Natural Cold Remedies
With all the advances in modern medicine, there is still no cure for the common cold, but natural cold remedies can lessen the severity of symptoms. Because a cold is a virus and not bacteria, even antibiotics won’t make it go away, so it’s wise to make use of home remedies. A cold must run its course, which is generally seven to ten days.
Typical cold symptoms include mild fatigue, a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, a sore throat, cough and sometimes, tightness in the chest. The symptoms are similar to those of the flu, but note that fever and headache are rarely symptoms of a cold but are common symptoms of the flu. Anyone suffering with headaches and fever, along with other cold-like symptoms, should see a doctor.
Natural Cold Remedies
Cold symptoms can make you feel truly miserable, so while you’re waiting for a cold to go away, try these natural cold remedies for a bit of relief.
1) Salt water gargles – Gargling with warm salt water can help ease the pain of a sore throat. The throat becomes sore due to inflammation and the salt water draws out extra fluid to decrease the inflammation. Add about ½ teaspoon salt to a cup of warm water and gargle a few seconds, then spit it out. Repeat every two to three hours as needed.
2) Honey – The antimicrobial activity can help lessen a cough. Try swallowing a tablespoon of honey, or mix it in a glass of warm water with a little fresh lemon juice; drink slowly. Note that young children should not have honey because it’s possible for them to get botulism.
3) Fluids – Drink plenty of fluids, eight to ten glasses per day, to thin mucous and keep you from becoming dehydrated.
4) Saline Nasal Rinse – Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt with 4 ounces of warm water; apply four drops in each nostril every four to five hours to clear a stuffy nose.
5) Hot showers – Breathing in the steam from the shower helps loosen up congestion.
6) Hard Candy – Sucking on hard candy helps to ease a sore throat.
7) Chicken soup – In a 1978 study at Mount Sinai Medical Center, chicken soup proved to be the most effective liquid for thinning mucous, which clears a stuffy nose.
8. Horehound – The perennial herb, horehound is an effective old-time cold remedy. Horehound lozenges are available in many stores and help to relieve cough and sore throat.
9) Chamomile tea – Sip warm chamomile tea to clear a stuffy nose and comfort a sore throat.
10) Vitamin C – Vitamin C boosts the immune system and therefore, some doctors recommend taking 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C per day to lessen cold symptoms. Eating foods high in Vitamin C is another option.
11) Coffee – A study done in 1997 found that drinking coffee returned cold sufferers’ alertness levels to normal.
12) Use a Vaporizer – Steam from a vaporizer can help raise the humidity and lessen sore throats, and the moist air thins mucous and helps you to breathe easier.
13) Zinc – Taking zinc during the first few days of a cold can actually shorten the length of a cold. In a 2008 study of 50 participants, those that were given zinc supplements got over their colds three days earlier than participants not given zinc. Avoid high doses and also avoid zinc nasal sprays, which can cause a loss of the sense of smell.
14) Rest - A cold can really drag you down, so rest is essential. Take a nap if possible and get to bed early.
For cold symptoms that are severe such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, high fever, dizziness, etc., it’s important to see a doctor. For the common cold with typical symptoms, natural cold remedies should provide some relief.
Have your own tip for relief from the dreaded cold? We would love to hear it, leave a comment below!