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20 Home Remedies for Fighting a Cold

Neti Pot

Neti pots are an ancient Indian tradition used to relieve nasal congestion by irrigating your sinuses. This is a quick and easy home remedy for those suffering from nasal congestion or other cold symptoms.

The neti pot works by using water to clean out your sinuses of mucus, which also helps relieve swelling. Use a saline solution for extra relief from nasal congestion, just make sure to use distilled water to avoid introducing other bacteria.

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Honey

Honey isn’t just a delicious condiment; it also has effective powers as a cough suppressant and sore throat relief. This is a common household remedy that has been around for a long time. You can mix honey in with hot tea, or eat it by itself to reap the health benefits.

Honey has been found to work just as well as other common over-the-counter cough suppressants. Eat some honey before bedtime to reduce nighttime coughing and improve your sleep.

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Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil and other essential oils have been used to treat ailments for a long time, including the common cold. This essential oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can kill airborne germs, which makes it a natural nasal decongestant. It is also an expectorant for mucus and is effective for relieving headaches.

You can use an oil diffuser to put out puffs of symptom-relieving air at timed intervals or even inhale directly from the bottle to relieve congestion. Another method is to get a warm, damp cloth, put a few drops of the oil inside, and place it on your chest for deep congestion relief.

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Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is a naturally-occurring mineral that will ease muscle aches and help you sleep well. You can add Epsom salt to a hot bath for a detoxifying relief that also helps increase your white blood cell count. Increased white blood cells will help your body fight off the cold.

Just fill up a bath with warm, steamy water and add some Epsom salt for a relaxing and symptom-relieving home remedy

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Chicken Soup

Chicken soup has been touted as comfort food that's helpful for getting over the cold. Chicken noodle soup contains a small amount of prostaglandins, something our body naturally produces in response to injury or infection. The prostaglandins in chicken noodle soup help fight infections and relieve inflammation.

This soothing soup also has mucus-thinning properties so you will find additional relief from sinus congestion.

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Thyme Tea

Thyme is a natural expectorant that helps relax your respiratory tract, loosen mucus, and relieve symptoms of a cough. Making a thyme tea can reduce the frequency and duration of coughs. 

Brew fresh or dried thyme in hot water for 15 minutes. You can even add honey to sweeten the tea and get an extra boost of cough relief.

 

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Menthol

Menthol is a natural cooling ingredient found in plants such as mint and is easily recognizable due to its smell. You might be familiar with Vicks VapoRub, which contains menthol for its soothing properties. This effective home remedy prevents coughing and soothes the nerves in the throat.

 

You can get a menthol salve like Vicks, some cough drops with menthol as an ingredient, or use a vaporizer to expel it into the air in your home. Do not chew or swallow the cough drops, let them melt in your mouth so your throat can benefit from the numbing effect.

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Extra Pillow

Relieving pressure on your airways to ease congestion and allow for easy breathing is important. If you can’t breathe through the congestion, you’ll just be up all night coughing. Add an extra pillow to your regular stack to elevate your body and allow for easier breathing.

Elevating your head will help relieve congested nasal passages, but if the angle is awkward, try putting the pillow under your mattress or mattress topper for a more gentle incline.

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Green Tea

Hot drinks, in general, help provide relief from cold symptoms, such as sore throat and congestion. Green tea has many additional health benefits that can help you get better faster. This drink has antiviral properties and is also helpful for preventing sickness due to its immune-boosting properties.

Green tea also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties and is good for people of all ages. It strengthens your bodies natural defenses, which reduces the risk of getting sick. It can also decrease the amount of time it takes to recover.

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Oranges

Oranges are chock-full of vitamin C, which plays an important role in your body. Vitamin C can prevent sickness, provide relief for chest congestion and infections, and shorten the length of your cold.

You can take vitamin C supplements or just reach for a big, juicy orange to get your nutrients. If you prefer, you can drink orange juice as long as it doesn’t have a ton of added sugar.

 

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Garlic

Small but mighty, consuming just a little garlic goes a long way in alleviating your cold symptoms. Garlic contains the compound allicin and has antifungal and antibacterial properties. This can help you recover faster and avoid getting sick in the first place.

You can consume raw garlic by making a drink with it, or add fresh garlic to your meal for added flavor and health benefits. Just don’t eat too much garlic, or it may worsen your symptoms.

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Stay Hydrated

Drinking water and staying hydrated is essential to all bodily functions. You can drink water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water to stay hydrated while you’re sick. If you like tea, you can drink that as long as it doesn’t have sugar or caffeine, which can make you dehydrated and worsen cold symptoms.

Avoid alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated sodas because they will make dehydration worse and slow down your recovery time. Staying hydrated allows your body to heal and also loosens up stuffiness and congestion.

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Get Plenty of Sleep

Getting warm and cozy in your bed for a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do if you’re fighting the common cold. Your body does all of its best healing and recovery while you’re asleep because it's when your brain can focus on your body. It’s hard work fighting off the cold, so give your body the opportunity to do its thing.

Getting enough sleep also plays a huge role in your overall health, not just recovering from sickness. For a better quality of life and immune system, get your recommended eight hours every night.

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Apple, Carrot, and Orange Juice

An easy way to get a whole bunch of sickness-fighting vitamins and minerals juice immune-boosting fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and oranges contain vitamins A, B6, and C as well as potassium and folic acid. These foods all help your body fight off sickness and recover faster.

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Humidifier

Dry air can make it hard to breathe, dry out your skin, and make your sinuses bleed. Humidifiers are an easy way to rectify this problem because it puts moisture in the air. Along with providing soothing moisture, humidifiers make you feel more comfortable in your home by easing the pain on your nasal, throat, and lung passages.

There are several different types of humidifiers on the market including steam vaporizers, evaporators, and ultrasonic humidifiers. There is a humidifier out there for everyone--just make sure you change the water daily to avoid mold growth.

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Ginger

Ginger has been utilized in medicine and home remedy treatments for hundreds of years due to its curative properties. You can add ginger to food, make a tea out of it, or eat a few slices of raw ginger root to help soothe symptoms of the cold, such as cough, sore throat, and nausea.

Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties to treat the sore throat directly. It can also kill rhinoviruses, which cause colds in the first place.

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Echinacea

Echinacea has been shown to shorten the duration of a cold and reduce the severity of symptoms. Native Americans have used echinacea for hundreds of years to treat infections, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation.

 

You can make a tea out of echinacea root or you can get some supplements with echinacea if you don’t like the taste.

 

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Watermelon

Watermelon contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, and zinc, all of which contribute to improved immune health. This superfood also contains about 92% water, so you’ll be getting hydrated while you enjoy a treat.

 

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Zinc

Zinc is a home remedy for the common cold that has been around for a while. Taking zinc within 24 hours of the start of your symptoms and continuing to take it throughout your cold will help shorten the amount of time that you’re sick. Zinc stops cold viruses from sticking around in your nose and throat, as well as preventing the virus from multiplying.

 

Zinc throat spray and lozenges are products on the market for cold relief, but lozenges are more effective. Just make sure to suck on it--don’t chew it up and swallow it. It needs to dissolve slowly to coat your throat and bring you relief.

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A Hot Bath

If you’re suffering from congestion, sore throat, and fever associated with your cold symptoms, an easy home remedy is taking a hot, steamy bath. Much like a humidifier, the steam provides soothing moisture to your nose and throat and prevents your sinuses from getting dry and cracked.

Soaking in a hot tub also helps boost your immune system and stops the cold virus from reproducing. This can reduce your fever and provide relief for other symptoms from your cold, too.

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