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17 Home Remedies for Cold : Symptoms, Prevention and Medication

17 Home Remedies for Cold


Everyone at some point in their life gets a cold. They are so common that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people can expect to get about two colds per year.

Although cold is not dangerous but the combination of body aches, fever, chills, and nasal congestion make leave the person miserable.

Colds are caused by viruses and therefore there is no cure for a cold. Over 200 viruses can cause the common cold, but it’s most commonly caused by the group of viruses known as rhinovirus.

Symptoms of Common Cold

• Runny nose
• Blocked sinus
• Headache
• Fever or chills
• Body ache
• Coughing
• Sore throat

head ache

Is cold really that bad?

Believe it or not, but those annoying symptoms you’re experiencing while having a cold are a part of a natural healing process. It is believed that your immune system is battling illness thus becoming more stronger.

For Example, The fever in your body that you feel while cold indicates that the body is trying to kill viruses by creating a hotter than normal environment. This hot environment makes the germ-killing protein in your blood.

Another example is coughing. By coughing you clears your breathing passage of thick mucus that can carry germs to your lungs.

So if you face a moderate fever for a day or two, you may actually get well faster. Always know when not to treat symptoms.

Home remedies for Cold
Though you can’t treat the common cold with antibiotics. But you can use certain home remedies that do not have any side effects and these remedies might help you feel better.

1) Stay Hydrated


When you suffer from a cold, you often also face dehydration. Drinking fluids helps in the prevention of dehydration and is helpful in the thinning of the mucus and making it easier for you to drain it from your nose. Water, soups, juice, broth, warm lemon water with drops of honey all helps in loosening the congestion and ease a sore throat thus prevents dehydration.

Avoid alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated sodas which will only contribute to dehydration.

2) Honey


Honey has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which helps it to fight against viruses and bacteria. Research suggests that honey is an effective cough suppressant.

Honey should only be given to the child above 1 year. As to children below 1 year, honey can cause botulism, which is a type of food poisoning.

3) Gargling with Salt Water

Gargling with Salt Water

While suffering from cold, you are often advised to gargle with warm saltwater. But why? Gargling with salt water helps in relieving upper respiratory infections. It eases sore throat and nasal congestion.

When you gargle with warm salt water, it loosens the mucus which contains bacteria and allergens and brings temporary relief.

To use it, add one teaspoon of salt in a warm glass of water, swish this solution into your mouth and throat and then spit it out. This remedy will definitely give you relief from sore throat and congestion.

4) Steam


Steaming is often recommended to the person suffering from a cold. When you steam, you loosen up your stuffy nose thus it relieves you from congestion.

To do so Carefully hold your head over a pot of hot boiling water and try to breathe as much deep as possible. This will help to melt the mucus in your nose, thus relieving you from the congestion of the nose.

You can also use a humidifier to do so. It will reduce your exposure to the flu-causing virus and helps in reducing nasal inflammation and congestion making it easier for you to breathe. But change the water in the humidifier daily to stop any other fungi or mold from growing and clean it as per the manufacture’s instructions.

5) Blow your nose the right way

Blow your nose the right way

It’s important to blow your nose regularly than sniffling mucus back into your head. But make sure you do it the correct way because when you blow hard, pressure sends germ-carrying phlegm back to the ear passage, and this causes earache.

The right way to do it is: Press a finger over one nostril while you gently blow through other nostril to clear it.

6) Get enough bed rest

Get enough bed rest

When you give your body enough rest, you give energy to your body to fight against foreign viruses and bacteria. Therefore your body needs enough rest to heal.

7) Use nasal spray

Nasal Spray

Saline drops are also beneficial when it comes to nasal congestion. It relieves you from nasal stuffiness and congestion.

To do so: Mix 3 teaspoons of iodine-free salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda, place this mixture in an air-tight container. At the time of use, take 1 teaspoon of this mixture to 8 ounces of lukewarm boiled. Then fill a bulb syringe with this solution or you can also use a neti-pot.

