The common cold doesn’t come alone; it brings a lot of suffering and discomfort that no one else can understand! It sounds like a line from a daily soap. The line may be dramatic, but the pain is real. Don’t worry! We have some of the best home remedies for the common cold that give you instant relief. Go through this article to know everything in detail.
But before getting into home remedies, let us examine the causes, symptoms, and some tips to prevent the cause of the common cold.
Causes of the Common Cold:
Let us understand a little more about the common cold problem before getting into the home remedies. The viral infection, which is usually called rhinovirus, is the common cause of a common cold. These microbes make your entire body weak by attacking your immune system (1). Some of the factors that contribute to the spread of this health condition are:
- Coming in contact with an infected person.
- Lack of hygiene.
- Droplets of saliva.
- Closed spaces increase the spreading of the infection.
- Allergic reactions.
- Sharing personal items.
- Eating food that is too cold.
Symptoms of the Common Cold:
Here are some of the symptoms you can find when suffering from a common cold:
- Stuffiness and congestion in your nasal glands.
- Runny nose.
- Swelling of your sinus glands and eyes.
- Aching body.
- Loss of appetite.
Tips to Prevent Common Cold:
Preventing a common cold completely may not be possible, but by following a few precautions, you can lower the risk of contracting this health condition:
- Keep a sanitizer and antimicrobial wipes at hand.
- Maintain personal hygiene.
- Clean the surfaces like tables, doorknobs, or stationery items if touched by an infected person.
- Try to keep away from infected people.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid sending your kids to school to avoid spreading if they have a cold.
- Strengthen your immune system by consuming vitamin C rich foods.
Best Home Remedies to Treat Common Cold:
These studies have been designed randomly, and the results are quite conflicting. But drinking a cup of this warm herbal drink will help ease the soreness and irritation in your throat.
The healthy balance of intestinal bacteria is the key to the healthy functioning of our body. Probiotics play an essential role in maintaining balance naturally, along with many other health benefits.
According to studies, Probiotics help improve your immune system’s healthy functioning, resulting in decreased infections in the upper respiratory tract (3), although extensive research is needed.
Here are some of the foods that are loaded with probiotics:
3. Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is essential in the efficient working of the immune system. It can be absorbed from the sunlight abundantly in a natural way. The required amounts present in the body help promote the immune response to several infections like the common cold (4).
Some of the foods that are Vitamin D available from foods are:
- Red meat.
- Egg yolks.
- Vitamin D fortifies foods.
- Oily fishes such as mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines.
4. Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is another vitamin source that offers several health benefits and improves your immune system’s functioning, helping fight cold and eliminating any infection in the upper respiratory tract (5).
Some of the foods that are a rich source of vitamin C are:
- Leafy greens.
Exercise is the key to the healthy functioning of your body in an effective way. Including simple exercise routines or yoga into your daily routine has a profound effect on your immune system, thereby reducing the infections that cause the common cold (6).
Although exercise may not directly reduce cold immediately, it helps reduce congestion, making you breathe easy.
Some of the exercises you can try are brisk walking, jogging, steady bicycling, light hiking, and swimming.
A healthy balance between psychological and physical well-being can be achieved with the practice of meditation. It also helps promote your immune system’s healthy functioning, allowing you to fight health issues like the common cold (7).
Breathing exercises associated with the meditation process helps clear your head and maintain a stress-free environment.
7. Nasal Spray:
A nasal spray is another way that gives you quick relief from common cold home remedy. It helps wash out any dried and thick mucus in your nasal passages relieving the congestion to a great extent. It also helps keep your nasal passages drain faster by making the mucus more fluid (8).
Some non-medicated nasal saline sprays that relieve congestion from a cold are sinex saline ultrafine nasal mist.
The common cold is caused by a virus called rhinovirus, and zinc acts as one of the best cold remedies. Zinc prevents the multiplication of rhinovirus in your mucus membranes, thereby preventing the common cold’s escalation.
Zinc is a common ingredient found in lozenges that reduces upper respiratory infections and reduces the cold duration (9).
Some of the foods that have zinc in abundance naturally are:
- Crab and lobster.
9. Stay Hydrated:
Staying hydrated plays an essential role in your body’s health and makes it easier to drain the mucus from your nose and sinus by thinning it. It also helps keep the congestion away, even in people with seasonal allergies.
You will be able to eliminate the dry feeling in your nose by keeping the membranes lubricated by drinking plenty of fluids.
If you don’t want to drink plain water, you can prepare detox water, herbal teas, etc.
When your immune system is fighting an infection, your body needs enough rest. According to research, your body fights the infection and inflammation in it with the production of proteins called cytokines that your body makes when sleeping (10).
You will be able to fight the cold virus by adjusting your sleep schedule. Make sure to get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep, thereby giving your body the strength to fight off infections.
