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7 Natural Remedies to Help You Get Over the Common Cold

I love providing useful every day tips that help make people's lives better, easier, and more affordable.

A couple of days resting in bed can help with recovery from the common cold

A couple of days resting in bed can help with recovery from the common cold

The common cold is the most common illness that infects the world, but it’s also one of the most treatable illnesses there are. The reason why so many people still suffer from colds every year is because they don’t know what remedies to use when they have them, so they just let the illness run its course or resort to over-the-counter or prescription medications that may not be as effective and can sometimes cause side effects. But natural remedies exist, and here are seven of them that can help you get over your common cold faster and more effectively than you ever could with traditional medicine alone.

1) Rest

When you’re sick, your body is busy fighting off a virus or bacteria. This makes it very important for you to rest so that your immune system can do its job. You can give it a boost by resting and avoiding heavy activity, which will help get rid of your cold faster. Rest with a cool compress on your forehead and listen to some soothing music or white noise.

We all have busy lives, and resting is not always a viable option. But taking some time for yourself to bundle up in warm blankets and rest as much as possible will do your body the world of good. This might mean having to take a day off work, or arranging for someone to look after the kids or walk the dog, but even if you just get one good day of rest, it's a huge investment to your body.

Now, I'm not always one for taking my own advice. Giving in to any kind of sickness is difficult for me. But when I finally bite the bullet and realize that my body is trying to tell me something, giving in to to common cold seems to be the first step to getting on the mend. Accept that your body is telling you that it needs to slow down and repair itself. The sooner you do this, the better!

Put your feet up and rest!

Put your feet up and rest!

2) Drink plenty of fluids

When you’re sick with a cold, it can be hard not to resort to drugs and decongestants, but taking them can have serious side effects. Instead of reaching for OTC medications when you have a cold, try drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of rest. This will help alleviate your congestion while keeping your body working in its natural rhythm. If symptoms persist, talk with your doctor about when it’s appropriate to take over-the-counter medication.

Getting fluids into your body will assist greatly in the recovery process. It helps to keep the body hydrated and will soothe an irritated throat. I highly recommend sipping Jasmine Tea, with a little honey and lemon. It is so soothing and good for you. Avoid caffeine and alcohol if possible, and sip water throughout the day.

Enjoy plenty of warm, comforting beverages

Enjoy plenty of warm, comforting beverages

3) Eat a nutritious diet

A poor diet can leave your body lacking in much-needed vitamins and nutrients, which in turn weakens your immune system. To help prevent rhinitis (also known as nasal inflammation), try eating a diet rich in zinc and vitamins C, D and A. These nutrients have been shown to help reduce symptoms of colds. Pectin from apples also works great for treating throat pain, so adding an apple to each meal is helpful as well! Choose foods that are high in anti-oxidants such as broccoli, spinach and blueberries. Chicken soup makes an excellent meal because it is soothing and nutritional.

Eat nutritional foods, such as hearty soups

Eat nutritional foods, such as hearty soups

4) Vitamin C supplements

If you feel like you’re coming down with something, it’s a good idea to go out and buy some vitamin C supplements. A 2011 study found that patients who took 2,000 mg per day of vitamin C (in addition to taking their normal medications) saw cold symptoms disappear up to a full day faster than those who did not take any vitamin C.

Because while you are sick, eating healthily is more important than ever. Eat citrus fruits that are rich in Vitamin C, as well as taking a multi-vitamin supplement daily.

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5) Garlic and Onions

One of your best weapons in cold prevention is consuming a few cloves of raw garlic daily. In fact, studies have shown that consuming three cloves of raw garlic per day significantly reduces your risk for getting a cold. Don’t have time to make it fresh? Store-bought minced garlic works just as well! Researchers believe one mechanism behind these impressive results may be related to allicin, a compound found in both garlic and onions.

6) Rest with an Aromatherapy Diffuser

If you don’t want to wake up others with a night-time cold remedy, you can use an aromatherapy diffuser. Just add 5 drops of a soothing essential oil like lavender or peppermint to it and let it run throughout your room overnight.

