Since the beginning of time, there have been people trying to find that one magic cure for the common cold. While there is no cure for the common cold, there are some natural remedies that can help ease the symptoms of the common cold. After all, it’s not truly a disease but rather a collection of symptoms caused by various viruses and bacteria.
But before we get to the natural remedies, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do if you have a common cold. Some remedies that claim to “boost your immune system” and “western medicine” can help you “beat” the common cold. These claims, however, are mostly marketing hype. Before you take on the hype, here are nine natural remedies for the common cold:
- A Steamy Shower Will Help – There’s a reason why hot showers and hot baths are a go-to when you’re feeling under the weather. Researchers believe that the heat from the water opens up the pores, which allows the body to release toxins, while the hot water helps to relax the muscles. Of course, steam helps to clear the sinuses.
- Stay Hydrated – When a cold strikes, it is important to continue drinking fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. This is a natural reaction that helps your body get rid of excess fluid. When you are congested, you need to hydrate more, and when you are congested, you feel less thirsty. Even though you might not feel thirsty, you need to drink in order to keep the mucus that your body produces and get rid of it.
- Gargle with Warm Salt Water – What makes salt water so effective for treating colds? It is believed that saltwater helps clear the nasal passage and reduces the swelling in the throat and nose. It’s important to mix the warm water with salt, not just gargle with salt water or even gargle warm salt water. It’s also important to use a teaspoon of salt in approximately one cup of warm water.
- A Bowl of Chicken Soup Also Helps – Chicken soup has been a household remedy for colds for generations. It’s thought to help clear the sinuses and loosen phlegm, thanks to the steam that rises from the soup and the salt content, which helps the body retain water.
- Vitamin C – The first thing to know about Vitamin C is that it doesn’t actually cure colds, but it can definitely help you cope with them. It’s best thought of as a supplement that can help a body that’s already fighting a cold stay stronger and get better faster.
- Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy is one of the natural remedies for the common cold and is a simple but effective treatment. The oils are inhaled and easily penetrate the sinuses and nasal passages. Aromatherapy using peppermint oil is as effective as over-the-counter medications in treating cold symptoms.
- Honey and Tea Combo – Echinacea, zinc, and vitamin C, are among the most popular natural remedies for the common cold. But new research shows that honey and tea (yes, tea!) can help prevent colds and ease symptoms once you catch one. Although honey and tea are rich in sugar, they also contain antioxidants that can provide relief from a sore throat and cough.
- Sleep – According to studies, a healthy amount of sleep to promote optimal health is 7 to 9 hours per night for adults. The amount of sleep you need may differ depending on your age. Say you’re sleep-deprived, you may be more vulnerable to an illness like a cold or the flu. Most of us use over-the-counter cold remedies to get rid of the symptoms, but they don’t work quickly enough; if you want to get rid of your cold faster than drugs can, try sleeping.
- Don’t Forget the Extra Pillow – Pillows work well because they raise your head higher than your chest, thus increasing blood flow to your head. This increases the pressure inside your head and pushes fluid out of your sinuses.
Colds, while we might complain about them, are also a fact of life. But colds are extremely common and symptoms of the flu are reported in 20% of US adults each year, so it is the desire to find fast and effective remedies.