When someone in my family, or my circle of friends tells me that they have a cold, the first thing I encourage them to do is to suck on zinc lozenges, drink plenty of ginger ale or tea, and take Mucinex.
In my opinion, if the medical practitioners were truly interested in keeping their patients healthy they would be giving out sample bags of zinc lozenges and Mucinex, and then encouraging their patients to use the zinc every day as preventative measures, and the Mucinex if and when they start to develop thick mucus. And to drink lots and lots of fluids if they feel as if they are coming down with a cold. There has been a lot of research to show that using zinc lozenges is very effective in combating many viruses, including the ones that cause the common cold. The active ingredient in Mucinex is guaifenesin, and that has been proven to thin mucus. This is important because when someone has the common cold, the mucus tends to thicken. When the mucus is thick, it does not drain out of the sinuses and the chest. The longer the mucus stays in the sinuses and chest, the longer the natural bacteria present in the mucus has to multiply. At some point this bacteria can multiply to the point where the doctor will proclaim that now the patient has an infection which now needs to be treated with antibiotics and steroids. Guaifenesin thins the mucus in the sinuses and in the chest, and that will help prevent the bacteria from multiplying. Drinking lots of fluids also helps to keep the mucus thin, and helps to prevent dehydration, which has its own set of problems.
I have found that if I start to use zinc lozenges on the very first day that I start to have a runny or congested nose, or a hint of a sore throat, and continue to use them for several days the cold never progresses to the point where I actually feel miserable – I only feel like I’m “fighting” a cold for about three or four days, and then I’m fine.