What Are the Natural Remedies for Common Cold?
When you catch a cold, it’s impossible to find a cure that stops all the disturbing symptoms at once. In many cases, some symptoms may last from one to two weeks. However, you can use natural remedies to reduce the effects on your body.
Since they are natural, you can rest assured that using these remedies won’t have any adverse effect on your health. On the contrary, they will help you get back on your feet in a couple of days.
What is Common Cold?
Viruses cause the common cold with symptoms mainly affecting the upper respiratory tracts – nose, throat, and so on. Generally, the disease causes irregular breathing and irritates the nasal cavity.
Contrary to the popular opinion that the common cold is caused by exposing oneself to extreme cold temperatures for an extended period, flu viruses are the primary causes. However, it is prevalent during winter or spring periods, though people can catch it other times.
Is Common Cold Contagious?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people can contract common cold through the air, coming within a close range with an infected person, poop, or other respiratory fluids from them. Also, touching surfaces or objects that infected people have had contact with can cause the disease.
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What Are the Symptoms of Common Cold?
The first symptoms for the common cold are a runny nose, an irritated nasal cavity, and a sore throat. For many, the symptoms usually show within two to three days after contracting the disease. However, it may vary for different people depending on their immunity levels and the flu virus causing the sickness.
In many cases, the symptoms lead up from the normal watery secretions from the nose to greenish or yellowish thickened discharges. When the infection becomes more pronounced, the following symptoms become prominent:
- Sore and itchy throat
- Sneezing as a result of irritation
- Body ache
- Fever and headache
- Blocked nostrils resulting in difficulty breathing
The severity of common cold symptoms varies from person to person. Some may experience slight symptoms. However, people with weak immune systems, underlying health issues, and asthma may experience more severe complications, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or other respiratory sicknesses.
Natural Remedies for Common Cold
There is no cure for the common cold, but you can use natural supplements to tone down the complications and reduce the risk of spreading it to others. Below are recommendations to help you relieve the symptoms:
1. First Things First
If you catch a cold, try these simple tips first, and then you can go ahead to use the other natural remedies for relieving the symptoms.
- Drink enough juice or water, mostly lemon water mixed with honey. However, avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
- Spend more time resting.
- Gargling with about 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of water may also help to relieve the sore throat. For children younger than 6, use ice chips, sore throat sprays, or candy, but be careful.
- Use saline nasal drops to reduce or stop stuffiness.
- Use analgesics to relieve pain. However, ensure you speak to your pharmacist to know the more appropriate drug to use.
2. Try Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is an effective homemade natural remedy to combat the common cold.
Why it works
Research shows that chicken soups serve to reduce the rate at which neutrophils move in the body. When these neutrophils are slowed down, they accrue at the upper respiratory tract area to protect the body from flu viruses that cause the common cold.
How it works
By boosting the immune system through releasing body-building substances (a specific type of white blood cells), eating a bowl of chicken soups helps combat the common cold effectively. It works to lower the common cold symptoms and restore your body to optimum performance.
How to Use
Prepare a bowl of chicken soup or warm an already prepared, canned chicken soup. You may choose to garnish it with fresh vegetables to improve the nutritional content.
3. Eat Vitamin C Rich Foods
An NIH-led study showed that the results obtained from experiments to prove vitamin C is useful for curing a cold are largely inconsistent. However, the same study showed that using vitamin C within 24 hours from the onset of the disease may reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration.
Also, the National Institute of Health recommends that people avoid taking vitamin C supplements unless they are old, vitamin C deficient, or involve in highly strenuous activities. According to the study, eating fruits and vegetables can supply the necessary quantity of vitamin C the body needs.
Why it works
Vitamin C helps to improve immunity by supplying the body with essential anti-oxidants. Generally, they help strengthen the white blood cells to fight against diseases, including viral infections, in the body.
How it works
When used in high doses and within 24 hours of noticing common cold symptoms, it relieves some of the complications and shortens the disease’s duration.
How to Use
You can obtain Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables. Fruits such as oranges, grapes, and lemons supply about 50-80mg to the body. According to the NIH, males should take at least 90mg of vitamin C daily, while females should consume about 75mg.
4. Add Honey to Your Meals
Honey is a recommended homemade remedy for the common cold, mainly because it is nutritious, affordable, and easy to get.
Why it works
It contains antibacterial and antimicrobial nutrients that naturally fight off some disease-causing microbes.
How it works
Taking honey helps to reduce sore or painful throat. Consuming about 10g of honey in tea or other meals can help to reduce coughing significantly. It can also help to reduce irritation in the upper respiratory tract.
How to use
For children, a 10g teaspoon of honey will alleviate coughs. Also, adults can use honey to reduce sore or painful throat. Some people prefer to mix it in hot tea, water, or lemon. However, avoid using honey for a child less than a year old.
On a Final Note
Other natural remedies like ginger, garlic, berries and menthol are equally useful to prevent the common cold. Also, inhaling steam may help stop blocked nostrils and difficulty in breathing. What is most important while using these natural remedies is to get adequate rest, exercise frequently, and always keep in touch with your doctor.
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