8 At-Home Remedies for a Cold

By Willow Breckenridge | Mar 6, 2021


The remainder of the 2021 cold and flu season could be an interesting one, but when you’re sick, you don’t care about national headlines. You want to feel better and quickly.

However, you might still feel hesitant to head to the doctor when you get the sniffles out of fear of catching something worse. How can you get relief without a physician’s bill? Here are eight at-home remedies for a cold that you can try.

1. Echinacea

You might grow this unassuming looking herb in your garden. Its pretty purple blooms make it a colorful addition to many beds and windowsill containers. Making the leaves and flowers into a tea could help you stave off a sickness or recover more quickly when ill.

Research on the herb is mixed, but one 2015 study indicates that regular use can reduce the duration of colds by 35%. Scientists believe it works by increasing the activity of your natural killer (NK) cells. It may also help to block some of the viral proteins that cause your worst symptoms.

2. Vitamin C

If your childhood “grownups” told you to drink your OJ when sick, they had the right idea. While vitamin C won’t necessarily prevent you from getting a cold unless you are a hardcore athlete, it can reduce sickness duration.

In one study of 11,000 highly active individuals like marathon runners and Army troops, vitamin C supplementation did cut the risk of colds in half. However, the general population enjoyed no such protection. Conversely, other studies indicate that this nutrient can at least make you feel better faster. 

3. Zinc

Zinc is another nutrient that can help shorten a cold’s duration by a full day. However, to get the maximum benefit, you need to dose up as soon as symptoms appear, if not before.

Fortunately, there is a delicious way to make sure you get all the zinc your body needs. Step up your nut consumption, especially in the winter. They’re high in this nutrient, along with selenium and magnesium, to help bust seasonal blues. You’ll improve your mood while fueling your body with what it needs to keep your immunity high.

4. Honey 

Honey is an amazing substance. It’s rich in multiple vital nutrients, and it coats a sore throat, making it easier to swallow your chicken soup.

It may also help you heal from a cold more quickly. Researchers investigated how upper respiratory tract infections responded to various remedies. Honey outperforms all others according to research published in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.

5. Nasal Rinses 

When you have a cold, you need to get your rest, but it can be impossible if you can’t lay down without your nose turning into concrete. However, traditional over-the-counter nasal sprays can become addictive, leading to a rebound effect that has you running back to the spray bottle again and again.

However, you might be able to open swollen sinuses with the use of a Neti pot. The FDA says these devices are safe and can remove dust, pollen and other debris while loosening thick mucus. Plus, the saline solution allows the water to pass through your nasal membranes with no burning, irritation or rebound stuffiness.

6. Humidifiers

Dry, indoor air makes viruses and bacteria spread more readily. Adding a humidifier to your home may help prevent your family members from falling sick while easing your symptoms by loosening your mucous.

Fortunately, you no longer have to spend tons on bulky models. You can buy inexpensive aromatherapy misters that add a pleasant fragrance while moistening your indoor air. Scents such as eucalyptus can help open swollen nasal passages. 

7. Hot Baths 

Who doesn’t love sinking into a hot tub? Indulge in self-care and open up that stuffy nose by letting yourself soak.

If you have the flu and not just a common cold, body aches and pains can make you miserable. Try adding some Epsom salts to your bath. The magnesium absorbs through your skin to ease achy muscles.

8. Sweet Sleep

A lack of sleep can do severe health damage. Over the long term, it increases your risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Researchers increasingly believe that sleep deprivation compromises immune function, leading to adverse effects.

However, even in the short term, a lack of sleep raises the infection risk among those getting less than six or seven hours nightly. If you struggle to get your Zzz’s, do all you can to improve your sleep hygiene. If DIY tips don’t do the trick, please speak with your physician.

Try These 8 At-Home Cold Remedies for Your Sick Little One

If you or your little one feels under the weather, please try these eight at-home cold remedies. They can get you feeling better more quickly without requiring a doctor’s visit.

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