What is the common cold?

The common cold is a general term for acute upper respiratory tract inflammation, such as the nose and throat. Viruses infect and inflame the mucous membranes, causing symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, phlegm, and fever.

If you take action when you suspect the onset of a cold, such as when you feel discomfort in your throat or have an itchy nose, you can cure a cold before it turns into a full-blown cold. First, let's take a look at what exactly should be done.

Adequate Sleeping

It is essential to rest, stay warm, and get plenty of rest. As is familiar with all illnesses, not just the common cold, viral infections increase the risk of disease when the immune system is weakened. At the beginning of a cold, the immune system is often wasted. The priority is to get enough sleep.


Although not limited to the common cold, when a person is in a state of fever, it is easy to become dehydrated as more and more water is lost from the body. Unfortunately, dehydration also leads to a weakened immune system and prolongs a cold, so make a conscious effort to stay hydrated. In such cases, choose room temperature water, sports drinks that are not too cold, or oral water retention solutions.

Hand washing, gargling, nasal gargling

It is essential to wash your hands and gargle carefully after catching a cold to prevent it from becoming more severe due to secondary virus transmission. It is even better to use hand soap and gargles with disinfectant properties. Nasal gargling is also effective in preventing viruses from entering the mucous membranes of the nose.

Get the nutrition you need

It is essential to strengthening your immune system and resistance to fight bacteria and viruses.

Consuming proteins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper is an excellent idea, and vitamins A, C, and E, support the immune system. The mucous membrane of the nose is responsible for preventing viruses from entering the body, and vitamin A is the source of building that mucous membrane. Vitamin C protects the skin and blood vessels, while vitamin E prevents oxidation and protects blood vessels. These should be taken in a suitableー combination. However, be careful not to take too much vitamin A.

A nutritious and easily digestible diet is recommended. It is challenging to cook elaborate meals when you are not feeling well, so cooking more simple, warming stewed dishes flavored with salt or miso is a good idea.
Be sure to consume vitaminsーrich fruits and vegetables that promote the body's metabolism.

Warm oneself (e.g., at a hot spring)

Take special care to warm your body at the beginning of a cold. Why is warming up important? When the body is cold, "enzymes," which play an essential role in maintaining the body's vital functions, such as breaking down and detoxifying nutrients, become less active. In addition, blood flow also becomes sluggish. As a result, waste products tend to accumulate in the body, weakening the body's natural healing power and prolonging the duration of a cold.

It is essential to warm up your body effectively in a way that suits you.
Keep your body sufficiently warm with clothing (socks, scarves, hats, etc.).
・Disposable body warmers
・A slow bath or footbath
・Warm food and beverages.


In Japan, traditional herbal medicine, known as Kampo, plays a significant role in everyday healthcare. A common example of this is the use of a herbal remedy called Kakkonto at the first signs of a cold. Kakkonto is a blend of several medicinal herbs, and it's often taken to fend off the early stages of a cold, helping to alleviate symptoms and promote recovery.

Search word "kakkonto"

You can find more information using search word in the "Find OTC medicine" site.