The common cold is a mysterious thing, it often appears for no reason. Exactly this is why there are so many myths about it we believe and pass on from one generation to another. But is it all true, what your grandmother told you and you tell your children about the common cold? Let’s analyze the myths and find out, what is really true: what causes the common cold and how to cure it correctly and avoid complications.
Myth 1. The Common Cold is Caused by Cold
If it were so, we would not catch cold in summer. Of cause, exposure to cold, especially together with weak immunity and stress, doesn’t make one healthier. But those resistant to cold will not become ill because of frozen feet. Quite the contrary, it is proven, that if one feels the symptoms of rhinitis, they should try cold shock therapy. For example, take a cold shower and then rub yourself actively – this can stop the incipient disease.
In general, frost itself plays only an indirect role in the statistics of infections and colds. The colder it is outside, the more time we spend in rooms with closed windows and air-conditioners. And in these very conditions viruses become more active, spread easily and infect the ceiling amount of people.
Myth 2. Don’t Go Outside after Having Shampooed Your Hair
People believing in it shampoo their head only in the evening before going to bed. About 50 years ago a group of English scientists carried out an experiment: one group of volunteers wearing wet clothes were sitting in a draught, another one was in a warm room. Finally there was approximately the same amount of those who caught cold in both groups. Thus, the connection between drafts and colds is not well-defined. This is not draft, but immunity, that makes one fall ill.
Myth 3. You Can Catch Cold after a Kiss
In order to check, if it is true, scientists conducted the following experiment: they spread a solution containing rhinoviruses over the tongue and nasal cavity of the volunteers. It occurred, that the viruses preferred the second way. In order to become infected through mouth, one would need a thousand times stronger concentration of rhinoviruses, than through nose. By the way, often hands provide the viruses to the nose. So, don’t let your admirer kiss your hand, if he sneezes and wash your hands often.
Myth 4. The Common Cold and Sport Are Incompatible
There are not so many people, who want to visit gym or swimming pool the first days of being ill. But one should not lie a long time without physical activeness. As soon as the body temperature normalizes, go on with your exercises, if, of course, you did it before. Going in for sport (within reasonable limits) will help your body recover and improve the immunity. Jogging or walking in the fresh air for about 30 minutes is the healthiest variant for the recovery.
Myth 5. Suppressing Cough Can Cause Pneumonia
This is a wrong belief. It can be dangerous only for those suffering from a severe chronic lung disease. All others should on the contrary struggle against dry cough, which doesn’t let sleep at night and strengthens the weak throat. There are lots of remedies for it. Wait until the bronchi start to clear themselves, then cough.
Myth 6. The Best Remedy for the Common Cold is Alcohol
This is the favorite belief of most men, but it’s wrong. The virus is not “afraid” of vodka, as it has no chances to meet it. Alcohol indeed has a sterilizing effect, but it gets to the body (and leaves it) through gastrointestinal tract, and the viruses – through upper airways. Moreover, alcohol slows down body reactions, weakens the immunity, is bad for liver and incompatible with some medicines.
Myth 7. Caught Cold – Eat Better!
In reality meat delicacies and smoked foods put the immunity to the test as well as infections and stresses. One of the best ways to prevent disease in winter is to fast during a particular time (depending on the religion you belong to and the region you live in). Fasting is not just lack of food. On the contrary, eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, porridges, but avoid animal food and milk. Drink a lot.
Maybe you knew other myths about the common cold? You are welcome to share them!