Dr. Russell Greenfield: You're away at school, wake up in your dorm room and you've come down with a cold. You know the symptoms, sneezing, running nose, congestion, may be a scratchy throat. Family isn't there to offer some nice hot chicken soup. So what can you do on your own to feel better soon?
Start with the basics, drink lots of clean water and do your best to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, may be even the 30 minute cap-nap during the day. Remember, your body needs to be well hydrated and rested to fight off the virus causing your cold.
Conventional medications often used for cold symptoms offer very little benefit and sometimes cause harm. So stay away from antihistamines and decongestants for the most part.
You might explore the use of herbal remedies such as extracts of Echinacea, Andrographis, or Elderberry provided there is no contraindication to your using them. They may help shorten the duration and severity of cold symptoms and you only need to take them for 3-7 days.
Take care of yourselves at school and be well.