There’s a popular saying that goes like this,Do everything and your cold will last only a week. Do nothing and your cold will last only 7 days.Indeed, it is believed by many that a common cold will trouble your body and mind for at least a week or so no matter what you do to stop it!
However, that doesn’t mean you need to just sit there and wait for the cold to take its toll on you for an entire week. There are certain ways you can get relief from common cold and the symptoms that accompany the condition.
Follow these tips and you could most probably get cured from the cold and its side effects within 3-4 days instead of suffering for an entire week or more.
Natural Remedies for Common Cold
Given below are some of the most popular (and equally effective) natural remedies for common cold.
Foods That Help You Fight off Common Cold
Certain foods can help you fight off the symptoms of common cold and the infection causing it as well. These include:-
Chicken soup is known to contain substances called cysteines which help clear out mucus blockages in the nose and throat. While the hot liquid would help thin the mucus lining in the throat, the fumes of the soup would clear nasal blocks effectively.
Chicken soup also provides an individual with all the necessary nutrients to fight off the viral infection.These nutrients are supplied in an easily absorbable form that makes the ensuing relief quick and effective.
One of the best ways to release a nasal blockage is to inhale some peppers or bite into them. Peppers contain capsaicin that acts an effective expectorant that would help clear up mucus present in the throat and all the way up to the head.
Chew some peppers and your eyes and nose would start to water in no time at all, thereby clearing that annoying stuffy nose that usually accompanies common cold.
Combine a cup of hot tea with ingredients like honey,spices or herbs to get instant relief from nasal blockages and a sore throat.
Accordingly, you can add ingredients like ginger, mint, bee balm, lemon balm, garlic, horsemint, onions, catnip, yarrow and mustard etc. to get relief from the symptoms of common cold.
Honey can act as an effective expectorant for a sore throat. Make a cough syrup that contains honey and apple cider vinegar in equal proportions (1:1) and store it in a bottle. 1 tablespoon of the syrup at regular intervals throughout the day (at least once in 4 hours) would help keep nasty coughs at bay. Shake the bottle well before using it.
Salt can be used to make saline drops that are very effective in treating nasal blockages that accompany common cold.Mix 8 ounces of water with 1/ 4 teaspoon of salt. Shake the solution well to make sure the salt dissolves completely in the water.
Pour the saline solution into a nasal spray bottle (a bottle with a dropper would also work fine). Use the nasal spray or drops at regular intervals throughout the day to clear your nostrils of any blockages. You can also use the saline solution as a gargle to clear your throat and reduce throat pain.
You may not want to use sesame oil as nasal drops for they may get into the lungs via the nose. However, you can rub a small amount of sesame oil inside and around your nostrils to clear nasal blockages.
Sesame oil is concentrated so don’t use too much of it. A few drops would be more than enough to clear mucus from your nostrils.
Practices That Help Fight off Common Cold
In addition to the foods mentioned above, certain practices could help you overcome common cold and its symptoms quickly.
Blow Your Nose Regularly
Don’t attempt to sniffle back the mucus into your head. Rather, try to clear a nasal block by blowing your nose. Don’t blow too hard as it might cause an ear ache. Place one finger firmly on one nostril and cover it.
Blow your nose gently to clear the other nostril.Repeat a couple of times until the nostril is completely cleared.Now switch nostrils and repeat the procedure with the other nostril. Make sure to wash your hand immediately after blowing your nose in order to prevent the infection from spreading.
Take Some Rest and Stay Warm
Common cold can tax your body. So instead of fussing about, lie down and get some sleep.You can also opt to watch TV, listen to music or read a book if you don’t feel sleepy.Stay in bed until you feel better.
It pays to get under a thick blanket and remain there for sometime if you are suffering from common cold.In certain cases, common cold can cause fever and covering yourself up properly can help prevent that. It would also be soothing on your body which would be stressed out due to the cold.
Use an Extra Pillow for Elevation
Lying down flat on your back or stomach could be uncomfortable in case you have cold. Try to lie down with your head at a slightly elevated angle as this would help drain blocked nasal passages. Use an extra pillow or place a folded blanket beneath the mattress or pillow to create a gradual slope.
Drink Plenty of Fluids and Hot Liquids
Contrary to the popular belief that drinking plenty of water during a cold can worsen the infection,it has been found out that drinking plenty of fluids can actually thin the mucus and flush out the viral particles responsible for the infection.
Hot liquids would keep the mucus flowing freely and help clear nasal blockages. Your body would also feel dehydrated during a cold. So drink plenty of water and fluids to remain hydrated.
Refrain From Smoking
Smoking during a cold can aggravate the infection in the bronchial tubes.This in turn can cause the cold to worsen, or lead to more serious complications like pneumonia. Smoking can also weaken the immune system and make it harder for the individual in question to shake off a common cold quickly.
Refrain From Drinking Alcohol as Well
Some individuals tend to feel that drinking alcohol can energize a stuffy and achy body.However, drinking alcohol or any other alcoholic beverage can dehydrate the body and increase the congestion in the mucous membrane.
A Steamy, Hot Shower Would Help
Opt for a steamy shower that would help refresh your body and clear up nasal blockages in the process.If you find it difficult to stand up, sit in a chair and take a shower.
Place Cold or Hot Packs Around the Congested Sinuses
A hot or cold pack can provide relief from congested mucous membranes provided you find out which one of them works for you. You can place these hot/cold packs around the congested sinuses to get relief from the same.
Buy reusable hot/cold packs at a medical store or make your own packs. Accordingly, a bag of frozen peas can act as a cold pack while a damp cloth heated in the microwave can act as an effective hot pack.
Get a Vaporizer
One of the best ways to get rid of nasal congestions is to vaporize the mucous blocking the nostrils. And this you can do by opting for a standard vaporizer which is usually available in medical stores.The steam from the vaporizer would help clear blocked nasal passages in a jiffy.
You can also opt for a homemade vaporizer. All you need is a pot of boiling water, a nasal decongestion pill and a blanket. Place the pot of water on the floor (don’t burn yourself though),drop the pill into the water and quickly cover yourself (and the pot) with the blanket, making sure that you don’t leave any open space. Inhale the steam arising from the water pot for about 15-20 minutes until your nostrils get cleared.
Invest in a Good Quality Humidifier
A dry environment can cause the nasal membranes to dry up and aggravate an existing viral infection.A humidifier would add moisture to the surrounding air, thereby keeping your nasal tissues moist and infection free.