healthy young women in a scarf

What Would YOU Do to Avoid Catching a Cold?

At HRI Herbal Medicine, we are passionate about understanding more about the nation’s health, and are constantly working on ways of harnessing the power of natural products in licensed herbal remedies for colds. 

One of the most common, minor health problems that affects virtually everybody is the common cold. On average, an adult will get between two to four colds a year and despite many years and millions of pounds being spent on research, there is still no known cure.

So we were fascinated to find out what people do when they get a cold or flu, and what steps they take to avoid getting them in the first place.

As part of our launch of HRI Coldcare herbal cold remedy, we commissioned consumer research of over 2,000 people by the leading research company YouGov to find out what the impact is on daily life when people catch a cold, and what they do to avoid catching one.

Over the Counter Drugs or Natural Remedies?

When YouGov conducted the research in September, they found that 62% of people take over-the-counter medicines when they have a bad cold.

Just a few weeks later in October, the NHS issued guidance to say that over the counter medicines such as Lemsip and Sudofed do not relieve the symptoms of head colds, so it will be interesting to see if the number of people who use over the counter drugs changes following this announcement.  

Natural remedies are pretty popular. Our research showed that 28% of people take a natural herbal remedy for colds to help them relieve the symptoms of a bad cold or flu and a similar number – 27% – choose a vitamin or supplement to fight off a lurgy.

It seems that we ladies get the most benefit from herbal medicines, with 35% of women, compared with just 20% of men, choosing a natural herbal remedy for a bad cold or flu.  

There is a similar picture for vitamins and supplements, with 30% of women and 24% of men choosing a supplement or vitamin when they have a cold or flu.

Who Asks Their Doctor for Help?

Our survey found that just 4% men and 3% of women go to the doctor if they have a bad cold. Young people are more likely to make an appointment than older Brits, with 6% of 18 – 24s saying they would consult a doctor for a bad cold, while just 2% of over 55s head for the GP’s surgery.

These days, the majority of doctors are most likely to recommend painkillers and anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen to relieve symptoms, rather than prescribing anything. The National Institute for Clinical Health Excellence advises doctors against using antibiotics for infections connected with colds and flu, both because the efficacy is unproven and because it is believed to be contributing to the growing problem of drug-resistance.

When Do People Take a Day Off Work?

We Brits are made of tough stuff, so we were not surprised to find that only 30% of people in our survey said they would take time off work for a bad head cold, even if it included a slight fever and a cough. This is very noble, but of course, it means that more of us are likely to come into contact with someone with a cold, so it is highly likely to spread further!

So How Do You Avoid A Cold?

Given the frequency of colds and the fact that people tend to battle on when they have them, it is very hard to avoid being exposed to those pesky germs!

We asked people to tell us what were the most extreme things they had done to avoid catching a cold. Alongside some good advice about taking natural products such as Echinacea, Vitamin C or Zinc, we found some hilarious anecdotes about the lengths to which people go to avoid catching a cold!

Here are just a few of the ones that made us chuckle:

  • I wear scarves almost constantly from the first week in September.
  • Not kissing my wife.
  • Put Vaseline in my nostrils to stop the germs sticking.
  • Don’t go out of the house or be near anybody.
  • Eating raw garlic.
  • Wiping a telephone down with an antiseptic wipe after it had been used by someone suffering a head cold.
  • Eat a raw onion every day.
  • I once plugged my nose with cotton buds.
  • I hold my breath when I am around anyone who coughs.
  • Made my husband sleep in the shed when he was ill.
  • Crossing my fingers.
  • Eating lots of oranges.
  • Wearing a mask.

If you want to try a less radical way to reduce the likelihood of catching a cold, or relieve the symptoms of colds and flu-type infections based on traditional use, it is worth giving HRI Coldcare a go. It’s the first licensed herbal medicine to combine Echinacea with Vitamin C and Zinc giving you three times the immunity power to fight colds. 

We’re very proud to add HRI Coldcare to our range of herbal medicines.  It is available to buy in Sainsbury, Asda, Morrisons, Holland Barrett, Superdrug and from our own HRI Herbal Medicine Online Shop.

Please always read the Patient Information Leaflet before taking this product.