12 simple home treatments for the common cold.


12 simple home treatments for the common  cold.

 12 simple home treatments for the common


Try these remedies to get rid of a stuffy nose—and see a doctor if they don't help.

A cold may strike at any time of year, and when it does, you'll want to be prepared with the correct treatments. Even though most individuals recover from the common cold in seven to ten days, minimizing symptom intensity is critical to being comfortable while the virus takes its course.

If you have a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, body pains, a stuffy nose, or a scratchy throat, you may be asking what you can do right now to feel better.

The good news is... There are several over-the-counter (OTC) cold therapies available, such as a decongestant nasal spray, neti pot, or humidifier, that can give instant comfort and help the healing process. Furthermore, it is simple to incorporate some of these therapies into an overall wellbeing regimen.

We go through how to treat a cold, home cures (including 12 natural cold remedies and four over-the-counter and prescription drug therapies), and when to contact a healthcare practitioner for cold symptoms.

12 Cold-Relief Remedies at Home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the common cold is caused by several respiratory viruses, including rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, human metapneumovirus, and human parainfluenza virus (CDC). If you have a cold virus, you should try one or more of the home cures listed below.

1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

"Staying hydrated thins mucus and makes it simpler to clear nasal congestion or cough up phlegm," explains Julia Blank, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica. She suggests drinking water, juice, tea, or soup, but avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.

2. Make use of a cool-mist humidifier.

According to Dr. Blank, another effective cure is to moisten the air using a cool-mist humidifier, which helps cleanse nasal passages and assist remove congestion. Use distilled water instead of tap water whenever feasible, set the unit to 30 to 50 percent humidity, and always follow the device's instructions.

3. Consume chicken noodle soup

Chicken noodle soup is wonderful for the spirit, but it's also a great home treatment for a common cold. "Chicken soup aids hydration, the warm fluid soothes a sore throat, and cysteine—an amino acid found in chicken soup—may help thin mucus and relieve congestion," notes Dr. Blank.

4. Increase your rest time.

When you're ill, it's critical to get lots of rest so your immune system can fight off cold viruses. Adults should strive for seven to nine hours of sleep every night, with naps during the day. Children require nine to twelve hours of sleep every night, whereas adolescents require eight to ten hours.

5. Use lozenges to relieve a sore throat.

Dr. Blank prescribes throat lozenges to temporarily relieve a sore throat. "Menthol lozenges can briefly relieve nasal congestion and soothe a sore throat."

6. Rinse your mouth with salt water.

Consider gargling with salt water if you have a sore and scratchy throat. According to Dr. Blank, this old-fashioned home medicine can help ease throat irritation briefly. In a glass of warm water, dissolve a teaspoon of salt. Take a drink but do not swallow it, and gargle for 10 to 30 seconds at the back of your throat. When you're through, spit it out.

7. Consume warm drinks.

"Warm fluids help thin the mucus in the throat and nose," explains Payel Gupta, MD, a triple board-certified doctor in pediatrics, allergy and immunology, and internal medicine. Warm liquids are also relaxing. Warm lemon water, clear broth, and hot tea are all excellent options.

8- Have some honey.

Coughing at night disrupts sleep and makes it difficult to sleep. If you've previously taken an over-the-counter cough or cold medication and still need assistance, try a tablespoon of honey. Honey not only soothes a sore throat, but it also temporarily relieves a cough, according to Dr. Blank.

9. Inhale some steam

Dr. Gupta suggests using steam to treat a cold. Use a vaporizer or a towel tent to sit over a bowl of hot water and breathe in the steam, which is calming and aids in the removal of mucus and phlegm. "Just make sure you're not sitting too near to the bowl and that the steam isn't hurting delicate mucous membranes," Dr. Gupta suggests.

10. Make use of a neti pot.

Neti pots are usually regarded as safe for use in treating sinus conditions such as the common cold. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using distilled or sterile water, boiled and cooled tap water, or water passed through a filter when utilizing a nasal irrigation device. They also recommend adding a saline solution to the water to reduce discomfort as the water goes through the nasal passages. Dr. Gupta suggests using a neti-pot once a day to irrigate the sinuses. "This will reduce post-nasal drip, which causes coughing and irritation of the throat," she explains. Just be sure to sanitize the neti pot after each usage.

11. Consume an elderberry supplement.

Elderberry supplements may be beneficial in reducing the severity and duration of cold symptoms. Dr. Blank, on the other hand, points out that the mechanism of action is unclear. It may be involved in the body's immunological response to cold and flu viruses. According to a 2016 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment, air passengers who used elderberry from 10 days before departure until four to five days after arrival observed a two-day shorter duration of the cold and a reduction in cold symptoms.

