Although it can feel pretty unbearable, the common cold is generally pretty harmless in healthy adults.
Children under six and seniors may suffer colds more often or greater negative effects from the common cold virus.
Unfortunately, most medications for the common cold don’t work so well. They usually don’t do much to alleviate symptoms or rid your body of the virus.
Plus, these medications usually come with unpleasant side effects. Some can make you drowsy while others might include dangerous stimulants.
Fortunately, nature gives us plenty of natural common cold treatments and home remedies.
The common cold virus
There isn’t one common cold virus. In fact, several viruses can cause the common cold. That’s why it’s so difficult to treat. Instead, you just need to wait until the virus runs its course and the symptoms subside.
How long does the common cold last? Most people fully recover in about two weeks with the worst of their symptoms lasting a few days to a week.
Common cold symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Malaise (general discomfort)
- Low-grade fever
- Minor body aches
It’s always important to check with your doctor to make sure there aren’t any complications or larger health issues going on – especially if your common cold symptoms persist or new symptoms arise.
Natural common cold treatments and home remedies
Cold medications are a pain!
The daytime varieties sometimes contain stimulants to help push you through the day and the nighttime varieties include mild sedatives to help you sleep through the night.
Most of them simply mask the symptoms without helping your body heal from the common cold virus.
While natural common cold treatments and home remedies might not cure the illness, they can help alleviate some of the symptoms and provide your body with vital nutrients to heal itself.
1. Detox bath
Get ready to sweat it out. Fill a bathtub with hot water (as hot as you can stand) to basically create an at-home steam bath.
Add about 4 cups of peroxide (half of a large bottle), 1 cup of baking soda, and 3 tablespoons of ground ginger.
The baking soda helps detoxify while the peroxide contains antiviral and antibacterial properties. Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory and it also promotes healthy blood circulation.
Sit in the bath for about 30 minutes or as long as possible. Use caution because you may feel light-headed from the profuse sweating as your body pushes out the toxins. Make sure to drink plenty of water as well.
2. Turbo-charged chicken soup
Ah, chicken soup. Of all the common cold treatments, this one stands the test of time.
And for good reason: chicken contains carnosine which actually helps support your immune system while the warm broth reduces congestion.
As usual, homemade is best because it doesn’t contain the artificial ingredients and high sodium levels typically found in canned varieties.
You can turbo-charge your chicken soup by adding some powerful (and tasty) ingredients. Add some garlic to boost your immune system. Chili flakes and black pepper are excellent natural decongestants. Don’t forget turmeric: a powerful anti-inflammatory.
3. Healing elixir
Teas are excellent routes for getting powerful vitamins and minerals into your body as fast as possible.
Sure, there are lots of store-bought varieties for specifically targeting common cold symptoms, but their powerful properties can degrade as they sit on the shelf.
That’s okay because you can your own powerful concoctions with ingredients you might already have in your kitchen.
- Immune booster: 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons honey.
- Sinus congestion: 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1-inch grated ginger root, 1 teaspoon turmeric.
4. Immune-supporting supplements
Instead of popping cold medicine, look for natural supplements that contain these powerful ingredients:
- Garlic for immunity
- Ginger for detoxification
- Turmeric to reduce inflammation
- Zinc for immune system and nervous system support
With the right herbs or essential oils, you can reduce congestion and alleviate some of the inflammation from your cold.
If you have an oil diffuser, fill it with peppermint, eucalyptus, cardamom, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, and lemon essential oils.
No diffuser? No problem.
Just put dried herbs in a large bowl and pour boiling water on top and inhale the vapors.
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