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Common Cold Remedies: Home Treatment Options

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The common cold is a highly contagious viral infection that generally affects the nose and throat. While the common cold is generally a mild illness that resolves on its own, it can have unpleasant symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, slight headache or body aches, or a low-grade fever. Symptoms will usually resolve on their own within seven to ten days, but common cold self-care tips may help alleviate the severity and length of some of these symptoms.

Common Cold Self-Care

As the name implies, the common cold is widespread. That’s because of how easily this illness spreads from person to person in schools, workplaces, and homes. Most adults experience the common cold at least two or three times yearly, and younger children often have more than four colds annually. 

The common cold is also so common because it doesn’t have just one cause. Indeed, more than 200 different viruses can cause the common cold. 

When facing common cold symptoms, many people turn to decongestants, gargle salt water, or over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen, lozenges, or even herbal teas containing echinacea or other herbs.

What Gets Rid of a Cold Quickly?

How do you treat yourself from a common cold? There is no cure for the common cold, but some standard cold self-care practices can help reduce the discomfort and longevity of some of its symptoms. 


One of the most important things you can do to combat a cold is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to loosen mucus and prevent dehydration. It is recommended to drink at least eight cups of water a day and more if you have a fever. You can also drink warm beverages such as tea or broth to soothe a sore throat and ease congestion. Adding honey can be incredibly soothing for sore throats.


Keeping yourself hydrated is essential, but don’t forget about the air around you: moisture there helps, too. Dry air can irritate and exacerbate some of the common cold symptoms. Using a humidifier or vaporizer to moisten the air can help prevent further discomfort from sore throats and nasal passages and can help with congestion, too. If you don’t have a humidifier or vaporizer, the steam from a shower can help in the same way.


As with any illness, getting plenty of rest is essential for your body to heal and recover. Sleep enough at night and take naps during the day if needed. Avoid overexertion and take a break from your usual activities to promote healing. Remember that you’re most contagious during your first one to three days of illness, so staying home and resting can help aid your recovery and help prevent the spread of your illness to someone else.

Saline Irrigation

Saline irrigation or saline spray is another home treatment option for congested nasal and sinus passages caused by the common cold. Irrigating your nasal passages using a salty nasal spray can help decrease the bacteria count in your nose and sinuses, flush out irritants, and break up mucus, easing the discomfort of a stuffy or runny nose. 

Get the Right Nutrients

Research shows that foods and supplements with oral zinc, vitamin C, honey, and probiotics may help support your body’s immune system and combat cold symptoms.

With these strategies, you may find yourself ready to deal with the worst of the cold and flu season. Try these suggestions and see if they make a difference in your health!