Monday, 17 May 2010

How to treat a cold

The saying goes 'you can't treat a cold you can only ease the symptoms' with this in mind when I awoke 4 days before an exam with a cold I decided to research some 'cures' and also ask my friends for their tips on how to get over a cold quickly.
My first port of call was NHS just to check that I really had a cold and not caught whatever the latest superbug was. After confirming it was a cold and not something worse I checked the NHS advice section. The NHS recommended lots of fluids, bed rest and keeping a window open in ensure that the room had a constant source of fresh air. The first two were viable but the third not so being as it is debable whether or not London has any 'fresh' air at all. The author of the website was clearly living in a nice rural village somewhere and not in central London as when I opened my window I was simply met with exhaust fumes and pollution rather than fresh air.
A panicked facebook status asking for help resulted in the following suggestions; garlic, honey and lemon, vodka, garlic, green tea, chicken soup, orange juice, oh and garlic. I had vague memories of my friends and I being force fed garlic while ill in Russia but was not entirely sure whether or not this was just some cruel joke that the Natives played on foreigners or whether it did have some medicinal value. Google seemed to agree that there was medicinal benefits from eating garlic as it killed the cold germs. So I decided to try it.
Thinking that I couldn't really feel any worse and that I had neither a sense of smell nor taste I might as well try it. In heindsight eating it raw was perhaps not the best idea but drinking green tea immediately afterwards sort of drowned out the taste. Crushing it up and frying it before adding pasta sauce worked much better. This method also managed to clear the kitchen allowing me to be left alone to cook in peace.
In the end honey and lemon was great for soothing a sore throat, green tea cleaned the blood as it had natural antioxidants, vodka was not really a good idea as I did not want to turn up to turn up to my exam smelling of vodka and garlic as the joke 'I'm a Russian student not an alcoholic' can only be used so many times. However it was garlic that saved the day. So next time someone says 'you can't cure a cold you can only ease the symptoms' tell them to eat garlic, just not raw.

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