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7 Cold Remedies Used By The Pros

‘Tis the season for the sniffles to take hold, so we’ve got some preventive medicine.

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You know the feeling: Sudden-onset stuffiness, a throb at the temples, a tickle at the back of the throat. A cold can creep up Paranormal-style and linger for weeks.

Despite what your mother may have told you, you cannot fall prey by going outside in the cold with wet hair. Preventing infection is the ideal scenario, but the rhinovirus can be inhaled; it can also live on doorknobs, subway poles, and treadmill buttons for 2 weeks—ample time for you to pick it up, quite literally, by unwittingly rubbing your nose or eyes. (Step up the hand washing and cut down on the face touching to limit your odds.) 

“The cold virus takes hold by entering your mucosal cells, taking over the reproductive machinery of the cells and replicating itself,” says Alexander Kulick, M.D., a practitioner of integrative medicine in Manhattan. “It duplicates roughly every 2 seconds and reaches critical mass in the first 12 to 24 hours.” At that point, you officially become sick, so acting fast (i.e. as soon as you feel one coming on) is the only way to outwit a cold.

To give you better chances, we’ve rounded up the remedies pros themselves rely on to nip that pesky virus in the bud: