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How to Treat a Cold

Updated on April 2, 2014

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.

Rest to let your body recuperate and fight off the bug.
Rest to let your body recuperate and fight off the bug. | Source

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.

Drink plenty of water to flush out the bug.
Drink plenty of water to flush out the bug. | Source

Drinking Fluids

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

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

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.

Simple Trick to Treat a Cold

Cold Comforts

What comforts you the most when you are sick?

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    • teresapelka profile image

      Teresa Pelka 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland


      Right, one's gotta be with working solutions ;)

    • cocopreme profile image

      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Far, far away

      teresapelka - Sounds like you have your cold cure down to a science! Those are definitely things that can help your body fight off a cold.

    • teresapelka profile image

      Teresa Pelka 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland


      My 'shock and blitz' therapy for colds is mostly a multi vitamin and mineral pill, two extra B complex, and two calcium + magnesium. Tomorrow always turns to be a different day. :)

      The oils can be used on a regular basis.

    • cocopreme profile image

      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Far, far away

      JCielo - Treating the cold right from the beginning is the best bet to get over the cold quicker and to reduce the severity of the symptoms. The less the germs are spread, the better! Thank you!

      teresapelka - I'll have to remember the oils. Vitamins in general are good when the body is run down with a cold and to take to keep the body healthy and reduce your chances of getting sick in the first place.

    • teresapelka profile image

      Teresa Pelka 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      I'm a fan of Olbas oils - aromatic, you can mix them with water and use in an oil burner or just sprinkle a tissue and place it near your bed.

      Works well, just as vitamin and mineral supplements to have the 'entire lot', especially vitamins B and calcium, not just selectively vitamin C or zinc. An ordinary cold should be gone in three days. :)

    • JCielo profile image

      JCielo 5 years ago from England

      Really useful hub this. Voted up and useful and shared...

      The secret with all cold remedies is to start using them at the very first signs of a cold to have the best chance of success. When your cold is at it's worst then it's much more difficult to get relief.

      And I do agree with you that you should stay away from work, school, etc., with a cold - you shouldn't be spreading it around; keep it to yourself!