the above, a cold is a massive inconvenience but usually not much more. Most remedies for cold and flu symptoms complement each other, so whichever method you opt for, it is important to accompany it with plenty of fluids, rest and nutritious food.  


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Image Author: @katemangostar


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