The common cold is a viral infection that affects millions yearly. It is characterized by cough, sore throat, runny nose, and fever. While there is no cure for the common cold, several natural remedies can help alleviate symptoms and speed up recovery. Here are some step-by-step home remedies for colds:
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do when you have a cold. Drinking plenty of fluids helps keep the mucus membranes in your nose and throat moist, making breathing easier and reducing congestion. Additionally, drinking fluids helps to flush out toxins and bacteria from your body.
Step-by-step: Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water, juice, or broth daily. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate the body.
Get Plenty of Rest
Rest is essential when you have a cold. Your body needs time to heal and recover; getting enough sleep can help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Step-by-step: Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Take naps during the day if you feel tired.
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier can help moisten the air in your home, reducing irritation and inflammation in your nose and throat. Additionally, a humidifier can help to soothe dry skin and ease coughing.
Step-by-step: Use a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep. Clean the humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.
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Gargle with Salt Water
Gargling with salt water can help to reduce inflammation and loosen mucus in your throat. Salt water can also help to kill bacteria and viruses.
Step-by-step: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle for 15-30 seconds and then spit out the water.
Drink Herbal Tea
Herbal tea can help to soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation. In addition, certain herbal teas, such as ginger and echinacea, have been shown to have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Step-by-step: Drink 2-3 cups of herbal tea per day. Add honey and lemon for additional throat-soothing benefits.
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Use Essential Oils
Certain essential oils, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, can help to relieve congestion and reduce inflammation in your nose and throat.
Step-by-step: Add a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. Alternatively, add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser and breathe in the scent.
Disclaimer: These home remedies can help alleviate cold symptoms, but it is important to consult a healthcare professional if the symptoms persist or worsen.
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- Paul IM, Beiler J, McMonagle A, et al. Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(12):1140-1146.
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- Kim JS, Kang JW, Ryu JH, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of the acute bronchitis and acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma in adults. Tuberc Respir Dis (Seoul). 2018;81(4):261-287.