- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Treat a Cold
Coughs, sneezing, congestion, sore throat, aches and pains, fever and chills, fatigue--cold symptoms can be annoying and painful.
There is no "cure" for a cold, unfortunately, but there are ways to ease cold symptoms like aches and congestion and to get over a cold quicker.
Below you will find natural ways to alleviate cold symptoms and what you should do to treat a cold.
Find out how to care for yourself when you are sick and what your body needs to get well.
Get Plenty of Rest
The best treatment for a cold is rest. Your body needs plenty of rest so that your energy can go toward fighting the battle against the cold.
If you are still trying to work, go to school, and do your normal daily routine, your body becomes even more worn out and you won't have the energy resources to fight the cold off as well.
When you have a cold, stay home as much as possible. Rest, sleep, try to relax. Let your body fight off the cold and heal without having to strain to do other activities.
Staying in and resting is a good practice because it also stops the spread of the bug. This could help you out in the long run because the less it is spread, the less chance you have of catching it again after it has been passed around.
Drinking plenty of fluids is another necessity when fighting a cold. Water is important in flushing out the virus and making sure your mucus flows and doesn't become thick.
Water in general will help your body to feel better and function at peak to get well again.
Keep in mind that not all fluids are beneficial when you are sick. Sodas will dehydrate the body and the sugar isn't good for you. Avoid them when you have a cold.
Juices, in small quantities, can be good. But like sodas they can be too sugary.
Herbal teas can be very soothing, especially hot teas. And some teas like green tea that has antioxidants can even boost the immune system.
How to Treat a Cold
Steam and Warm Baths
Steam can open up the sinuses and help to break up congestion. Try taking a hot shower or bath. The warm water can be soothing for aches as well.
You can also stand over boiling water and inhale the steam to get the same effect.
Humidifiers can also be beneficial for easing congestion.
Warm Food and Drinks
Hot drinks like tea are also great for treating a cold. The warmth and steam help with congestion and clearing the sinuses to make breathing easier.
The warmth is also soothing for the throat and can ease chills.
Warm soup is also good to eat when you have a cold. The old wives remedy of eating chicken soup does have some merit to it.
Natural Cough Suppressants
Honey and lemon juice are natural throat soothers and cough suppressants. Take a spoonful of honey to ease a cough.
Natural Supplements to Fight Colds
Garlic activates the immune system because it is a natural source of antioxidants. Taking it when you have a cold can boost your body to fight the cold.
Some studies have shown that taking zinc when you have a cold can help you get over the cold faster and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Vitamin C has also been shown to be beneficial during colds and especially when you first feel the cold coming on. Vitamin C can boost your immune system to keep from getting sick in the first place.
Oregano oil is a natural antibiotic and has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic properties. It is also great for inflammation and for allergies.