If you don't have an aromatherapy diffuser, not to worry! This old fashioned trick really works: half-fill a bowl with steaming hot water, add a few drops of menthol if you have any, carefully lower yourself over the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Try to enclose the steam as much as possible and take some long, deep breaths to help clear the nose and sinuses. Repeat as frequently as you feel is necessary.

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7) Echinacea Tea for Daytime Sickness

When you’re suffering from a case of acute rhinitis, you may have trouble even thinking about food. But fighting off an infection calls for nutritional fortification, so if you need nourishment, don’t skip meals. A cup of echinacea tea will help get your immune system up and running again.

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Time to Get Over the Common Cold

We all know those little signs of coming down with the common cold. It starts with that pesky sore throat and that feeling of just not quite being 100%. Before long, we're surrounded by mountains of Kleenex and cold remedies, bundled up in bed and just hoping that it will go away as quickly as it came.

Some of us try to be heroes and battle through the whole process, determined to continue with our day-to-day lives. It's "mind over matter!" we tell ourselves, and proceed to go the extra mile, continuing with our daily activities. Off to work we go, and cough and sneeze all over our colleagues (who proceed to stay away from us as far as possible).

We think that we can ignore the signs and say things like "I'll bake some cookies! Surely that will make me feel better!"; and then we exert the tiny bit of energy that our bodies need to repair themselves. So, I'm no expert, but aside from the usual over-the-counter remedies, I’ve learned that the above seven remedies just work to help you feel better and get over the common cold.

Soon you'll be back to feeling like your good old self, so happy to put aside the Kleenex box and be able to breathe clearly.

Remember to keep yourself healthy by frequently washing your hands to avoid the spread of germs. Eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly to keep your body in pristine condition!

Take care of yourself!

Further Reading

  • Common Cold - Wikipedia
    The typical symptoms of a cold include cough, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, and a sore throat, sometimes accompanied by muscle ache, fatigue, headache, and loss of appetite.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2011 Louise Fiolek

Comments

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on February 11, 2012:

You're absolutely right, pedrn44! I had forgotten about Echinacea; it's an excellent immune booster.

Sandi from Greenfield, Wisconsin on February 10, 2012:

Graet tips! Another one is to take Echinacea at the firts hint of an illness. It boosts your immune system. Thanks for writing this hub...tis the season. Voted up and useful.

Audrey Howitt from California on February 10, 2012:

I am a bad sick person! So always better if I can crawl under the covers and sleep--otherwise I whine!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on February 10, 2012:

Up/Useful and thankful not to have a cold!:)

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 31, 2011:

Hi rebecca, sorry to hear about your sinus infection. I went through the same thing earlier this year. Have your tried the netipot? It does a great job of clearing out the sinuses (you can google it, or just ask at your pharmacy). Oregano oil is also an excellent natural remedy for sinus infections. I do hope that you feel better soon.

Cloverleaf

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on October 31, 2011:

I had to finally go to the doctor today for antibiotics for a sinus infection that began as a cold. I will try to follow your well-outlined preventative measures from now on. Great hu, Thanks!

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 31, 2011:

Hi AllSuretyBonds, I know I say "give in to it" but repeat after me: "I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick!". You have to be perfectly healthy for your wedding on Friday!!!!!!

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 31, 2011:

Hi Sannel, you must be a complete picture of health with all that nutrition you get every day! The poor pup is soooo cute, isn't he? I found that picture on Morgue File and just had to use it for this hub! Thanks so much for commenting, and keep eating that organic produce and drinking that delicious Greek mountain tea :)

AllSuretyBonds on October 31, 2011:

This has been a good read for me this morning. I woke up not feeling so great and I have to be healthy this week because I am getting married on Friday!!!

SanneL from Sweden on October 31, 2011:

Great hub Cloverleaf!

It's very unusual that I get a cold, maybe its all the organic vegetables and fruit that I eat that helps, or my everyday beverage of Greek mountain tea and green loose leaf tea with a big chunk of fresh ginger and honey that does it? However if I ever start to feel under the weather, I will refer to your very useful hub. Bookmarked, voted up and useful!

By the way, I just looove the sick little fellow on top of your page. He's just adorable!!

Sannel

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 31, 2011:

Hi A.CreativeThinker,

Thanks so much for coming by to comment! There's something so comforting about homemade chicken soup, isn't there? Have a great day,

Cloverleaf.

