Natural Remedies for the Common ColdCredit: Photo by silviarita on pixabay

The common cold is a type of upper respiratory tract infection with symptoms like coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, and headache. Oftentimes, these symptoms will go away without taking any medications. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take any natural products to help ease your symptoms. These natural remedies for the common cold will not only hasten your healing process but relieve your discomforts as well.

1. GINGER TEA

Ginger Tea for Common ColdCredit: Photo by Free-Photos on pixabay

A warm cup of ginger tea is a great beverage you can drink when you have a common cold. Known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can help soothe your sore throat. But, there’s more! This yellow-colored healing spice also has antimicrobial properties that can help fight the usual cause of the common cold, which is viruses.[1]

To make ginger tea, all you need to do is slice a fresh ginger and simmer it in water for about 20 minutes. You can also add honey and lemon in your tea. These ingredients will not only add flavor to your drink. Honey and lemon have healthful substances that can also help you fight the common cold.

2. STEAM

One of the easiest and most popular natural remedies for the common cold is steam inhalation. Although a steam can’t kill the microorganism that is causing your upper respiratory infection, it can help open your airways, allowing you to breathe comfortably.

The simplest way to do this is to set up a humidifier in your room. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can also fill a bowl with hot water, cover the back of your head with a towel, and inhale the steam slowly and deeply for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can repeat this process two to three times per day. Lastly, taking a hot shower can also help unclog your stuffy nose.

3. HONEY

Honey for Common ColdCredit: Photo by stevepb on pixabay

As mentioned, adding honey to your ginger tea can strengthen the tea’s healing properties against the common cold. So, what makes this natural sweetener a good remedy? Aside from the food’s antimicrobial properties, it can also act as a cough suppressant. In fact, according to a study, when honey was given to children before bedtime, the severity of their cough was reduced. At the same time, the children also slept well, which aids in reducing their symptoms.[2]

Always keep in mind that honey is harmful to children less than a year old. The main reason is due to the underdeveloped immune system of an infant that can’t fight the bacteria that causes botulism. 

4. CHICKEN SOUP

Chicken soup is a popular food given to people who have the common cold. The reason is not only due to the warm and comforting feeling the soup provides. According to a study, chicken soup contains several substances with anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe nasal congestion and other symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.[3] Plus, this delicious soup has a lot of nutrient-dense ingredients that can help nourish and heal your body. The best part is that you can have a bowl of chicken soup multiple times a day without experiencing side-effects.   

5. SPICY FOODS

Spicy Foods for the Common ColdCredit: Photo by RitaE on pixabay

Aside from ginger, there are other healing spices that can help you fight a common cold. Eating a dish with chili peppers, for example, can help clear your nasal passages. This effect is due to the capsaicin in chili peppers, which can act as a natural decongestant. However, the decongestant effect of capsaicin is short-range. Furthermore, eating too many spicy foods may cause digestive problems.

Another excellent spice you can consume when you’re sick is garlic. Although odorous, this spice contains allicin and other substances that possess antimicrobial properties, which can help your body fight infections.[4] In fact, one study showed that individuals taking garlic supplements got better faster compared to those not taking supplements.[5] However, always consult your doctor if you’re planning to take garlic supplements.

6. SALT WATER

Another simple and inexpensive method in this list of natural remedies for the common colds is to gargle with salt water. This solution can help relieve a sore throat by drawing out the excess fluids from the tissues surrounding your throat. Furthermore, gargling with salt water can also help loosen your mucus, removing microorganisms or irritants and clearing your nasal passages. The best part is that gargling regularly, even with plain water, can also prevent upper respiratory tract infections.[6]

To do this remedy, simply mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water. Swish the salt water around your mouth, tilt your head upwards, and gargle the solution for a few seconds. Afterward, spit the solution out.

7. ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential Oils for Common ColdCredit: Photo by monicore on pixabay

As of today, you can buy various essential oils that can help relieve a stuffy nose. One, in particular, is eucalyptus oil. Basically, this potent product with a minty aroma has cineole, a substance that possesses antimicrobial properties.[7] Thus, eucalyptus oil can help your body fight viral infections. But, that’s not all. This essential oil is a popular natural decongestant, so it can also help you breathe more comfortably.

To use this natural remedy, you can place a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a burner or diffuser. You can also use the oil when doing steam inhalation by adding a few drops of oil in a bowl of hot water and slowly breathe in the steam and scent.

Other essential oils you can use are chamomile, peppermint, rosemary, and lavender oil.

8. FOODS RICH IN VITAMIN C

Although vitamin C can’t cure a common cold, this essential nutrient can help reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms of a cold.[8] This is especially true if the vitamin is taken during or before you develop the ailment. Remember, vitamin C can strengthen your body’s immune system, helping it beat the infection. Fortunately, there are a lot of foods rich in vitamin C. Aside from citrus fruits, other great sources of this nutrient are chili peppers, bell pepper, broccoli, spinach, and strawberries.

Natural Cold Remedies

A FEW REMINDERS

Oftentimes, a common cold will go away without taking any medications. Nonetheless, you need to drink a lot of fluids and take a bed rest to hasten your healing process. Taking these natural remedies for the common cold will also help ease your discomforts. However, you need to see a doctor if you have a fever of 39 °C (102 °F), rapid heartbeat, or breathing problems. Seeking medical attention is also a must if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks.

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