Top 7 Home Remedies to Treat the Common Cold
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The common cold can be an absolute nightmare. Although they usually last less than a week, with pounding headaches, gut wrenching coughs, and a relentlessly drippy nose, we feel like they last forever.
The worst part is, there’s no cure for the common cold! We just have to wait for it to pass. But if waiting helplessly isn’t your cup of tea, there are a few home remedies that can help ease the symptoms and hopefully get you back on your feet faster.
So take some comfort in our top 7 remedies to treat the common cold!
This is one that people often don’t know about, or just forget. But garlic is actually a great home remedy for a cold. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties that will relieve your symptoms and give your immune system a helping hand with your recovery. It’s also a good decongestant, so it should help if you’re feeling all stuffed up.
As for how you should have it, there are a few options that you can try. Most people reckon that raw garlic is the most effective remedy for a cold. I know it doesn’t sound very appealing, but if you’ve got a strong stomach you can just munch or suck on a whole clove.
For those that found themselves gagging at the very thought of that, don’t worry, there are easier ways to take your garlic. You can make a hot garlic-y honey and lemon drink by crushing or chopping a clove of garlic and mixing it with hot water, some honey (which is also on our list of top 7 home remedies for a common cold) and lemon juice.
Steam is a classic home remedy for a cold, and all you need to do is inhale it, so you won’t have to consume any awful concoctions. Cold viruses are sensitive to heat, so you can help your body kill them off just by breathing in steam. You’ll feel a lot better for it if you’re blocked up, as steam is another great decongestant. Plus, it’ll improve your breathing.
To get your dose of steam, you can fill a sink or a bowl with hot water (it has to be hot enough to produce steam, so you might want to use boiling water), and with a towel over your head to trap the steam, carefully lean over the water and inhale. Remember to be really careful not to burn yourself or spill any of the boiling water though.
The best bit about this home remedy is that it doesn’t cost you a penny. All you need is hot water and a towel, and you’ll be on your way back to full health.
3. Keep warm – hot water bottle, duvet, stop yourself from getting a chill
This sounds like an obvious one, but it’s one that can make the world of difference. One of the worst symptoms of a cold is having a chill. You can feel cold to your bones, and it just makes you feel worse. So making sure you keep yourself warm is just as important as all of the other home remedies.
Whether you just snuggle up under the duvet, make yourself a hot water bottle or sit by the fire for a bit, you’ll feel a lot better when you’re not shivering. Plus, having a cold is always a great excuse to crack out your favorite winter blankets.
4. Gargle some salt water
Gargling salt water, it’s not the most pleasant of cold remedies, but it helps. This home remedy is one you definitely want to try if your cold comes with a sore throat. Make sure you gargle salt water right in the back of your throat, and you’ll find it’ll ease the pain and reduce any inflammation.
How does it work? Basically, it draws out any excess fluid from inflamed tissues, and works as an antibacterial mixture.
All you need for this home remedy is half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in some water. Then you just gargle and spit (remember the spitting part though, as it won’t be particularly pleasant to swallow).
5. Have some curry
Curries and spicy foods are great for clearing out your system, especially when you’ve got a cold. A lot of the spices used in curries have antiviral properties, which is exactly what you need when you’re feeling under the weather.
Turmeric is fast becoming recognized as one of the most beneficial herbs there is, and luckily, it’s one of the main spices used in curries. It’s a good antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory spice, and so it’s great for helping your body fight off viruses like the common cold. It’s also great for soothing symptoms like a sore throat, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Honey and lemon
This is one of the most well-known and widely used home remedies, and that’s because it really does work. It’s also super easy to make. Simply stir two teaspoons of honey into boiling water, and squeeze some fresh lemon juice (or store-bought if you don’t have any fresh lemons) into it. Then just let it cool a bit and drink up.
They’re both healthy and natural alternatives for medication, and they taste great as well. Honey and lemons are full of vitamins, antioxidants and antibacterial properties, so again, the perfect properties for helping you fight colds. They even help you boost your immune system.
The best part about this home remedy though is undoubtedly how soothing it is to drink when you’ve got a sore throat.
7. Get out in the sun
Admittedly, most of us suffer from colds in the winter months, but a summer cold isn’t uncommon. And if you find yourself coming down with a cold when the sun is blazing outside, you might just be in luck.
Being out in the sun is a great home remedy, as it’s the best way to get a good dose of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps keep your body healthy, and can protect you from respiratory infections. So this is a good one to stop your common cold from developing into something nasty, like a chest infection or even pneumonia.
If nothing else, sitting in the sun is the perfect way to lift your spirits and keep you warm, both important when you’re trying to fight the common cold!