Home Remedies For Common Cold- Often accompanied by a runny nose, sneezing and headaches, cold is one of the most common ailment, especially during winter.
Cold and influenzas are communicable infections that can affect the respiratory tract. And when they are left unattended to, they can develop into severe and life-threatening complications.
For everyone that has suffered from cold, you will know it is not a so pleasant experience. The discomforts, the very ill feeling are not to joke with. As unpleasant as it is to have a cold, I am happy to tell you that you can treat it using home remedies.
Both cold and flu are respiratory infections and often addressed as the same thing, but there is a difference. Let’s take some time to highlight the differences between them.
Causes of Cold and Flu
Flu and cold are caused when you inhale or come in contact with virus particles either from an infected person when they sneeze or you pick up the virus particle by touching a contaminated object.
The main viruses that can cause cold are:
- Human rhinoviruses
- Parainfluenza viruses
Differences Between A Cold And A Flu
Symptoms of a cold include:
- A runny nose,
- A sore throat,
- Mild tiredness, and
- Head or body aches.
When you have flu, symptoms include:
- Dry, hacking coughs,
- A sore throat,
- Shaking chills,
- A headache,
- Runny and stuffy nose,
- Severe tiredness which may last for two weeks.
- Fever- moderate to high fever. However, this may vary from person to person.
- Nausea and vomiting which is most common in children
- Muscle and body aches.
13 Effective Home Remedies For Common Cold And Flu That Works
Nothing can cure a cold, but there are some remedies that might help ease your symptoms and keep you from feeling so miserable. Here’s a look at some common cold remedies and what’s known about them (source), Besides getting enough rest, these remedies might help you feel better:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the home remedies for common cold. It contains antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help kill the viruses causing sore throats. ACV contains prebiotic inulin, and this prebiotic helps to boost the immune system, and it sends out fighting white blood cells.
Also, it helps to loosen excess mucus trapped in the chest which can make it difficult to breathe properly. Also, apple cider vinegar helps to balance the body’s pH levels, and this will make the body uninhabitable for bacterias and viruses.
- In a cup of warm filtered water, mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
- Add a wedge of lemon and a dash of Ceylon cinnamon powder.
- Now add a tablespoon of raw organic honey to taste and soothe a sore throat.
- Drink this mixture up to three times a day.
2. Garlic And Onion
Garlic and onions are effective home remedies for common cold and flu. They are loaded with antioxidants, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Both garlic and onion contain allicin which is a potent compound that appears once it is sliced open and before it is cooked.
For the garlic-
- You can eat the garlic clove raw and if you can not, hold a slice of garlic in your mouth and suck on it for about 15 minutes.
- You can chop the garlic and put the chopped garlic on a piece of fruit and cover with honey.
- Or you can mince about two cloves of garlic, add to a glass of water and drink.
For the onion
- Place sliced onions around the house as it is believed to draw bacterias to itself while purifying the air.
- Also, you can steep raw sliced onions in honey and take spoonfuls the next day- just like cough syrup.
- Use lots of onions in your cooking.
3. Green Tea
It is essential to drink green tea or other beverages when suffering from cold and flu. This is because the warmth of these beverages helps to loosen sinus secretions. Also, it contains antioxidants which will speedily relieve the body from fatigue, runny nose and sore throat that often accompanies cold or flu.
You Will Need
- One green tea bag
- A cup of hot water
- Lemon juice
- Put the tea bag into the cup of water and let brew for some minutes.
- Add honey or lemon juice to taste and drink the tea.
- Drink two to three cups of green tea every day.
Related: 13 Best Detox Teas for Weight Loss
The probiotics in yogurt can help calm the inflammations and reduce the symptoms caused by the cold. According to some research, probiotics may reduce the chance of getting an upper respiratory infection.
When picking your choice of a probiotic supplement, try to look out for one that contains both the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species of bacteria.
Also, make sure you take the dosage recommended on the manufacturer’s bottle. Include probiotics rich yogurt in your diet if you do not wish to take probiotics supplements.
- Have a cup of yogurt with or in between meals.
- Have up to 2 cups of yogurt every day.
Another of the home remedies for a common cold is Garlic. Garlic is a well-known herb native to central Asia and northeast Iran. It is commonly used as a spice or seasoning in cooking.
According to some research, garlic may even prevent you from catching a cold. Allicin, a compound which is present in garlic, may have antimicrobial properties and thus adding garlic to your diet may ease the seriousness of a cold and its symptoms.
You Will Need
- A glass of warm water
Cinnamon, although used as a spice, it is loaded with nutrients such as fiber, calcium, and manganese. It has anti-inflammatory properties and antimicrobial properties. In addition to that, it helps to boost the brain function, controls blood sugar and guards the heart against diseases. Also, this cinnamon helps to improve colon health, and it is low in calories.
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon and a teaspoon of raw organic honey.
