As chilly days are coming, the chances of catching a cold are increasing since the rhinovirus, one of the main culprits responsible for the common cold, reproduces better at lower temperatures.
The rhinovirus enters your body through the nose, eyes, or mouth when you come into direct contact with an infected person, or with everyday objects that have been contaminated.
The symptoms of a cold
Some of the most common cold symptoms include:
- runny nose
- sore throat
Other cold symptoms that you might experience are mild headaches or body aches, mild fever and generally feeling unwell. There is no cure for the cold. Antibiotics are ineffective in destroying the viruses that cause a cold, thus you can only ease the symptoms.
With many over-the-counter cold medicines, it is not certain whether the ones you choose will help in treating those symptoms that you have with the result being that you are taking drugs that are not necessary for you. To avoid the intake of any unnecessary drugs, learn how to get rid of a cold fast with these natural remedies.
Natural home remedies
1. Relax your body with heat
If you are coming down with a cold, it is important to warm yourself up. It has been proven that higher temperatures suppress the growth of the rhinovirus as our antiviral mechanisms are more efficient at higher temperatures.
Take a hot bath to keep yourself warm, and this also helps you ease any muscle pains or aches. To help loosen the congestion, you can simply use a hot water bottle. Fill up the bottle with hot water, but don’t fill it all the way up so that it remains flexible. Put a thin piece of fabric around it and place it on the top part of your back or on your chest.
2. Apply acupressure
You can ease the discomfort and pressure caused by a cold by applying acupressure to certain points. Studies have proven that acupuncture can help in boosting our immune system, thus applying acupressure on certain acupoints can both be beneficial in boosting your immunity and helping release the congestion to ease the pressure.
Where to apply acupressure:
B2 – This point is located on the upper ridge of the eye sockets on the inner edge of the eyebrows. Hold your fingers, gradually applying the pressure for 2-3 minutes. At the end, slowly release the pressure while taking deep breaths. This will relieve the sinus pressure and frontal headaches.
LI 20 – Located underneath the eyes, outside each nostril, it can also help relieve the sinus pain and the nasal congestion. To massage this point, apply gentle pressure for 2-3 minutes.
3. Steam your nose out
The best natural method to help you with your stuffy nose is steam. It is easy to prepare, and you will feel relief instantly.
How to steam it out:
You will need: a large bowl, a towel, boiling water, and 5-10 drops of eucalyptus, thyme, or tea tree oil to make this process more effective.
- First put some oil drops into the bowl
- Pour boiling water
- Put your face as close to the water as possible, but not too close to avoid burning your face
- Put the towel over your head so the steam doesn’t escape
- Repeat 2-3 times a day
The best natural drinks
Find out how to get rid of a cold fast by preparing these 100% natural drinks.
1. Hot honey lemon water
Lemon and honey are good natural medicines since they have certain properties that can help you fight a cold. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, are rich in vitamin C, and both lemon and honey are known for their antiviral properties.
How to prepare honey lemon tea
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 cup of hot water
Put lemon juice and honey into a cup, then pour water over it and steer.
2. Hot ginger tea
Ginger is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and it can help you with the congestion, stuffy nose and sore throat.
How to prepare ginger tea
- 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- A squirt of lemon juice
Put the water in a saucepan and wait for it to boil. Add the ginger, turn off the heat, put a lid on and leave it to steep for 10 minutes. Afterwards, strain the water, add the lemon juice and honey.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar has antimicrobial properties and adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar leads to alkalization of the body, thus creating an environment where it is difficult for viruses to survive.
4. Hot peppermint tea
Peppermint tea can be used to treat cold symptoms, but also to boost our immunity and prevent us from getting sick in the first place due to its antibacterial properties.
How to make peppermint tea
- ½ cup of dried peppermint leaves
- 3-4 cups of water
- 2-3 tablespoons of honey
Boil the water, then add the peppermint leaves and leave it to steep for 5 minutes. Strain it and then add honey.
Home-made healthy syrups
1. Honey-onion syrup
Besides the benefits of honey, onion has been proven to have anti-inflammatory effects, so this syrup will definitely ease your symptoms, such as a cough.
How to make honey-onion syrup
- 1 red onion
- 1 cup of honey
Slice the onion and alternately put layers of onion and honey into a jar. When you are finished, close the jar tightly and let it sit for 8-12 hours. To ease your cough, use one spoon when necessary.
2. Licorice syrup
Licorice is good for cleaning your respiratory system as it helps produce the healthy mucus. Because it has anti-inflammatory effects, it has been used for centuries to treat the cold and cough.
How to make licorice syrup
- 1 ¼ cup of licorice root
- ¾ cup of Echinacea leaf
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of honey
Put the licorice root and the water into a saucepan, and simmer for 30 minutes. When you turn off the heat, add Echinacea and steep for 10-15 minutes and then strain the mixture. Add honey and heat the mixture to a rolling boil. After that, boil for another 10 minutes. Take 1 ¼ spoon three times a day.
3. Sore throat gargle
According to Sorana Segal-Maurer, MD, throat gargle can bring you symptomatic relief, since this process helps to wash the virus out. Throat gargle draws the fluid out, thus reducing the swelling in the throat.
What you need:
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 240 ml of warm water
Dissolve the salt in the water and gargle at least once every hour.
4. Elderberry syrup
Elderberry helps in reducing the congestion and it can shorten the duration of a cold for about 3 days.
How to prepare elderberry syrup
- ½ cup of dried elderberries
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of honey
Put the water and the elderberries into a saucepan and let it boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes. Strain the mixture and once it has cooled to a room temperature, add honey and stir together. Take one tablespoon every day.
There are certain habits you can incorporate into your everyday routine to boost your immunity: get enough sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, reduce the alcohol intake, reduce stress levels, and, don’t forget to laugh as much as possible, since it can actually boost your immunity.
If your cough doesn’t stop after 10 days, the fever doesn’t go away, you are vomiting and have severe throat pain, then it’s time to see the doctor.
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