There is no cure for the common cold.
No matter how many times you take medicine for it, whether the chemical or the all-natural kind, it’s safe to say that you will still come down with the sniffles at least another time in your life. Of course, having no cure available isn’t the same as saying there aren’t any treatments, either. Because there are. In fact, there are so many helpful remedies to the common cold.
Some of the natural cold remedies available are zinc gluconate lozenges. According to those who have tried it, these lozenges can cut the time the cold lasts. Nasal irrigation is another popular option to flush the mucus and bacteria out. There are those who swear by the healing properties of hot ginger and lemon tea, both meant to soothe the throat. Moms and grandmas will prescribe chicken soup and vitamin C.
When all those prove futile, over- the- counter drugs may still help.
If you’ve already tried all those before and didn’t find them to be particularly effective, then take heed. Here are 10 more things you can try to get rid of the common cold.
1. Steam it up.
You know what will help with nasal congestion and sore throat? Breathing moist air. That means you’ve got to humidify.
Something as simple as taking a hot shower can help. Just take a few minutes to sit in the bathroom and just inhale the steam. If sitting inside the bathroom doesn’t sound fun to you, then consider investing in a humidifier.
2. Build a tent.
Clogged airways can be a real pain. For a quick fix, get a pot of water and bring it to a boil. After removing it from the heat, grab a towel, drape it over your head and lean over the pot. The towel acts like a sort of “tent” and will help trap the steam that you can then breathe in. Doing this for about half a minute is a guaranteed to clear up your congestion. You can even add a drop of peppermint oil for extra strength. Personally, I add half a teaspoon of vapor rub and it works like a charm.
A word of caution, though. Keep your eyes closed when inhaling the steam, especially if you added some oils. Keeping them open will sting your eyes and make you tear up.
3. Get a warm compress.
A warm cloth will also do the trick and clear up congestion pretty well. Just put one on your forehead and nose, lie back and let it do its magic.
4. Cold packs.
If a warm compress is not making you very comfortable, consider a cold pack, instead. Anyway, both hot and cold temperatures can ease congested sinuses.
Cold packs are readily available in many drugstores. Or you can just make your own. A bag of frozen peas makes for an easy alternative.
5. Suck it up.
Hard candy, throat lozenges and cough drops can be quite effective in soothing throats that are sore from all the coughing. As mentioned above, zinc lozenges have been said to help in shortening cold symptoms. Another natural ingredient that doctors swear by is slippery elm. These candies may taste bad, but their effects may just be worth it.
6. Swish it.
Do you hate the feel of thick mucus collecting at the back of your throat? What about stuffy ears? Then try this remedy on for size. Get a glass of water. Stir a teaspoon of salt in and start gargling. The mixture will moisten the throat and get rid of the phlegm fast.
You can do this as much as four times every day. You can also use an astringent gargle if you get a tickle in your throat with the salt solution. Another popular folk remedy combines honey and apple cider vinegar. You can even try a cup of hot water with lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey. Let it cool before gargling.
7. Blow it.
Sniffling mucus back into your head won’t get rid of it. In fact, it will add to the pressure and make your head hurt even more. Avoid all that by just blowing your nose.
Be careful that you do that the right way, however, or risk an earache. Here’s how to blow your nose properly:
• Press one finger over one nostril.
• Blow gently to clear the other nostril.
• Reverse and repeat.
And don’t forget to wash your hands after so you don’t spread the germs.
8. Drink up.
Staying hydrated is always a good way to help lessen the length of the colds’ effects. But for some added kick, drink hot liquids. Those help relieve nasal congestion and soothe uncomfortable and inflamed nose and throat membranes while still keeping you hydrated.
When you’re down with an illness, even something as common as the cold, your body is fighting an immune battle. That means it will get tired. You can help it win the war by lying down and taking a rest.
10. Get help.
Sure, your “caregiver” won’t be able to cure your sore throat. But he or she can give you much needed comfort and tuck you into bed. And having someone to remind you to take your fluids and meds is helpful. So if your significant other or a family member or a friend offers to help, consider taking them up on it.
Colds are no fun. But there are so many things you can do to ensure it runs its course faster. Hopefully, some of the above tricks will help you out.
photo credit: Day 59,