This article is about the home remedies for cold. The cold is a self-limited contagious illness caused by various types of viruses. In medical terms, it mainly affects the upper respiratory tract, causing infection and breathing problems. The symptoms of which include watery eyes, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, runny nose, coughing and sneezing. Now the question arises is that why do we call it “Cold”? The old folk theories show that cold can be caught during winters because of the cold weather, so that is where the disease got its name, though some even refer it as Flu. It is not necessary to get the infection during winters only, sometimes it’s even seasonal due to the wet atmosphere, but it is frequent during winters because the viruses get a suitable environment that causes infection.
Patients suffering from cold usually prefer home remedies to treat cold and cure the infection, as these remedies give effective results. In case these home remedies for cold do not work at all then the patient should visit a doctor without any further delay or else the infection may become severe. Most patients recover on their own within two weeks otherwise various over the counter treatments can help them control the symptoms and cure the infection. Enlisted below are few home remedies for cold that you can conjure at home.
Best Home Remedies for Cold Treatment:
1.) Chicken Soup to Treat Cold
Who doesn’t enjoy the flavor of chicken cooked with a variety of recipes in different cuisines, but don’t you remember your grandmother preparing chicken soup when any member of the family catches a cold. Well, the soup prepared from scratch or minced chicken can cure the symptoms of common cold. Now, how does it work, well it helps in slowing down the movements of Neutrophils in our body, making it one of the best and proven home remedies for cold. Now for those who are vegetarians can have soups prepared from lentils or vegetable stock.
2.) Ginger Being Used For Centuries
We all are aware of the medicinal properties of ginger root that are being touted for centuries. It is helpful to cure many infections and diseases, one of which is cold. This can help curing congestion and sore throat making it an effective home remedy for cold indeed. We, now also have some scientific evidence of the curative properties of ginger; a study of British Journal of Anesthesia found that just a gram of ginger is helpful in alleviating clinical nausea of diverse causes.
- Chewing on a few slices of ginger will help you get rid of cold, headache and choked throat.
- For tea addicts, adding a slice of ginger in your recipe can also help curing a sore throat. It also helps to treat influenza.
3.) Humidifier: Home Remedy for Cold
Cold can become more severe during dry atmosphere, causing congestion. Influenza tends to thrive more during this. Humidifiers can be used to increase humidity in the environment that can reduce the exposure to flu-causing viruses. Dryness in the atmosphere may also cause nasal congestion; increasing humidity can help to get rid of cold and other respiratory problems, which makes it an effective home remedy for cold.
- Humidifiers are mainly useful during winters when the inner warm atmosphere of the house makes the air dry, thus, resulting in breathing problems and congestion. It is mostly preferred by asthma patients and people with other respiratory problems.
- Few drops of essential oils like clove or eucalyptus when added to the humidifiers also help to stimulate the breathing process.
- You should change the water used in the humidifier regularly to avoid the growth of mold and fungi. If you do not have a humidifier you can take a long shower or linger in a steamy bath.
- Adding salts like baking soda or Epsom to your bath and soaking the body in it can help reduce body aches.
4.) Garlic Initiates a Stronger Immune System
Same as ginger, garlic also has some medicinal properties. A compound called Allicin is found in garlic that has antimicrobial properties. It develops your immune system so well that the body is capable of fighting various infectious diseases, which makes it an effective home remedy for cold.
- Including garlic in your diet can help you avoid getting sick.
- Add freshly crushed garlic to your spices or sprinkle the dry powder on your food.
- You can also have it in the form of supplements that are available in the market.
5.) Honey: A Cough Suppressant
Honey has many antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, thus proving to be one of the effective home remedies for cold. The duo of honey and lemon is very helpful in treating sore throat. When given to children, they get a sound sleep apart from treating cough and cold.
- Intake of honey and lemon tea is also a helpful home remedy for cold.
- Honey is also a proven cough suppressant.
Note– Despite of its high medicinal properties, it is not considered an effective remedy for infants or children younger than 1 year of age. This is because it has botulinum spores that are harmless to adults and children but, an infants’ immune system is not that strong to fight them off. Botulinum can cause poisoning in the infant’s body. This requires emergency medical care.
6.) Vitamin C Helps Reduce Mucous
Vitamin C is a proven and one of the best home remedies for cold and is very important for our body as it has many health benefits. Intake of vitamin C regularly is very much important for our body. Researchers also say that it is a proven solution for treating upper respiratory tract infections.
Many have the myth that lemon can increase the severity of the infection from cold. Lemon has vitamin C which is very much effective and is important for our body when suffering from a cold.
- Sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, grapes, pineapple and leafy green vegetables.
- Having freshly crushed lemon juice along with honey helps reducing phlegm.
- It is a thick viscous substance which is secreted by the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.
7.) Probiotics: Rich Source of Calcium
Probiotics are considered as a friendly bacteria mostly found in dairy products. They are also present in our body and other food supplements. They help in keeping the immune system healthy to fight against various bacteria and viruses. Regular intake of probiotic helps to reduce the chances of getting sick in the first place, mostly effective for upper respiratory tract infections. Probiotic drinks prove to be a healthy and a nutritional source, besides this, it is also a good source of calcium and protein which is necessary for our body. They are one among the best home remedies for cold.
- There are many probiotic health drinks available at retail stores and you can buy them easily, if not, one can prepare them at home with milk or fruits and vegetables.
- Chop fruits and vegetables of your choice in a quantity, enough to fill 1/4th of the glass jar.
- Add a tablespoon of raw honey and filtered water to the jar.
- Tight the lid and shake the jar well.
- Place it in room temperature, this will take 4-5 days to ferment.
- Drink this after every meal or once a day.
8.) Gargling: An Effective Home Remedy for Cold
Gargling with salt water is also effective for a sore throat and congestion, making it one of the effective home remedies for cold. It helps loosen the mucous that blocks the throat causing pain.
- One can easily try this remedy at home by boiling a glass of water and adding one full teaspoon of salt to it. What you have to do is, swish it all around your throat and mouth, and then spit it out.
- If you are using a nati pot for nasal congestion, please make sure to clean it before and after every use. Use some antibacterial soap to wash it off.
- Also, make sure the water being used should be distilled. It is important to maintain proper hygiene while using a nati pot to prevent the spread of harmful infection.
- Adding a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, juniper, rosemary, thyme, lavender, or eucalyptus, also helps in giving a soothing effect.
There are many ways using which people can treat cold, influenza and congestion. Some of the remedies may even seem weird, but many patients and communities have sworn on their effectiveness. Also, in order to avoid illness and being prone to infections, one need to boost their immune system and stay strong and healthy, maintaining proper hygiene.