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Karvol Family Decongestant Drops
Member Name: NCG1
Karvol Family Decongestant Drops
Date: 13/05/02, updated on 13/05/02 (1650 review reads)
Advantages: Most effective way of unblocking nose/ sinuses etc, Smells nice (though strong)
Disadvantages: Makes your hair smell like a Scandanvian forest (if you don't use a shower cap), Inhaling is a bit of a fiddle, and not really possible at work
Unless you have a job that involves standing in a hot shower all day (seems unlikely!), it can be difficult to unblock your nose/ sinuses/ lungs when you've got a bad cold. Karvol capsules are designed to help with this.
There are two ways of using them. The first, and definitely most effective, is old shower cap and towel method. You boil a kettle, pour the contents into a bowl, add the contents of the capsule (or two, if you're feeling really bunged up), put a towel over your head and the bowl, place a large box of tissues by your side, and breathe. Deeply. Or as deeply as you can, anyway. Then come out for air, and a quick nose blow/ splutter. And repeat. After ten minutes you should have an impressively large and gunky pile of tissues next to you, and a much clearer head. But what about the shower cap, I hear you ask. Well, its not vital, but if you don't use it you either have to wash your hair or go round smelling like a Scandanavian forest all day. Its not an unpleasant smell, but it is quite strong and distinctive.
The other way of using the capsules is to cut one open and squeeze the contents onto a tissue. You then sniff the tissue, or put it by your pillow at night time. This is a lot less effective, especially if you've got a chesty cough. However, this is probably the safest way to use them for babies and young children - though you must be careful to tie the tissue somewhere out of reach, Karvol is *not* designed to be eaten. Also, it shouldn't be given to babies under three months.
Apparently you can also use Karvol in a humidifier, though I've never tried it. I suspect you would end up with a slightly crusty looking humidifier reservoir - it stains the bowl I use, however much I wash it.
Karvol is made up of a combination of vapour products including menthol, cinnamon oil and pine oil (plus chlorbutol, thymol and terpineol, but I have *no* idea what those are). This is quit
e strong, and if you get it on your skin or in your eyes it will hurt - so don't put it on your nostrils like you can with Vicks. The instructions say to wash it off with plenty of water and seek medical attention.
20 capsules cost about £3.50 - you can buy a packet of 10, but its not such good value. And anyway, they don't go off so you can shove any leftovers into the medicine cupboard for next time.
I would particularly recommend Karvol capsules for people with asthma - I find that they really help when I get a chesty cough and start getting all wheezy. As does Benylin cough mixture, but that's another op... ;-)
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