10 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of a Cold Fast
Common colds are ubiquitous and have the potential to negatively affect people’s day-to-day lives. They can lead to fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms that can keep you from performing your daily duties. However, there are natural remedies readily available to help beat a cold without the need for prescription medication. Here are ten natural remedies that you can use to relieve your cold symptoms and get you back to feeling better fast.
The Best Foods to Eat to Get Over a Cold
One of the best natural remedies for fighting a cold is good nutrition, which helps with the proper functioning of the immune system. Here are a few foods that can enhance your immunity and help fight your common cold:
1. Chicken soup
Chicken soup is a classic home remedy for fighting colds. Studies have found that it can help reduce inflammation, alleviate nasal congestion and promote general relaxation and thus, faster recovery. The hot steam produced by the soup can loosen the mucus in the chest and nasal passages to make it easier to breathe. The amino acid cysteine from the chicken reduces the thickness of mucus in the lungs, thus making it easier to cough up.
2. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that help enhance the immune system. Vitamin C aids in minor symptoms such as cough and sore throat. So, consuming whole fruit or juicing or adding it to infused water can help to keep those symptoms to a minimum. You can try oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits to get your vitamin C fix.
3. Ginger Tea
Ginger is a potent natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, reducing the pain associated with a sore throat and reducing inflammation in the body. It also helps to regulate the internal temperature of the body, which is beneficial in reducing fever and decreasing chills. To make ginger tea, simply grate about an inch of ginger root into boiling water and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then, strain the tea and add honey to taste, which is an excellent remedy for a sore throat.
Natural Remedies for Relieving Cold Symptoms
Here are some natural remedies that can alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of a cold:
1. Saltwater Gargle
A saltwater gargle can help to clear your nasal passages by reducing inflammation in the throat. It can also help in soothing a sore throat, which is a common symptom of the cold. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and gargle it several times a day for relief.
2. Eucalyptus Oil
A balm or salve made with eucalyptus oil can help with relieving nasal congestion, sore throat, and coughing. The chemical compound in eucalyptus oil, called cineole or eucalyptol, is an effective decongestant that helps to reduce phlegm and mucus build-up. Rub the balm under your nose, chest, and on the back of your neck before sleeping to facilitate breathing and get sound sleep.
Honey is rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial properties that can enhance natural body defenses against infections. It contains a natural cough suppressant that can relieve irritation to your throat as well as reduce the risks of allergic reactions in children. Just take a spoonful before bed to alleviate the cough, or add it to your tea for a soothing effect.
Over-the-Counter Medications to Treat a Cold
If natural remedies don’t seem to work in reducing your cold symptoms, you can try over-the-counter medications for relief. Here are a few options:
1. Painkillers and Fever Reducers
Painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen and fever reducers like aspirin can help alleviate cold symptoms such as fever, body aches, and headaches. However, make sure to read the instructions on the box carefully, as each medication has different side effects and dosages, based on an individual’s health status. It is also important to strictly adhere to the dosage instructions, as overuse can lead to harmful consequences.
2. Nasal Decongestants
For nasal congestion, over-the-counter nasal decongestants such as phenylephrine, oxymetazoline or pseudoephedrine can help. These products work to open up the nasal passages and make it easier to breathe. However, be cautious as these medications may dry out your mucous which in turn can lead to ‘rebound congestion.’
How to Get Rid of a Cold Fast: Tips and Tricks
The following additional tips can help you get rid of a cold faster:
1. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink plenty of fluids like water, warm tea, or soup. It can help to keep you hydrated and loosen mucus in the chest and nasal passages.
Getting enough rest and sleep is vital for a speedy recovery. It keeps the immune system healthy, which is crucial in fighting off infections and illnesses like the common cold.
3. Steam Therapy
Steam therapy is an effective way to relieve chest congestion and nasal congestion. Simply take a hot shower, bathe in a tub with hot water, or use a humidifier to raise the humidity level in your room and moisturize the nose and throat. However, be careful not to get burned by the hot water or steam.
Dealing with a cold can be annoying and disruptive to your daily life. However, these natural remedies, over-the-counter medications, and tips can help you alleviate the cold symptoms and get back to feeling better fast. By incorporating these remedies into your daily routine, you can not only boost your immune system but also enjoy a symptom-free life.