As the winter approaches, cold and flu season becomes inevitable. Everyone dreads the constant sniffles, coughs, and sneezes that come with a cold. Despite the best efforts to stay healthy, catching a cold is inevitable. However, with simple home remedies, you can alleviate cold symptoms and feel better in no time.
Common colds can be caused by over 200 different viruses, making it difficult to create a universal cure. As a result, treatment for colds aims to relieve symptoms, without actually curing the virus. These symptoms can include runny noses, sore throats, coughs, and headaches. Simple home remedies can help cure these symptoms and make you feel better faster.
Sore throats are one of the most common complaints during the winter months. Severe sore throats may come as a result of an infection, but most of the time, they are caused by the common cold. To soothe a sore throat, a warm saltwater gargle can work wonders.
Mix 1 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water until it dissolves. Gargle for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat this process three to four times a day to help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Another effective remedy to soothe a sore throat is honey tea. Honey is a natural antibacterial agent and has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Mix two tablespoons of honey into a cup of hot water, add a teaspoon of lemon juice and sip throughout the day. Honey and lemon tea can help reduce inflammation and ease the pain of a sore throat.
Runny noses are a common symptom of a cold because the body’s immune system reacts to the virus by producing excess mucus. To alleviate a runny nose, try inhaling steam. Boil a pot of water, then pour it into a large bowl. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl, breathing in the steam for 5–10 minutes.
Steam works by loosening the mucus in your nose, making it easier to blow your nose and get rid of the excess mucus. For an added boost, you can add a drop or two of essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, or tea tree oil to the water.
Another great home remedy for a runny nose is a saline nasal rinse. A nasal rinse helps flush out the excess mucus from your sinuses and provides relief from congestion. You can buy a saline rinse kit from your local pharmacy or make your own by mixing a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda into a cup of warm water.
Coughing is a symptom of a cold that can persist long after other symptoms have subsided. To ease a cough, try drinking honey and lemon tea. Honey has been shown to be as effective as over-the-counter cough medicine, while lemon can help break up mucus and soothe a sore throat.
Another natural remedy to ease a cough is ginger tea. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe a sore throat and reduce the severity of a cough. To make ginger tea, grate a small amount of ginger root into a cup of hot water, add honey to taste and sip throughout the day.
A headache is a common symptom of a cold and can be caused by sinus congestion or dehydration. To relieve headaches, try drinking more water to help rehydrate yourself.
Another remedy for a headache is peppermint oil. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which can help reduce pain and inflammation. Apply a small amount of peppermint oil onto your temples and massage it in using circular motions.
In conclusion, while there is no universal cure for colds, home remedies can be effective in relieving certain symptoms. Sore throats can be soothed with saltwater gargles or honey tea, runny noses can be alleviated with steam inhalation or saline nasal rinses, coughs can be eased with honey and lemon tea, ginger tea, and headaches can be relieved with ample hydration and peppermint oil. With these simple remedies, you can alleviate cold symptoms and feel better soon after they emerge.
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