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Ways to speed up cold recovery?

I went to my GP, and he confirmed that indeed, my head cold has turned into a chest cold with lung congestion. I'm on antibiotics, and while I hate taking them, I also know that my previous experiences with chest colds usually has not ended well. I'd rather have antibiotics than pneumonia or a hospitalization.

That said: Is there any complementary way to help speed my recovery from this cold of doom?

I'm drinking lots of fluids and had been taking zinc (didn't work).

Edit: I've looked through the entries with the "cold and flu" tag but didn't see much of use. I don't really eat/drink much dairy.


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
Chicken soup if you eat chicken. Lots o' garlic. Rest.
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Also tasty: garlic in the chicken soup. :)
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
Not natural, but Mucinex (guifenisen) is my Godsend when I have chest congestion. I'm prone to pneumonia when I get the tiniest bit congested, and its helped me a ton since it became readily available OTC.
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
Ugh. I've taken Mucinex in the past and it's really never done much for me. Even when I take it, I usually end up on inhalers just to be able to breathe.

Thanks for the advice, though. You wouldn't have known that Mucinex and I are not friends!
Sep. 4th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
Too bad :( It works like a dream for me. Within two hours all of my phlegm is watery and easy to cough out.
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
echinacea, clear broths and bland solids, jelloooo, teas, juices, NO DAIRY or at least very little (creates more mucus issues) zinc tablets on a schedule, emergen-C, vitamins, rest, puffs plus with vicks, crap loads of water, warm steamy showers, hot baths.. and that is my personal armory against illness.

believe me, echinacea DOES work. i get better in half the time it used to take. and don't push it, REALLY do rest. your body needs to recuperate. colds are more serious than people think.

take it easy, nourish yourself, baby your body for a few weeks. feel better! and of course, finish the antibiotics. i'm always astonished when people don't. :)
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
Oh, I always finish the antibiotics! I work in health care, so I know how important that is.
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
Last time I was sick I tried the garlic trick and wow, did it work! I took veggie broth and mixed in about 1 TB of crushed garlic into each cup. I drank that and Ginger tea nonstop for a day and a half and was feeling tons better.
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
oh...and also helps repel vampires and spouses. ;)
Sep. 4th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
I need to try that next time I get sick. It sounds delicious!
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
I make garlic soup when I am sick.

Chop up four or five cloves of garlic and add to some broth. Add a teaspoon or so of paprika. Simmer for a little while, then crack an egg in and let it poach. When the egg is done, eat with toast.

It's ok, you're not kissing anyone with that cold anyway.
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
Ohmygod I think I need to make this today. After I eat my first lunch. lol (it's okay, I'm pregnant, I can have two lunches. hahah)
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
oh and I'm also sick, so this isn't just some weird pregnancy thing.

Although that has a lot to do with it. haha
Sep. 4th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
Ooooh that sounds yummy!
Sep. 4th, 2008 08:49 am (UTC)
I am going to buy broth tomorrow and make this. *cough*
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
a combo of echinacea and golden seal along with broths, water, hot tea and vitamin c [typically from foods] have kept my cold days way down. In the past i've also done a steam with eucalyptus oil if it drops down into my chest. [hot hot water in a glass bowl, a few drops of the oil, and a few minutes under the towel doing some really deep breathing once or twice a day.] Incidentally, since i've been taking the goldenseal/echinacea combo, it hasn't progressed that far.
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
echinacea tea and orange juice work well for me, and LOTS OF SLEEP! What better excuse for an afternoon nap?

I hope you feel better soon!
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
What better excuse for an afternoon nap?

