Nothing brings your spirits down quite like the onset of a cold. You start to feel fatigued and suddenly you have a sore throat, body ache, and congestion. Worst of all, these symptoms always seem to come on at the worst times — before a big event or during a busy time at work. The common cold is caused by viruses and bacteria that invade healthy cells. Stress and anxiety can also increase the risk of contracting a cold.
Fortunately, you can fight back and feel better fast with a few natural remedies. Find out how to get rid of a cold with these handy tips that will have you back on your feet in no time.
The common cold is caused by bacteria and viruses that attack the immune system. Symptoms of a cold include a sore throat, congestion of the nasal passages, body aches, fatigue, coughing, fever, and sneezing. Symptoms including a runny nose, chest congestion, and headaches. Many cold symptoms are also similar to flu symptoms, though the common cold typically doesn’t cause nausea or vomiting.
How To Get Rid of A Cold
There are many home remedies you can use to treat a cold. In severe cases, over-the-counter medications may be necessary to kick stubborn symptoms. In general, though, most cold symptoms will improve within 7 to 10. While you may not be able to completely eliminate cold symptoms in 24 hours, there are several things you can do to make recovery more comfortable and shorten the duration of a cold. Read on for cold remedies that eliminate a cold fast.
Do A Sinus Rinse
Sinus irritation is one of the best things you can do to treat nasal congestion. You can use a medicated nasal spray to help decrease inflammation and open up the sinuses. Saline sprays help to ease congestion and can be made at home using salt and pure spring water. You can also opt for a nasal irrigation tool such as the Neti pot to help ease symptoms of a runny or stuffy nose.
Heat water in a pot over the stove until it reaches a boil. Turn off the heat and cover your head with a towel. Lean over the hot water and breathe deeply. The steam will help to open up your sinus and offer relief from congestion. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to maximize results. Peppermint oil and eucalyptus essential oil are your best bets to eases congestion. Be careful using essential oils for young children as they have a higher risk of adverse reactions and side effects.
Your body needs fluids to help fight infections such as the common cold. Drink plenty of fluids including plain water and herbal teas. You can also opt for sports drinks of formulated beverages such as Pedialyte to add important vitamins and nutrients to your defense.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Getting proper nutrition is essential to building a healthy immune system. Make sure to eat a healthy diet packed with vegetables, healthy fats, and anti-inflammatory foods such as berries and tea. Foods rich in vitamin C can also help to fend off the first signs of the common cold (1). Vitamin D may also be beneficial for respiratory infections. Research shows that vitamin D consumption results in a decreased risk of contracting respiratory infections (2). Vitamins and minerals work best to prevent the onset of a cold rather than treating symptoms once it’s contracted.
Once you’re sick, it’s a good idea to stick to a simple, yet nutritious diet. If you have a scratchy throat, foods such as chicken soup can help to relieve pain and restore nutrients.
Ginger tea and honey can also help to soothe a sore throat and deliver antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help your immune system beat the cold. Zinc lozenges can also help to treat the common cold. Research shows that these supplements significantly decrease symptoms including sneezing, sore throat, and cough (3).
Take A Hot Shower or Bath
The steam from a hot shower or bath can help to reduce congestion and improve feelings of wellbeing when sick with a cold. The hot water can help decrease symptoms associated with a sinus infection and can also improve relaxation. Soak in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes to help relax and decrease congestion. You can also add a few essential oils or your favorite bath salts to add a calming element.
Get Plenty of Rest
According to the Mayo Clinic, your body needs all the rest it can get to recover from a cold fast. Set up a comfortable spot on the couch or in your bedroom. Use a few pillows to prop yourself up to help ease sinus congestion. Use blankets to stay warm and try to get some sleep throughout the day. The more you rest, the more your body can focus on healing. Take the day off. Not only will you prevent other people from getting infected, but you’ll also enable your body to focus on fighting cold viruses.
If your cold symptoms do not affect your chest, feel free to engage in mild exercise. If you are having difficulty breathing or suffer from chest congestion, avoid strenuous exercise until symptoms improve.
Take a pain reliever to help ease body ache and headache associated with the common cold. Sip warm water or gargle with salt water to help soothe a scratchy throat. A humidifier can also help ease symptoms including pain. You can also use a heating pad or ice pack to help ease pain associated with body ache.
Fight Colds Fast
Millions of Americans get hit with the common cold each year. With these natural remedies, you’re sure to feel better fast. Remember to drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest. Take it easy and listen to what your body needs. Take a hot bath or diffuse essential oils to help increase relaxation and relieve congestion. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to rest and give your body enough time to fight the cold before returning to your daily routine.