When a cold approaches, many people rely on warmth to combat the first signs and possibly still be able to suppress the outbreak of the viral disease. In addition to tea and hot water bottles, a cold bath is a popular home remedy. How you can make a corresponding addition yourself and what to consider during pregnancy, breastfeeding and with children: We have put together the most important information about cold baths for you here.
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At a glance:
Tips for a strong defense
How can you do a cold bath yourself?
There are many recipes for cold baths to make yourself on the Internet. The following oil additives have proven effective against the symptoms of a cold:
- Peppermint oil (menthol)
- Eucalyptus oil
- Camphor oil / camphor oil
- Pine needle oil
- Spruce needle oil
- Thyme oil
- Myrtle oil
The effect of such essential oils: They clear the airways and thus have an expectorant effect. This relieves a blocked nose as well as stuck secretion in the bronchi.
Danger: Allergies are possible to certain ingredients of cold baths. If you notice worsening symptoms, it is better to stop the bath immediately. Essential oils such as camphor are also definitely not suitable for babies and small children, as they can cause cramps and shortness of breath. Please note the information on the packaging of the bath additive.
If you want to prepare a cold bath with tea (loose or in bag form), you can choose from the following varieties:
Brew a strong tea from one of these varieties or a mixture, let it cool down a little and add to the bath water.
tip: If you don't have a bathtub, there is now a cold shower available in stores.
Who can take a cold bath?
The myth persists that you can "sweat out" a flu-like infection in the sauna or in a hot bath. This is only partially true: Anyone who already has an increased body temperature or other clear symptoms such as cough, runny nose or sore throat due to the common cold should do without them. Fever is an additional burden for the weakened body, which must be avoided in the event of a severe cold.
It is different if you suspect that an infection is on the way: Then the warmth strengthens the body's defense system by causing it to fall into a kind of artificial, light fever.
High blood pressure and venous disorders are contraindications to hot bathing. Elderly people also do not tolerate very hot water because it weakens the circulation. Asthmatics could experience problems from certain oil additives. Even with open wounds, you should not take a cold bath.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid baths with additives such as camphor (also: camphor) and menthol. In the last trimester of pregnancy in particular, pregnant women should generally refrain from hot baths. They can cause premature labor and rupture of the bladder, which can lead to premature delivery. Children should also not take a bath with camphor.
There are special cold baths for children in stores that use gentler oils. In babies' first year of life, most doctors recommend using only cold baths specially designed for babies.
Why can a hot bath relieve cold symptoms?
The cold bath has a beneficial effect in different ways: The warmth relaxes, stimulates the immune system and helps against headaches and body aches. Depending on the additive, there is also, for example, relaxation, pain relief or a virus-inhibiting effect.
The best home remedies for a cold
How long can / should a cold bath last?
A quarter of an hour is necessary so that the body is completely warmed through and the shivering typical of a cold stops. If you have the feeling that your cold symptoms worsen while bathing, you should stop earlier. So that the skin does not dry out too much, a cold bath should last a maximum of half an hour.
How hot can a cold bath be?
Above all, orientate yourself according to your personal feelings or that of your child: If the bath water is too hot and it is uncomfortable to get in, the cold bath cannot develop its desired effect.
If you want to make the entry more gentle, you can switch to rising baths: Here the temperature is initially lower and is only increased gradually when you are already in the tub.
If you want to induce an artificial fever with it, however, it should be as hot as possible – that is, at a temperature that you just consider to be beneficial. Depending on personal taste, this fluctuates between around 35 and 40 degrees Celsius.
Are pregnant women and women allowed to take a cold bath while breastfeeding?
Pregnant women with a cold should exercise caution when choosing medicines and home remedies. For example, certain additives are unsuitable because they can trigger labor. A hot bath also weakens the circulation, which is already stressed by pregnancy. A quick bath to warm up is fine, of course.
This precautionary measure also applies during breastfeeding: If you want to be on the safe side, avoid additives that contain camphor, menthol or eucalyptus oil.
Which cold bath is suitable for babies and children?
The smallest ones in particular often catch infections, as their immune system does not yet know every pathogen and has to mature completely. Since certain essential oils are poorly tolerated by children, other additives have taken their place.
Cold baths for babies contain thyme oil, myrtle or star anise as active ingredients. Women can also use these themselves during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Alternatively, gentle cold ointments to rub in and additives to inhale are available for small children. But even these should not contain menthol, eucalyptus oil or camphor!
Relaxing After Bath: What's Right Or Wrong?
After bathing – just like after a sauna session – it is important to pay attention to relaxation. This includes wrapping up warm, lying down and resting for about half an hour. So the cold bath can have an optimal effect and the circulation stabilizes again. Applying a moisturizing lotion to the skin is also recommended to restore the moisture it has lost, as long baths dry out the skin.
Strengthening the immune system made easy