top of page
  • Survivalist Scoop

Treating the Common Cold in a Survival Environment

The common cold may not be life-threatening, but the symptoms can make you miserable. Because there are more than 200 different viruses that can cause a common cold, the symptoms vary greatly. You might have a runny nose, sore throat and cough, watery eyes, sneezing, or congestion. An average adult gets a cold two to four times every year. So how can you treat the common cold if you are living in an environment where you can’t run to Walgreens for the over-the-counter medications?

First of all, stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluid. Water is your best bet when you have a cold. Drinking anything with alcohol or caffeine can actually have the opposite effect as both of these can dehydrate you. And since hydration is important, avoid cigarette smoke as it also has a drying effect.

There are quite a few products you might want to keep in your survival supplies if you want to avoid the misery of cold symptoms. Of course, some type of pain reliever is an obvious choice. Acetaminophen is a good choice since it is safe for both adults and children. You may also want to add saline nasal drops or spray to your supply kit. These are safe for all ages and keep well for long periods of time. Don’t confuse saline spray with decongestant spray, which can have side effects and is unsafe for children.

The herb andrographis is a popular cold and flu treatment in Scandinavia and has been used in Asia for centuries. This herb has been shown to lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the common cold. It may also reduce your risk of catching a cold if taken regularly for a couple of months. The only precaution for taking andrographis would be if you are taking medication to lower blood sugar, as it might push blood levels too low.

Taking a vitamin C supplement or eating foods high in this vitamin can be helpful in preventing a cold or shortening the duration of a cold, but only under particular circumstances. It appears to work best in conditions that are somewhat extreme, such as when a person is under high levels of stress or is being pushed beyond normal limits physically. A survival situation could bring about these circumstances, so grab some oranges and enjoy!

Echinacea is an herb derived from the coneflower that is widely used to fight the common cold and the flu. This herb is shown to activate chemicals in the body that decrease inflammation, which should reduce the symptoms of a cold or the flu. Laboratory research also suggests that echinacea can stimulate the body’s immune system. Many people take echinacea in the form of a tea or a supplement at the first sign of the common cold or the flu.

Garlic has been used for centuries as both a food ingredient and a medicine. Studies have shown that garlic reduces the risk of becoming sick in the first place, as well as how long you stay sick. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms. If you don’t care for the taste of garlic, you can take garlic supplements instead. 

While there isn’t much of an upside to having a common cold, at least there are a few pleasant ways to shorten its duration or lessen its severity. A couple of oranges, a delicious garlicky meal, and a soothing cup of echinacea tea can take the place of all the over-the-counter medicines that may not be available in the future. So rest, drink fluids, and raise a cup of tea to feeling better naturally!


6000x 2_edited.png
readywise 60 serving food kit.png
survival knives from viper
bottom of page