Then lean your head over a basin and gently squirt this solution into one nostril while holding the other nostril. Let it drain and repeat the same with the other nostril.

Always use a distilled water and rinse bulb or neti pot after every use, otherwise, you might get an infection.

8) Drink hot liquids

hot liquids

Hot or warm liquids relieve you from congestion and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membrane of your nose or throat, it also prevents dehydration.

If during the night you can’t sleep due to congestion of the nose. Try this age-old remedy to get relief-Just make a hot cup of herbal tea and add one teaspoon of honey and one small shot of whiskey or bourbon to it and drink it up. Don’t add too much alcohol as it will only inflame the membranes and you might feel worse.

9) Relieve Pain


When your fall sick due to a cold then for children above 6 months, give the only acetaminophen, and for children older than 6 months give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Adults can take acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), Aspirin.

Aspirin should not be given to children and teenagers who are recovering from chickenpox or flu as aspirin is linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition in children.

10) Garlic


Garlic contains the compound allicin, which has anti-microbial properties. (Click here to read more about garlic). So adding garlic to your diet might reduce the symptoms of your cold. According to the research people who are given garlic supplements for 12 weeks during the cold season tend to have significantly fewer colds than those who didn’t take the supplements.

11) Ginger


According to the research, just 1 gm of ginger can alleviate clinical nausea of diverse causes. Add Few slices of ginger in a glass of water and boil for few minutes in a vessel. Now strain the water and add few drops of honey to it. Take this concoction, it will relieve you from congestion and sore throat.

12) Vitamin C

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C plays a major role when it comes to the health of your body. Limes, oranges, grapes, leafy vegetables are all the sources of vitamin C. Adding just a few drops of lemon to the hot tea with honey reduces phlegm when you are sick. Moreover, vitamin C also helps in building the immune system. Also relieves you from upper respiratory tract infection and illness.

13) Pro-biotics


Probiotics are friendly bacteria and yeast. They make your gut and immune system healthy. Studies show that the intake of probiotics reduces the chances for an adult to fall sick with an upper respiratory infection. One of the commonly used probiotics is yogurt. Include it into your diet, apart from being a pro-biotic it is delicious and full of protein and calcium.

14) Echinacea


The root of the echinacea plant has been used to treat the infection for more than 400 years by native Americans. Its active ingredients are flavonoids which boost your immune system, and other chemicals that have therapeutic value. According to the study, the intake of echinacea can lower your risk of developing a common cold to more than 50 percent. Take 1 to 2gm of the root of echinacea as a herbal tea 3 times a day for a week.

15) Menthol


Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor have a mild numbing property. So when a small dab of them is rubbed under the nose, it relaxes the nose and relieves the body from pain and congestion.

16) Zinc


Studies show that zinc supplements are meant to reduce the length of a cold.

17) Hot and Cold packs

Hot and Cold packsYou can buy reusable hot or cold packs from the drugstore and use them to get rid of congestion and inflammation.


Though with the help of the above home remedies, your cold will not last a week. But if it does for more than 10 days, then you need to seek a doctor immediately.

According to Stringer: “A viral infection usually goes away on its own within a week or so, but an infection that lasts longer is often bacterial and may require an antibiotic “.

So if you feel symptoms such as high fever, or shortness of breath, or any serious symptoms that last longer then see a doctor right away.

Though with the help of the above home remedies, your cold will not last a week. But if it does for more than 10 days, then you need to seek a doctor immediately.

According to Stringer: “A viral infection usually goes away on its own within a week or so, but an infection that lasts longer is often bacterial and may require an antibiotic “.

So if you feel symptoms such as high fever, or shortness of breath, or any serious symptoms that last longer then see a doctor right away.

The common cold occurs due to a virus so it can’t be treated with anti-bacterial medication. But with the right home remedies, we can get rid of it within a week or so.

Though some remedies might sound a bit weird they have been used for a long time and had amazing healing results.

Written by Rajnish Singh


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