- You can also make a tea using cinnamon, lemon, honey, and ginger.
- Drink the mixture or tea two times daily throughout your cold.
Note: You have to be careful while choosing your cinnamon as there are two types. Cassia Cinnamon is commonly found in supermarkets and can be toxic if taken in excess. While Ceylon Cinnamon is pure and packed with nutrients.
7. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt bath helps to rid the body of toxins while soothing the aching muscles. To get rid of cold and flu, Epsom salt helps to clear the nasal passage and helps to relieve the body of the pains and fatigue caused by cold.
Warm baths can also reduce cold and flu symptoms in adults. Adding Epsom salt and baking soda to the water can reduce body aches. Adding a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, juniper, rosemary, thyme, orange, lavender, or eucalyptus, may also have a soothing effect.
You Will Need
- A cup of Epsom salt
- Warm water
- A bathtub
- Fill the tub with warm or hot water- whichever works best for you.
- Add the Epsom salt and mix it well with the water.
- Soak yourself in the bathtub for about 20 minutes.
- Alternatively, if you do not have a bathtub, you can soak your feet in a bucket of warm water with 1/4 cup of Epsom salt.
- Do this every two days until you are relieved of the symptoms.
Ginger is one cooking ingredient that is known for other reason asides being a spice. It has effective anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe inflamed airways. Also, it can help to relieve the symptoms of the cold by warming up the body.
Talking about the aroma, it is soothing for the nostrils and can help to clear the nasal congestion caused by blocked airways. For example, one study found that just 1 gram of ginger can “alleviate clinical nausea of diverse causes.”
You Will Need:
- A cup of water
- One teaspoon of honey
- 1-inch long ginger
- Crush the ginger and transfer to the cup of hot water.
- Leave it to steep in the water for some minutes.
- Now strain the water and discard the ginger.
- Add honey to sweeten and drink.
- Have 2 or 3 cups of this ginger tea every day.
Note: You can also add shredded ginger or ginger paste to soups and hot stews to add some cold-fighting benefits to it.
9. Oregano Oil
Oregano is one of nature’s biggest antibiotic. Notable research has shown that carvacrol and terpene present in oregano Oil helps to fight bacterias, yeasts, parasites, fungus, and viruses off with its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.
- Take 2 or 3 drops of oregano oil three times every day. You should do this for as long as the cold or flu lasts.
- After taking the oil, be sure to drink a glass of water immediately as it does not taste so good.
Note: Since some oils do not come diluted, you can place about 5 to 6 drops into an empty vegetarian capsule. Take it three times every day for as long as you have a cold or flu.
10. Honey for Cold and Flu
This is used in many different applications and has many antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which are beneficial to the body.
Honey in warm water or tea not only gives a nice taste, but honey also soothes cough and sore throat naturally. Honey is particularly effective for the treatment of cold and flu symptoms in infants and small children.
According to a study, where honey was given to children at bedtime, it helped to reduce the seriousness of their cough. When honey was used to suppress a cough, it was as effective as a common cough suppressant.
- Cut an unpeeled grapefruit into four pieces and add to a pot of water.
- Heat the water till it is almost boiling.
- When it is done, pour into a cup and add a tablespoon of honey to it.
- Drink normally and watch the cold go away.
11. Nasal Rinse
Nasal rinses are used to make the nasal airways clear and free. When in use, they help to remove irritants and debris which are housed in the nasal airways, thereby causing obstruction to the free flow of air. Also, they help to keep the airways moisturized, and soothes inflamed mucous linings.
- Mix a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of warm filtered water.
- Add about six to eight drops of betadine to the mix.
- You can add a drop of diluted oregano oil to give the antimicrobial water benefits.
- Fill a bulb syringe or use a neti pot to rinse out each nostril with the mixture,
- Repeat the process for about three times daily.
12. Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry is another of the home redies for common cold and flu. It contains bioflavonoids that help to boost the immune system such that the body is resistant to sickness-causing viruses. Also, the elderberry herb contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to combat and prevent any swelling in the sinus.
You Will Need:
- Elderberry syrup
- Drink one to two teaspoons once every day.
Note: If you are a pregnant woman or want to use this treatment for a child, seek medical advice before using the elderberry syrup.
13. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus which is an herb from trees in Tasmania and Australia is a significant one. It has been used in the treatment of the following ailments because of its antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
- a sore throat,
- upper respiratory infections and
- digestive problems.
As one of the home remedies for common cold and flu, you can either use topically or put into a diffuser.
These home remedies for common cold is here to help you treat the symptoms as there is no known cure for the common cold. If you want to avoid getting sick altogether, you should proactively boost your immune system.
Although usually minor, colds can make you feel miserable. Rest, drink fluids and keep the air around you moist. Remember to wash your hands frequently as well.
With that said, we sincerely wish you fast recovery while treating your cold with our listed home remedies.