Tips & Tricks: Home Remedies for a Cold
The Common Cold
We've all been there; sneezing, runny or stuffed up nose, slight fever, body aches and coughing up disgusting things. Colds can happen anywhere and usually at the worst times. Right before a big test or work meeting, or maybe even right before a Wedding or other special event. If you have children or work in a doctors office or school you are even more susceptible to the cold virus. Do not fear, there are steps you can take to start feeling better faster. Because cols are a viral infection, they cannot be cured with antibiotic. But do not fear, follow the home remedies for colds guidelines below and you will be back to your normal healthy self in no time.
Drink plenty of fluids! Water is the absolute best option for drinking when you are ill. You will get dehydrated quicker when you are sick, especially if you have been running a fever. You might also want to drink orange juice or other juices that are loaded with nutrients and vitamin C. Do you own a juicer? Even better! Try making juices filled with vegetables, particularly leafy greens, as you may not feel like eating right now and are probably lacking nutrients. If your throat is bothering you sip on herbal tea but don't have too much of it. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine as this will only dehydrate you even more. Gatorade and other sports drinks are also great options, especially for young children, as they can replace healthy electrolytes.
Sore Throat Relievers
If your throat feels like it's on fire there are a couple of things you can do to relieve your pain. The first thing you should do is gargle with warm salt water. This will help alleviate pain and kill germs that are lingering in your throat. Simply put about half a teaspoon of salt in a glass, add warm water, stir the mixture and gargle. If your still in pain, try sipping warm tea with lemon and honey to soothe your throat, but don't drink too much, you'll risk dehydration. There are also over the counter medicines that will help numb your throat if the pain is severe and throat lozenges can also give you brief relief.
All Stuffed Up
If you are severely congested and having trouble breathing, take a hot shower. This will make you feel refreshed and help clear out your sinuses. Immediately after you shower, blow your nose and then use a nasal decongestant spray. Within minutes you will be breathing easier. If your struggling to breath at night, use a humidifier in your room but be sure to change the water daily and clean it according to the instructions so you don't cause mold or other bacteria to grow. Too much humidity, even if it alleviates your cold symptoms can be a bad thing! If you're blowing your nose constantly or have the urge to do so without producing mucus you are experience swelling not a nasal blockage. Look for specified over the counter medication that can assist with the nasal swelling to find relief.
Headaches & Other Aches & Pains
For headaches and body aches try an over the counter pain reliever. These will also help reduce and control any fever you may have. A heating pad may help relieve body aches and a warm bath will relax your tense muscles. If you have a headache that won't go away make sure you're well hydrated, drink plenty of water and other fluids as mentioned above.
Vitamins & Other Good Cold Remedies
Vitamins and other supplements can definitely help your cold better, faster. There are also things you probably already have in your kitchen that can do the trick. A few to try are;
- Vitamin C
- 5 Hour Energy (Great for days you feel awful, but have to get stuff done)
- Emergence C
- Chicken Soup
- Grape Juice
- Marshmallow (It's said they can relieve a cough by coating your throat)
Disclaimer: Always follow instructions on any over the counter medication. Always consult a doctor if symptoms persist or get worse.