A.CreativeThinker on October 28, 2011:

Hi Cloverleaf,

This is great advice for anyone who is down with the common cold. I always love honey and lemon and warm homemade chicken soup. When you're under the weather, you need a little comfort food. Thanks for sharing.

Take Care :)

Regards,

A.CreativeThinker

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 17, 2011:

Hillbilly Zen, anything with honey is just sooooo soothing when you have a cold. Thanks for coming by, I do hope that you stay well and cold-free!

Cloverleaf

Hillbilly Zen from Kentucky on October 17, 2011:

Great Hub, Cloverleaf! I'm not sick (yet) but Jasmine tea with honey and lemon sounds sooo good! Very well written with good common sense advice. Thumbs up and very useful!

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 17, 2011:

Hi aceblogs, nice to see you again! Thanks for coming by to comment on my hub. I hope you stay well this season!

Cloverleaf

Aceblogs from India on October 17, 2011:

Usefull tips, i catch cold very often whenever there is a change of season. Normally i take steam and some medicines. Well this time i will try some of your tips as well and will see how it goes on :) thanks again

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 16, 2011:

Hi thelyricwriter, yes it's getting to be that time of year again and I've already gotten "the sniffles" a few times already. Be sure to check out the Hot Buttered Rum recipe linked from this hub, written by Just Ask Susan - it's a real winner!

Cloverleaf.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on October 16, 2011:

Such great tips you have outlined here Cloverleaf. These are great tips to beat the normal cold. It is that time of year that colds will come in all kinds of types. These are great useful tips!

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 24, 2011:

Hi Dawn, I appreciate you stopping by and posting such a useful comment and excellent advice :-)

Dawn on May 23, 2011:

Hi Clover that is some fine advise, but then may be you should follow it :) Yup all that work for me.. and some ginger tea too .. soothes my throat and makes me feel good Turmeric and honey is a sure fire recipe to get the cold out and yogurt :) plenty of it )

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 23, 2011:

Hi nycgrl, isn't it funny how we act! When we go to work we don't want to be there, and when we are sick we force ourselves to go to work. I appreciate your vote up, thanks!

Veronica from New York on May 23, 2011:

Great hub. Its amazing how some of the most intelligent people I know act so silly when they are sick. You have to rest! going to work sick is just dumb, you won't feel better and you'll make everyone else sick too. Sleep and Vitamin C I agree are your best bets. Voted up!

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 12, 2011:

Hi Mrs. J.B. thanks for these suggestions, they are great!

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on May 12, 2011:

2 asprin, a spoonful of nyquil and 2 shots of patron gold. You will be 70% better in the am. Do the same ingredients the next day and you will be 100% better in the am.

Not recommended for children.

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 09, 2011:

Those are some great tips, Hyphenbird. I had never thought of taking turmeric! I love eating foods full of antioxidants though, especially blueberries (with lots of ice cream, it's nice and soothing on a sore throat).

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on May 09, 2011:

I very seldom get ill in any way at all. I take turmeric almost every day and eat natural foods full of antioxidants. If I should get a cold, I will refer to your great Hub.

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on April 26, 2011:

I know what you mean, Mel Jay...sometimes when I take those cold and flu tablets they make me feel even worse. Thanks for the nice comment!

Mel Jay from Australia on April 26, 2011:

Really enjoy your writing style and great information too. I am one of those who just takes cold and flu tablets and works through it - but it takes me days and days to get over it and if I would just take a day off Iam sure I would get better a lot faster. Next time I will take your advice and look after myself.

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on April 25, 2011:

Hi Sara! Thanks for stopping by.

Sara T from Pennsylvania, USA on April 24, 2011:

good info! very well written.

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on April 24, 2011:

Thanks for the great comment Dexter! It is so important to listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.

Louise Fiolek (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on April 24, 2011:

Hi pinkytoky, I'm glad you found it useful. Thanks for stopping by.

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on April 24, 2011:

Great advice. I would think that many people strive to fight off a cold. I never thought about giving in to it because my body is trying to alert me. Great tips. Thanks so much!

pinkytoky from Singapore on April 24, 2011:

Useful tips for me as I am very prone to having cold.

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