They say there's no cure. And "they" may be right, but there are a lot of things that we can do.
Heard from doctors fairly recently (but note: I am not a doctor):
- Gargle with warm salt water to sooth the throat.
- Use a neti pot (nasal irrigation) to clear sinuses.
- Claritin (Loratadine) and Claritin-D (Loratadine with pseudoephedrine) to reduce symptoms.
Other common-sense & folk treatments:
- Keep extra warm, particularly the chest. Especially avoid chills.
- Lots of sleep - morning and afternoon naps if possible. In my opinion this is the best possible thing to do.
- Chicken soup with lots of salt and pepper. Maybe other hot, salty, peppery soups with onion, sage, and thyme.
- Zinc lozenges.
- Vitamin C. We mix Vitamin C powder in some organic pomegranate juice. Yum.
- Aromatic (menthol, camphor, ...) rub on the chest for extra heat and a nice smell. I clip a towel around my neck too.
- Hydrate plenty. Alas, alcohol probably doesn't count.
- "Feed a cold (and starve a fever)." To keep the immune system strong, but junk food won't help.
- A key point: Don't let up until the symptoms are all gone. A chest cold will take advantage of a chill to start all over in the sinuses, or vice-versa.
Bottom line: The old joke - Do all of these things and the cold might be gone in as little as a week. Otherwise it might take as long as seven days.