As your body tries to fight off the cold virus, you’ll struggle with symptoms including coughing, sneezing, a sore throat, sinus congestion and tiredness. Although there is no cure for the common cold, there are a number of remedies aimed at easing these symptoms while your body naturally fights it away.
So if you have a cold that you can’t seem to get rid of, here are some of the best home remedies that will get you feeling healthy again in no time.
Pack yourself with superfoods
The phrase is “you are what you eat” and packing your body full of healthy superfoods can boost your immunity. Try oily fish, garlic, citrus fruits, leafy greens, blueberries and even dark chocolate that contain disease-fighting antioxidants, which will help you both in the short and long term.
Steam it away
Got a stuffy nose? You can loosen it up by holding your head over a pot of steaming water and breathing in slowly. Another way to get steam is with a hot shower that will help you to sweat out the sickness and perk you up too.
If you feel the symptoms of a cold creeping up on you, it’s important that you get as much rest as possible before it worsens. This will help your body in fighting off the infection rather than focusing its attention on other things that may aggravate it and is definitely the most natural way to stave off a cold.
Staying hydrated is important at all times but particularly when you have a cold. Drinking plenty of fluids will help to relieve your congestion, and if you have a sore throat, a cold drink will help to soothe it. You should stick to water, herbal teas and fruit drinks rather than fizzy sodas.
Try a salt water rinse
A salt water rinse for your nose is a good way to help irritating nasal congestion because it helps to clear out unwanted bacteria that may be irritating it further. You can usually buy the correct saline solution from a drugstore or make one at home by mixing some boiling water with half a teaspoon of salt. Of course, you should wait till the water has cooled down before you rinse your nose! You can get special devices to carry out a salt water rinse such as a bulb syringe or a neti pot, but otherwise, a cupped hand can work just as well.
Get enough heat
Placing a hot water bottle on your chest will help to ease congestion and stuffiness, loosen up your muscles and soften phlegm so that it can be removed more easily. Rubbing some menthol salve onto your chest will increase the effectiveness of the hot water bottle too. If you find it more comfortable, wrap your hot water bottle in a soft flannel.
Gargling with warm salt water may sound unpleasant, but it really helps to moisten your sore throat for some time. The salt will draw excess fluid out of the tissues in your throat through the clever science of osmosis. You should try to do this four times a day by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt into eight ounces of warm water. For something a little more exotic, try a mixture of one cup apple cider vinegar, four tablespoons of dry sage, one teaspoon of salt and one cup of water.
Add an extra pillow
One of the most irritating things about having a cold is not being able to sleep at night because you feel as though your breathing is restricted. Don’t fret, as adding an extra pillow under your head while you rest will help to drain nasal passages. The best way is to arrange your pillows in a triangle shape sloping upwards from your shoulders.
Drink hot liquids
Hot liquids will relieve any congestion that you have by soothing the inflamed lining of your nose and throat. A cup of hot herbal tea, specific cold and flu remedies, chicken soup or a recipe such as warm bourbon and honey (adults only!) are usually the best options.
Apply hot or cold compresses to your sinuses
Hot or cold compresses on your congested sinuses can help you to feel more comfortable, particularly when you’re trying to get some much-needed sleep. You can buy hot or cold reusable packs at a drugstore, or you can easily make your own at home by heating or cooling a damp washcloth. If you have a frozen bag of peas handy, this may be used too!
No one likes to suffer from a cold, but it should be reassuring to you to know that there are various good ways to tackle it. Whether you need pain relief, sinus relief or just a good old clear out of your nasal passages, these remedies should help you to feel better while you fight off your cold.