Think my supervisor would go along with that? :)

Then again, he was out sick today, so maybe he might...
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
sympathic! yes!
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
I am a FIRM believer in COLDFX apparently it's just a form of ginseng that is more effective because of the way they process it, but I am a seriously devoted customer. I used to use eccinacea but now it's only coldfx for me! ( i'm assuming it's available in the states?) it's prety expensive but it works!
Sep. 4th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
Gypsy Cold Care tea. I don't remember who makes it, but it makes me feel immediately ten times better, and the effects last a few hours, so it would be good if you still have to go to work. =]
Sep. 4th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
I second this. I find it in the natural section of my neighborhood grocery store.
Sep. 4th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Fluids. Water with a little lime in it is yummy. Drink enough that your pee isn't yellow at all. And take Airborne. The nighttime formula is yummy too. It's cider flavored and you put it in hot water and it fizzes like you wouldn't believe. It provides much amusement. Also, I highly suggest making pasta. Stand over the pot while you're boiling the water and breathe in the steam. It feels really nice. And the pasta tastes yummy too. Oh and drink Cold Season tea, or something similar. It tastes yummy and it really helps. Theraflu helps too, but it tastes far from yummy. I hope you feel better!
Sep. 4th, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
I sent the following "recipe" and advice to a friend recently; the psuedo-recipe is a tea that helps a lot with congestion and coughing:

Decongestants: peppermint, eucalyptus.
Expectorant, relieving cough: slippery elm, anise, catnip.
Immune boosters: echinacea, rose hips/rose petals, orange peel.

Bring water to a boil, toss everything but the slippery elm in, let sit for five minutes or so. During that time, mix slippery elm with a little (roughly equal amount) of cold water, and slowly incorporate this paste into the hot tea. Strain, drink hot with honey.

Other things that work well for colds: zinc supplements or Zicam (I like the nasal spray), and lots of garlic - a full head, roasted and spread on bread, will help chase the cold (and anyone else) away. Airborne is also good to help prevent colds - it's a combo of supplements that will boost your immune system.

Edited at 2008-09-04 04:18 am (UTC)
Sep. 4th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
A lot of fluids. Plenty of sleep/rest.
Sep. 4th, 2008 08:28 am (UTC)
The antibitotics could be why they end bad for you. Antibiotics actually does worse for your immune system then not doing anything. Seeing as colds are a viral infection and not a bacterial infection.

Vit c and garlic are you best remedies. And I work in health care as well so I know what I am talking about.
Sep. 4th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
I was thinking the same thing, why give antibiotics for a viral infection?
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
At least in my case, the doctor sometimes prescribes antibiotics when I have a viral infection to ward off/kill secondary bacterial infections while I'm recovering - I'm a chronic asthmatic, so I'm more prone to things like bronchitis (used to get it twice a year as a kid).
Sep. 4th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
That makes sense, but certainly in the UK a lot of people go to the Doctor expecting antibiotics, and they are given them to get them to shut up an go away, even if they won't do any good, then everyone complains that antibiotics are no use any more as so many things are resistant to them, due to them being over prescribed.
Sep. 4th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
I'm the exact opposite of that. I hate, hate, hate antibiotics.

Then again, I typically don't go to the doctor until I've been flat on my back for a few weeks fighting whatever it is that I'm fighting. By that point, I'll use anything that works. (I only happened to go this time because I had an existing appointment to go over some lab results.)
Sep. 4th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's why I received them. I'm a type 1 diabetic and have a crappy immune system, so letting secondary bacterial infections take hold just makes a bad situation worse.

His goal is to try to ward off pneumonia or further problems with my blood sugars.
Sep. 4th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
I've done my research, thanks. The times when I have not had antibiotics (AKA, when I've let it sit and just done the basic, homeopathic, all natural stuff) I have fared worse than when I have had the antibiotics.

Note how I didn't say in the post that I always take antibiotics when it lands in my chest. I take them when my doctor and I deem that everything else has been tried and that they are the most appropriate course of action.
Sep. 4th, 2008 08:48 am (UTC)
I've just started coming down with a cold, and I'm drinking lots of healthy teas (especially echinaccea tea), drinking colloidal silver, taking lots of goldenseal, and eating LOTS of garlic.

Today I made an especially yummy garlic thing. I took a piece of bread, diced up a couple cloves of garlic and put them on it, drizzled honey on top, and then toasted it. It was delicious.
Sep. 4th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
garlic, onions, tea of all kinds.
avoiding wheat might be a good idea too, at least in large doses.

also, watch movies instead of daytime television while you're curled up on the couch in a blankie. get lost in a story instead of constantly flipping channels because it all sucks. :)
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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