Health Is Everything: A Medical Blog

Common Cold Treatments

There is no cure for the common cold. That said, there are remedies and cold treatments that can ease your symptoms and help you recover faster. Some are scientifically proven and others are more hypotheses, but all have good effects for at least some people. If you have a cold, this article can serve as your guide.

To Ease a Sore Throat

Cough drops and gargling salt water are two easy ways to soothe scratchy throats. However, hydration is the main key to calming a sore throat. Herbal teas, hot water with lemon, and hot broth are all great ways to hydrate while giving your sore throat relief.

To Ease a Cough

Coughing when you have a cold is your body's way of expelling mucus. However, if the cough becomes too painful, there are ways to reduce it. Over-the-counter cough syrups are an effective treatment. Just as good though, is honey. Honey will coat the throat and soothe the pain while also reducing coughing. You can put honey in tea, hot water, or even just eat a spoonful of it.

To Ease Congestion

When you are congested, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pressure in your sinuses. Nasal sprays can help loosen the mucus in your nose so it is easier to blow out and clear your airways. Taking long, hot showers allows the stream to calmly loosen the phlegm in your lungs and make it easier to cough up.

To Ease Aches and Pains

Over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good for reducing muscle aches and pains associated with a bad cold. Getting lots of sleep is also a good way to rest your body and allow it to use all of its energy to fight off the cold.

Additional Helpful Tips

Vitamins C, E, and zinc are all immune boosters that will help fight off a cold. They can be taken as supplements, but getting the vitamins through your food is the best option. Peppers, strawberries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, oranges, nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, shellfish, and legumes are all high in these vitamins.

What Doesn't Help a Cold

Though this is confusing to some people, antibiotics cannot cure a cold. Colds are viral and antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses.

Avoid sugar, alcohol, and smoking when you have a cold. Sugar weakens the immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight off viruses. Alcohol increases inflammation, makes you dehydrated, and lessens your white blood cells that help your immune system. Though smoking is never good for you, it will especially prolong your cold symptoms and make it hard to recover when you are sick.

Milk and other dairy products are also something you should stay away from when you have a cold. They will make the mucus in your body thicker and hard to expel.

Having a bad cold can leave you feeling discouraged but easily recovering at home is totally doable. With these at-home cold treatments, you will be on your way to feeling better. If you begin having difficulty breathing, have chest pain, or dizziness, call your doctor.