I’m Snifflin’ the Cold Medicine Blues.

Image courtesy gdayindia.com.au

Stuffy noses always seem to go together with changes in season, right?  That’s what I’ve found throughout the years, and frankly, I’m fed up with it.  The common cold, in my personal opinion, is the worst virus known to man.  Why do I think this?  Simple.  On the one hand, it’s weak enough that people expect you to carry on with your normal tasks and duties when you have a cold.  But on the other, it’s strong enough that it makes you feel like a miserable, stuffed-up, wheezing, hacking bag of germs.

I’m the product of a family that is by no means germaphobic.  If we ever had a cold, my mom encouraged us to drink our OJ and power through it.  However, now that I’m in college, my colds seem to be that much worse.  I can’t breathe, my sinuses have insane pressure, and don’t even get me started on the laryngitis that comes with it!

I wish I could curl up in bed all day! (image courtesy watchmojo.com)

So, in order to alleviate some of my symptoms, I’ve tried all sorts of different cold medicines and remedies.  Some really do work, and others not so much.  Here’s a list of what I’ve tried, and how they helped me power through cold and flu season!

1.  Sudafed/Non-drowsy decongestant pills:  I have one word to sum up products like these: YIKES.  When I take decongestants, hoping to be able to breathe again, I instead get insane jitters, my heart races, and I get feelings of severe anxiety and nervousness.  It’s an all-around very scary experience.  I honestly thought I was going to pass out at one point.  I also know, however, that there are some people who swear by these.  So, I mean, if they work for you then by all means keep taking them…they just weren’t right for me.

2. Old-fashioned methods (ie. nose-blowing, tea, clove candy, and propping yourself up with a pillow while you sleep):  Most of these things are just quick fixes.  Nose blowing makes my head feel better for ~8 seconds before I have to do it again, and I have to wash my hands right after, too.  Maybe I’m just drinking the wrong kind, but tea has never really helped me with a cold. The clove candy is great for coughs, but is essentially a cough drop.  As soon as it’s gone, your throat feels nice for a minute or two, but it’s not long before you need another one.  As for sing the pillow to prop yourself up, this one really works.  My mom would have me do this when I was a little kid to get me to stop coughing, and it would work like a charm every time.  I think it has something to do with opening up your airways.

3. Vick’s VapoRub: This old school remedy is a MUST BUY.  Seriously, if you don’t have this in your medicine cabinet, run, don’t walk to your nearest CVS or pharmacy.   I could probably write a novel about my love for this miracle product.  It’s a waxy goop with a menthol-y smell that you spread on your neck and chest.  Somehow, it cuts through all of the mucus in your nose and allows you to breathe again.  It’s amazing!  When I have colds, I smear it on before I go to bed, and it definitely helps me get some much-needed sleep!

4. Robitussen/cough syrup: I’m sure that if I could actually stomach this stuff, it would work really well.  As a child, my dad would literally have to force-feed me cough syrup if I had a particularly disruptive coughing fit.  It would instantly trigger my gag-reflexes, and let’s just say that it wasn’t pretty.  Since then, I’m still scared to go anywhere near the stuff.  It doesn’t matter what flavor it is, either…grape, cherry, honey…they all taste the same to me.  I don’t buy into Mary Poppin’s “Spoon Full of Sugar” philosophy either.

(when was the last time you watched that?!)

5. Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus: I wish I could come to a definitive verdict on this one, but I’m still unsure about it.  My dad suggested I try it yesterday, so I went out and bought some.  I think I definitely have a bit more energy, but I don’t really feel any less stuffed-up after haven taken it.  Although, it is really fun to watch the tablets go plop and fizz in my cup :)

Which cold remedies work for you? Have any recommendations?

xoxo, Karoline

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