As the weather gets colder, it’s good to be prepared with quick and natural cold remedies. Here are 10 you can easily do at home.
In this article:
- Get Plenty of Rest
- Gargle with Salt Water
- Stay Hydrated
- Apply Mentholated Salve
- Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C
- Use Eucalyptus Oil
- Take a Warm Bath
- Try a Humidifier
- Do Some Light Exercise
- Use a Nasal Spray
10 Natural Cold Remedies You Can Try at Home
1. Get Plenty of Rest
If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s important to take cold remedies, but getting rid of the common cold will need cooperation from your own body. Whether it’s the flu, a sore throat, a runny nose, congested nasal passages, or all of the above, your body needs to fix itself by sleeping.
Fighting a cold can be taxing for the body so make sure to give yourself ample time to rest and recuperate. Get enough sleep and take a day off if needed to give your body a chance to recover.
By simply slowing down and resting, you’re giving your body an opportunity to fight off the infection. During this rest, you can also try natural cold remedies to help ease symptoms and hasten your body’s healing.
2. Gargle with Salt Water
Some colds start out as a scratchy throat. Although sore throats are inconvenient, symptoms can be relieved with a common kitchen ingredient: salt.
Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water and gargle daily. This will provide temporary relief for a sore or scratchy throat.
It can also help ease nasal congestion and loosen mucus.
Continue to gargle this solution until sore throats or flu symptoms disappear.
3. Stay Hydrated
You tend to lose fluids when you have a cold. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water, sip warm drinks, and eat some soup.
Hot beverages help relieve nasal congestion and soothe inflamed membranes in your nose and throat. Tea and water are safe choices but avoid coffee, alcohol, soda, and other sugary drinks as much as possible, since these can dehydrate you.
4. Apply Mentholated Salve
Apply mentholated salve under your nose to relieve irritated skin and open air passages.
Salve Definition: A topical ointment used to soothe problematic skin.
Look for soothing ingredients like menthol, camphor, peppermint, and eucalyptus as these are known to help combat congestion and reduce coughing. Apply a dab of salve before going to bed to improve sleep.
5. Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C can help boost your immune function. When you have a cold, eat foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, and dark leafy greens.
You can also try switching your morning cup of coffee to hot water with lemon and honey. Lemon contains antibacterial properties that fight viruses and honey soothes an irritated throat and helps reduce phlegm.
Drink a mixture of honey, lemon, and hot water at night before bed to ease an itchy or sore throat. This will help avoid coughing at night.
6. Use Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus has antimicrobial properties that can help reduce viral infection.
To remedy colds with eucalyptus oil, add 4 to 5 drops to a large pot or bowl of steaming water. Lean over and inhale the steam for about five minutes.
This is one of the homemade cold remedies being used to help ease a stuffed nose and open up the lungs.
You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into your bath to relieve a stuffy nose.
7. Take a Warm Bath
Some essential oils you can use to help with symptoms of upper respiratory infections include:
8. Try a Humidifier
Increased humidity relieves nasal inflammation allowing you to breathe more easily when you have a cold. Additionally, creating a more humid environment reduces the chance of flu-causing viruses to spread.
Like a steam bath, you can also add an essential oil or two to relieve symptoms brought on by bacterial and viral infections.
9. Do Some Light Exercise
If you are not completely exhausted, doing some light and gentle exercise can help alleviate symptoms of colds. Walk, stretch, and do some yoga to ease body aches, combat sluggishness, and open up air passages.
Doing so will help relieve tensed muscles and soothe the feeling of soreness as well.
10. Use a Nasal Spray
If there’s too much nasal congestion and gargling saline solution doesn’t work, try using a nasal spray.
There are many nasal sprays that you can buy over the counter, but you use your own solution at home.
Using a syringe or a Neti pot, you can decongest sinus clogging.
Neti Pot Definition: A container used to rinse out nasal passages. It is commonly used to treat respiratory infections and ailments.
Here’s how to make a homemade nasal spray:
- Fill a bulb syringe or Neti pot with the saline solution.
- Lean your head over a basin then gently squirt the water into one nostril. Make sure to cover the other nostril with your finger.
- Let the solution drain into the basin. Some of the mucus may come out along with it.
- Do the same with the other nostril.
Learn more about eliminating colds fast by watching this video from Dr. Josh Axe:
These are just some of the natural cold remedies that you can easily do in the comfort of your own home. You don’t always need to rely on over-the-counter medicine when you’re suffering from cold symptoms.
Sometimes, the most effective cure is simple, easy, and natural!
What other natural remedies for the common cold have you tried? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 5, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.