Cold and flu season varies from region to region, but the highest risk of catching a cold or a flu typically occurs during shifts in the weather and the fall and winter. The flu can travel quickly from person to person, and in its most severe form, can keep a person out of commission for a week or more. Colds are typically less severe, but can have a nasty affect on the body for a short period of time. Most doctors will treat colds or the flu with a series of antibiotics and other medicine designed to keep a person healthy. In addition to these treatments, there are several home remedies for colds that will provide comfort during the flu or a cold.
- Take supplements such as vitamin C, echinacea and zinc. These vitamins will help boost your immune system and may prevent the cold or flu from worsening. Take the supplements at the first sign of the illness, when you notice a throat tickle, start to sneeze or just feel a little off.
- Keep your water intake high. Dehydration can have an adverse affect on the body, according to Web MD. Drinks with a high vitamin content are also helpful, but drinks with caffeine are not. The recommended liquid intake is 8 to 10 8-ounce servings of beneficial liquids. Soups also count toward liquid intake.
- For a sore throat, try gargling salt water four times a day. Mix about a quarter teaspoon of salt in 4 ounces of water. This can help loosen membranes and soothe a raw throat. A tea gargle, containing tea, lemon juice and honey can also help soothe a raw or scratchy throat.
- Make use of a humidifier to keep stuffiness at bay. You can make your own humidifier by boiling water on the stove. Place a towel over your head and inhale the steam to loosen the mucous inside your nose and throat.
- Get plenty of rest. Your body needs this time to recover. Avoid regular or strenuous activities, such as heavy exercise, nighttime activities or work, if possible.
- Bathe or take a shower daily, if possible. The warm water has a soothing effect on the body, and the steam can help relieve some nasal and chest congestion.
- Drink plenty of hot liquids. Tea with honey is one of the most effective liquids to drink during the flu or cold. Try adding some fresh lemon juice and honey to any hot beverage to soothe the throat. You can even add one ounce of whisky or bourbon to tea to help clear the nasal passages. Too much alcohol, can have an adverse effect, however, according to Web MD.