Colds are aggravating ailments that affect most people from time to time. Colds are a type of virus, which means that antibiotics are not the solution. The best way to treat a cold is to use home remedies that help to relieve symptoms and speed your recovery.
Fluids and Nutrition
When you don’t feel well, you may not feel like eating or drinking very much. This can be a serious problem, especially if you aren’t consuming enough liquids. Dehydration can slow your body’s defenses and cause you to feel worse. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to serious health problems. When you have a cold, continue to drink the recommended average of eight glasses of water a day. Drink fruit juices also. Juices like grape and orange juice are rich in vitamin C, which is considered to be a weapon against the cold. Zinc supplements may also shorten the duration of a cold. The age-old remedy of chicken soup works well too. Not only does it hydrate you, but it can also act as a decongestant and cough suppressant. Even if your appetite isn’t up to par, try to eat small amounts every few hours. This will give your body the nutrients it needs as you fight your illness.
One of the best ways to boost your immune system is to get adequate rest. If you normally feel that you need seven hours of sleep a night, shoot for eight or nine. Extra sleep will help your body to repair itself. Although moderate activity probably won’t hurt you, you should refrain from physical exertion. You may need to stay home from school or work for a day or two. This extra rest can help you to get better quicker, and your coworkers and friends won’t be exposed to your germs.
Treating Your Symptoms
Some of the most common cold symptoms are an irritated throat, stuffy or runny sinuses, and general aches and pains. Gargle with warm, salt water to reduce the inflammation in your throat. This also helps to ease the irritation and may even help your throat to heal quicker. Besides drinking warm liquids for nasal congestion and coughs, try a hot, steamy shower as well. Use a nasal irrigator with a saline solution to help clear nasal passages. Try applying hot packs or cold packs on your face around your nose, cheeks and forehead to ease sinus pressure and pain. Over the counter pain relievers containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help to reduce body aches and fever.
Most colds last around 7 to 10 days. If your illness lasts longer than this and/or is accompanied by a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, visit a physician.
“Common Cold”, Mayo Clinic.
“Treating a Cold and Flu the Holistic Way”, ABC News.