12. Take zinc supplements.

According to the findings of a 2012 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, zinc formulations such as lozenges, pills, or syrup may lessen the length of a cold by around one day, particularly when taken within 24-48 hours of the beginning of symptoms.

Cold cures that don't work.

There are several tried-and-true cures for cold symptoms. However, there are some that lack evidence or professional endorsement to justify their use while treating a cold.

 According to Blank, vitamin C has a lengthy list of health advantages, but curing a cold is not one of them. "Most studies demonstrate that taking vitamin C after the beginning of cold symptoms has little effect," she explains. Dr. Blank does, however, mention that taking vitamin C before cold symptoms appear may help lessen the length of the disease. "This may assist persons who are at high risk due to frequent exposure, such as daycare children or adults who work with tiny children," she says.

RELATED: Health Superstitions You Should Avoid


"Antibiotics are used to combat bacteria, not viruses that cause colds," explains Dr. Blank. In reality, she claims that antibiotics will not help you recover faster and may create adverse effects. Antibiotic overuse leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

When natural therapies fail to work, how do you cure a cold?

When natural therapies fail to relieve cold symptoms, it may be time to consider an over-the-counter (OTC) product or a prescription medicine for the common cold. While this is not an entire list, here are four therapies to think about.

1. Inquire with your doctor about Atrovent.

According to Dr. Blank, the nasal spray Atrovent (ipratropium) can assist to minimize the severity and duration of cold symptoms. Parents of small children or pregnant women should talk to their doctor about the safety of Atrovent.

2. Over-the-counter pain medications come to the rescue

When coping with cold symptoms such as fever or pain, over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) are frequently advised. Both forms of pain medications are suitable for use by youngsters. Follow the age and weight guidelines, and visit your healthcare practitioner if you have any questions. If you're pregnant, the FDA advises you to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, especially after 20 weeks.

3. Over-the-counter cough and cold drugs

There are various over-the-counter cough and cold medications available for adults and children aged 12 and above. According to Dr. Blank, if your child is under the age of 12, you should talk with your physician on what to take. Additionally, if you have underlying medical disorders like high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, heart disease, or anxiety, or you’re on any prescription medicine, she adds to chat to your healthcare practitioner before taking any OTC drug. With that in mind, Blank claims that the following over-the-counter cough and cold medications will help reduce symptoms:

Pseudoephedrine-containing decongestants can aid with nasal congestion.

Mucus-thinning drugs containing guaifenesin (a cough expectorant) can temporarily relieve nasal and chest congestion and make secretions easier to discharge.

Antihistamines, such as Claritin or Zyrtec, can alleviate runny nose and sneezing by drying up nasal passages and secretions.

Some over-the-counter cough and cold medications are safe to consume while pregnant. After the first trimester, these include the decongestant Sudafed (pseudoephedrine), the cough suppressant Robitussin (dextromethorphan), and the antihistamine Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Before using any OTC drug while pregnant, always speak with your healthcare professional.


4. Use a nasal spray to soothe your nose.

"Nasal saline spray can help release secretions and reduce nasal congestion briefly," explains Dr. Blank. Follow the instructions included with the product. The proper application of a spray boosts its efficacy.

While the duration of your symptoms may vary, many individuals are curious about how to cure a cold in 24 hours or even overnight. Staying at home, resting, drinking plenty of fluids, gargling with salt water, taking an OTC medicine, and humidifying the environment are the best ways to combat a cold fast.

RELATED: Cold remedies and drugs that are more commonly used

When should you consult a doctor if you have a cold?

The majority of mild to severe cold symptoms may be treated at home. However, there are situations when consulting with a healthcare practitioner is necessary. "Some people are more likely than others to suffer problems such as subsequent bacterial infections after catching a cold," explains Dr. Blank. Smokers, persons with asthma or COPD, and anybody with a weakened immune system are all at risk. If you fall into a high-risk category, she suggests contacting your healthcare provider if symptoms are more severe or linger longer than you’d anticipate from a cold.

She also advises seeing a doctor if you get symptoms that indicate anything more serious than a cold, such as COVID-19, such as:

 Rash symptoms that continue more than 10 days, especially if they do not improveFurthermore, moderate to severe cold symptoms in young children are best treated by a pediatrician.

It's also critical to understand how to recognize flu symptoms, especially during flu season, so you can seek medical attention as soon as possible. While most respiratory illnesses, such as a cold, resolve within seven to ten days, infectious diseases, such as the flu, can cause major health concerns.

Fever, chills, headache, sore throat, body pains, dry cough, and weariness are some of the most frequent flu symptoms to be aware of. If you have any of these symptoms, consult your doctor right away so that they can treat you and offer flu cures.

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