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10 Effective Home Remedies for Colds & Flu

Updated on September 8, 2011

Having a cold can be really irritating. Because the common cold is caused by virus, there are no medicinal cures for it. Antibiotics may cure you hacking cough but they cannot cure a cold because coughs are caused by bacteria while colds by viruses. However, not all hope is lost - there are actually several home remedies that you can try out to soothe and clear your cold as follows

1. Chicken soup. Ah, the thought of chicken soup is something you'd greatly look forward to when down with a cold and tucked in bed. Chicken soup is highly effective because it has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve the pain and inflammation associated with colds.

2. Hot water. Taking hot water throughout the day not only helps to prevent a dry and sore throat during your cold but also discourages the multiplication of viruses that might aggravate your cold.

3. Do not swallow your mucus. As disgusting as it sounds, I feel this is important advice. There are so many people out there who keep swallowing all the excess mucus produced when the have a cold. Mucus is a way of the body ejecting toxins out and swallowing it only means you are adding back the toxins. Blow out your nose gently or spit out the mucus.

4. Garlic. It has immune-strengthening power and anti-oxidants that help fight the flu. Also it is very effective in controlling cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. The smell of garlic won't be an issue if garlic is cooked with food, soups or used in salad dressings.

5. Honey. Processed foods and sugar should be avoided because they stimulate mucus production. Honey is a great substitute for sugar and contains numerous vitamins and minerals. A teaspoon of dark colored honey in hot water will relieve your sore throat.

6. Ginger. Eating ginger raw or drinking ginger tea relieves pain, is anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant too. It can also help you get rid of a headache you might have developed as a result of the cold.

7. Gargling. Salt water gargling helps remove any bacteria causing a sore throat. Mix a half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of Luke-warm water and stir until the salt crystals are dissolved completely before gargling.

8. Cinnamon. This spice is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Cinnamon and honey is a magic mixture for colds and will relieve you in no time. Cinnamon can also be combined with ginger and honey for a wonderful healing tea.

9. Citrus fruits. Vitamin C helps boost the production of white blood cells that guard the body against bacteria and multiplication of viruses. Also, Vitamin C reduces mucus production. So start munching those apples!

10. A steamy shower. The steam helps to relax you and also moisturize and open your nasal passages. This helps to relieve breathing and allows the excess mucus to flow out. Of course, do not swallow back the mucus (gross), just spit it out in a bathroom sink.

A common cold can take anywhere from 3 to 7 days to go completely. It won't stay forever so that's a relief in itself! The above home remedies should help make you feel much better.


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    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 5 years ago

      Thank you ixwa for your comments...

    • ixwa profile image

      ixwa 5 years ago

      My Mom has been attacked by colds and I have started applying your potions to help her. I will Bookmark this one. Thanks for the tips

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 6 years ago from India

      Great tips to fight a cold, Rehana. Thanks for stopping by on my blog. And yes my son's name is indeed very similar to yours! My husband actually calls him Rehana when he is teasing him :)

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      Hi Vinaya, thanks for sharing your valuable input.

      Also, thanks for the heads-up on the dandruff hub. I hadn't realized that I'd deleted the comments capsule.

      I had a quick skim at your profile and I see that you've written several poems! I'll be eager to read them when I get back from work today!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 6 years ago from Nepal

      I use a mixture of ginger and honey and it is very effective. I wanted to comment on your "Dandruff" article but the comment capsule was disabled. I also follow some of your tips such as lime juice and I know it is very effective against dandruff.

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      Hi Trsmd, thanks for your valuable addition! :D

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 6 years ago from India

      Take Olive leaf Extract in a liquid form two or three times daily just before food..... if you already have a cold / flu or other infection..... and once daily for prevention

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      Hi Smita, your words are very encouraging. Glad to be of help :)

    • dipsmi profile image

      dipsmi 6 years ago from Plymouth, Minnisota

      you give so lovely and easy tips...i am becoming a fan of yours!!!this hub is of great help as i always catch cold very easily.thanks Rehana