Common cold is a viral infection initiated by a wide range of viruses like adenovirus, corona virus, etc. and is most often accompanied by a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, chills, muscle aches, headache, sore throat and a low-grade fever. A common cold lasts for about 7-10 days and most often frizzles on its own or with proper self-care at home.However, a cold associated with flu, which is a viral infection caused by a respiratory virus called influenza virus needs to be treated on time.
Hence, it is important to avoid being misdiagnosed and get your symptoms analyzed by consulting a doctor, before you start a treatment on your own.Even though, there are many over-the-counter medications available for treating cold, exploiting the benefits of a few, well-known home remedies can serve as an icing on the cake to get you on the road of recovery in a shorter period of time.
Tips To Cure Cold Naturally
Inhalation Of Steam
The best way of getting rid of a blocked or a congested nose is to place your head over a pot containing hot water or a vaporizer and inhale the steam with your head covered with a towel or a sheet. Add two to three drops of essential oils like olive oil, eucalyptus oil, etc. to the hot water to make this remedy more effective.
Eucalyptus oil is used widely in nasal decongestants available in the market due to its anti-septic properties that aid in killing the infection causing bacteria or virus. It can also ease dry, irritating coughs and heal sore throats.
The inhaled steam melts the mucus trapped in the nasal passages and kills the bacteria that prevent the sinuses from opening up. Place your face at a considerable distance from the pot and ensure that you inhale enough amount of heat for about 5-10 minutes until the water cools down. Repeat this 2-4 times during the day to obtain quick relief from symptoms of cold.
Consume Foods Rich In vitamin C
Being one of the most powerful immunity-boosters, vitamin C destroys harmful free radicals that weaken the immune system. Found mostly in citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, papaya, pineapple, melons, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc., a daily intake of 60-90 mg of vitamin C for adults and 15-75mg for kids have been recommended to protect the body against bacterial and viral attacks.
Even though, its benefits for fighting cold are controversial, researchers have shown that higher doses of vitamin C (1,000 – 3,000mg per day) taken either through your diet or through supplements can shorten the duration of cold by increasing the ability of your immune system to destroy infection causing microbes at a faster rate.
Rinse Using Saline Water
Warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt acts as a natural nasal decongestant for cleaning and pulling out the mucus that inhabits the nasal passages and the sinuses. Salt acts as a powerful de-hydrant and draws water from the bacterial cell wall through osmosis, thereby killing the bacteria by shrinking their cell walls.
Pour saline solution in a neti pot, tilt your head towards one side and gently allow the water to pass through one of your nostrils. This is one of the most effective ways for promoting the self-clearing mechanism of the bronchi present in the respiratory tract by cilia.
Any herbal tea like ginger tea, peppermint tea, green tea, eucalyptus tea, Echinacea tea, white tea, elderberry tea, etc., open up the sinuses and flush the mucus out merely because of the fact that they generate sufficient amount of heat to kill the bacteria that are responsible for the inflammation and swelling of the sinuses.
You can add one teaspoon of honey as a sweetening agent to reap the benefits of honey for killing the infection causing bacteria and for obtaining a soothing effect by allowing the honey to moisturize a sore and dry throat. Also, herbal teas are packed with anti-histamines that block the release of histamines by the immune system that trigger inflammation in the body.Moreover, they also stimulate the immune system through their anti-microbial action that aid in killing micro-organisms that promote the symptoms of cold.
Being one of the most famous “Grandma’s recipe” for healing the symptoms of cold, chicken soup has now been scientifically proven to be beneficial for combating the bacterial infection that is responsible for causing cold. It is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce the activity of white blood cells that promote inflammation of the sinuses and the respiratory tract.
Its high protein content strengthens the immune system to fight against the bacteria and nourishes the body, especially at a time when a person suffers from a loss of appetite due to the cold and illness. The other added ingredients like carrots, broccoli, onions, celery, beans, peas, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, etc.
Make this remedy a healthier way of replenishing the body by providing it with adequate amounts of nutrients. Moreover, the water helps to keep the body hydrated and thins down the mucus, so that it can be flushed out at a faster rate. The heat that it provides acts as a bonus by killing the bacteria that cause an infection in the sinuses and in the respiratory tract.
Zinc Rich Foods
A healthy and strong immune system can help fight the infection in an efficient manner by preventing the bacteria or viruses from multiplying in number. Zinc has been shown to activate the body’s defense system, making it a lucrative choice for alleviating the symptoms of cold.
Researchers have reported that a deficiency of zinc can increase the susceptibility to a number of bacterial and viral attacks. Zinc plays a catalytic role and protects the immune cells from oxidative stress through its anti-oxidant abilities that flush out harmful free radicals from the body. Hence, consumption of zinc rich foods like meats, milk, eggs, cheese, nuts, beans, etc. can decrease the severity and duration of cold.
Apart from the aforementioned remedies, drink about 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep your body well hydrated. Make sure that you increase your intake of fluids like fruit juices, vegetable soups, milk, etc., to make up for the loss of water in the form of phlegm and mucus. Also, get plenty of rest and give your body and immune system enough time to fight the infection.
If your symptoms persist, consult a doctor and start taking the prescribed medicines to specifically treat the symptoms that you are experiencing and prevent your condition from worsening. Also, seek a doctor’s approval before making these remedies a part of your treatment regimen to avoid any possible drug interactions.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.