The antioxidants help fight inflammation in your body, boosting the immune system making caffeine one of the best standard cold treatment at home. Drinking a cup of beverage containing caffeine not only reduces the grogginess associated with cold but encourages your immune system to fight infections (11).
Caution: Make sure to limit caffeine intake to two to three cups a day and don’t consume before going to bed.
12. Green Tea:
Drinking hot beverages tend to offer quick relief from symptoms of cold such as sore throat, fatigue, runny nose by loosening the secretions in the sinus, according to many studies. Similarly, green tea is a hot beverage that speeds up the recovery from the common cold at home with antioxidants’ help (12).
- One green tea bag.
- One glass of water.
- One tbsp of homey.
- One tbsp of lemon juice.
- Boil the glass of water.
- Place the green tea bag and let it steep for a few minutes.
- Mix the contents well after adding honey and lemon juice.
- For effective results, drink this concoction two to three cups in a single day.
See Also: How to Cure Runny Nose Naturally
Garlic is another ingredient that is commonly found in many households. It helps alleviate the symptoms associated with cold with its antiviral and antimicrobial compounds (13). Garlic is also highly beneficial in expediting relief from cold, according to many studies.
- Two cloves of garlic.
- One tbsp of honey.
- Mince the garlic smoothly.
- Consume the garlic with honey.
- You can use this remedy twice a day.
14. Ginger Tea:
Ginger is another ingredient that works as one of the best natural cold remedies with its potent anti-inflammatory properties. It warms up your body, providing relief from chills, which are the primary symptoms associated with cold. It also clears the congestion in your nasal passage to a great extent with its natural spiciness (14).
- Fresh ginger piece.
- One tbsp of honey.
- A cup of water.
- Boil the cup of water and switch off the stove.
- Place the crushed ginger in hot water and let it steep for a few minutes.
- Strain, add honey and drink the concoction.
- You can also add grated ginger to boost the cold-fighting effect and flavor by adding it into your soups or stews.
The antiviral and potent healing properties of honey make it one of the perfect homemade medicine for common cold. It helps fight the bacteria that cause cold by boosting our immune system with its antioxidants (15). It also soothes your sore throat giving you relief.
- One tbsp of raw honey.
How to Use:
- You can either eat the honey raw or add it to a glass of milk and drink it.
Caution: Make sure to use organic honey for effective results.
16. Salt Water Gargling:
Sore throat is one of the common symptoms associated with a common cold. Saltwater gargling can be a perfect cold treatment at home. The salt helps cope with the infection, while the water keeps your throat hydrated (16).
- One tbsp of salt.
- One glass of hot water.
How to Use:
- Add salt to the hot water and mix it well.
- Use this mixture to gargle at least twice a day.
17. Chicken Soup:
Chicken soup is the absolute best home remedy for the common cold. Either prepared from scratch at the comfort of your home or from a can, chicken soup paired with veggies help reduce the infection in your body with the slow movement of neutrophils.
Neutrophils are a type of white blood cells that stay concentrated in the areas that need the most healing when their motion is slow (17).
Chicken soup also keeps you hydrated along with nourishing your body, reducing the symptoms of cold effectively.
Keep the seasonal infection like the common cold at bay with antibacterial and antiviral compounds of mulethi. It helps you breathe by thinning the mucus and deal with the congestion in your chest. Drinking a warm tea prepared with mulethi helps heal the scratchy throat and discomfort associated with cold (18).
- One tbsp of mulethi root.
- Two cups of water.
- One tbsp of honey.
- Boil the two cups of water and add the mulethi root to it.
- Let it simmer for fifteen minutes.
- Strain the contents into a cup.
- Add the honey and mix it well and drink it.
Tulsi is one of the best home remedies for common cold in kids and adults alike. It helps reduce the congestion in your chest with the help of compounds called camphene, cineole, and eugenol. The antioxidants present in basil help fight the inflammation and virus that cause cold reducing pain and irritation (19).
- A handful of tulsi leaves.
How to Use:
- Wash the basil leaves.
- Chew on them to treat cold effectively.
Pepper keeps the pain in your throat at bay, giving you immediate relief from common cold. It also helps reduce the aggravation of cold, which may result in a cough. Consuming black pepper helps stop the sneezing by improving mucus flow in your nasal canals (20).
- ½ tbsp of ground black pepper.
- One glass of warm water.
- Add the pepper to the water.
- Mix the contents well and drink the mixture.
Caution: Inhaling pepper powder increase the sneezing, so be careful while mixing it in the water.
When you are suffering from a cold, a dry environment may make you feel uncomfortable. A dry environment may make your cold worse by making your nasal passages dry. You can use a humidifier in your room and add some essential oils that help you keep the nasal tissue clean and moist, reducing your common cold aggravating chance.
22. Soft Food:
Consuming food for people of any age can be difficult when suffering from a cold, making people lose their appetite. Consuming foods that have a soft consistency is a perfect solution to this problem. Soft and mashed up food makes swallowing much more manageable, keeping your tummy full at the same time. Soups, beverages, fluids that are hot enough to soothe your irritated throat is a welcome option.
23. Over-the-Counter Medication:
As already discussed, since a viral infection causes a common cold, there is no absolute cure except alleviating the symptoms. There are several products from Vicks that help you breathe better, relieving the congestion effectively.
Some of the over the counter medications that help tackle the symptoms associated with the common cold are:
- Analgesics to reduce fever and pain.
- Antihistamines like Benadryl.
- Oral decongestants.
- Nasal steroids.
Caution: It is recommended to consult your doctor before using any medications, and don’t forget to read the product label to rule out allergens.
24. Blow the Nose:
Nose blockage is one of the most annoying consequences of a common cold. Gently clearing your nose can be a natural treatment for cold, and you can do it as many times as you want. Your head feels clearer, and you will be able to breathe better once you blow your nose.
Caution: Blowing your nose too hard may cause harm the tendons and veins in your nose tract.
25. Neti Pots:
Clearing out the mucus and other particles from your nasal canal with neti pots can effectively treat the common cold. Neti pot is a piece of equipment filled with saline water to flush out mucus effectively.
What You Need:
- One neti pot.
- Saline water.
How to Use:
- Fill the neti pot with saline water.
- Bend your head sideways into the sink.
- Place the neti pot in the upper nostril and pour saline water.
- This helps flush out the mucus from the other nostril.
- Repeat the same process on the other side.
Caution: Make sure to bend your head sideways and not let the saline water enter your nose.
26. Avoid Passive Smoking:
“Smoking is injurious to health.” This is a phrase you can find on the pack of cigarettes itself. We all know smoking can cause long-term damage to your lungs, but passive smoking also has similar devastating effects on your health.
It is vital to avoid active or passive smoking if you have a cold since your lungs are already weak from the infection.
27. Germ-free Surroundings:
Having germ-free surroundings is necessary to stay away from any diseases. But it becomes quite essential if you have kids in your home with symptoms of a cold.
Since kids tend to enjoy more on the floor and explore their surroundings by putting everything they find into their mouths, keeping your feet and furniture dirt-free is necessary.
You can use kid-friendly antiseptic lotion not to cause your kids or anyone any side effects.
As we all know, cold is hugely contagious. If you have a person suffering from a common cold in your house or surroundings, avoid using the towels or napkins used by them.
You can be cautious by washing the towels, napkins, and other items used by the infected person, thoroughly preventing the condition’s spread.
29. Going Out:
It can be boring to stay indoors, but when you are suffering from an infection like a cold, it is better to avoid going outside in cold air because it may aggravate the condition. You may find it difficult to breathe and have a headache too.
Since a common cold can be contagious, it is always better to wear a mask or cover your nose and mouth in some way or the other to avoid infecting another person.
30. Dust Allergies:
Cold and cough can be aggravated if you are allergic to dust particles in your surroundings. Therefore keeping the area where you reside clean and tidy plays an essential role in curing a cold at home.
Keeping your windows, doors, and accessories in your house clean will help your body recover from cold-causing infections in a better way.
When to Consult a Doctor:
Although a common cold resolves itself within a week, you may have to visit the doctor if the symptoms persist more than a week accompanied by the following signs, which may indicate something serious than cold.
- If abnormally high temperatures accompany the cold.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Abdominal pain.
- Persistent cough.
The home remedies for cold mentioned in this article help you treat the symptoms naturally and quickly. Instead of going into a panic mode, relax and try out one or more remedies we presented. Take plenty of rest and divert your mind with a movie or some music giving you space to recover. Don’t forget to let us know how this article has helped you!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is informational basis and not a replacement for professional advice. The website is not responsible for any side effects your body might have. Make sure to consult a doctor before starting anything new.
1. How Long Can You Transmit Cold to Another Person?
Ans: You can pass on the cold virus to another person from a day before you start experiencing the cold symptoms for up to a week. This period may extend up to two weeks, especially in kids.
2. Is There Any Medication That Helps Treat the Common Cold Quickly?
Ans: Since viral infection is the root cause of the common cold, antibiotics may not have the effect you want on the microbes. These medications help relieve you from pains and fever associated with cold, but home remedies help you reduce without any side effects. Even with these remedies, the common cold symptoms may last from three days to a week.
3. Is It Safe to Workout When You Have a Cold?
Ans: Although mild exercise can be performed to avoid feeling groggy, it is advised to take a break from any rigorous activities. Since your body will be fighting an infection, it is better to consume nutritious food and take plenty of rest to recover faster.