There is no definite cure for the common cold.
Most products sold in stores act as short-term treatments. They provide symptom relief or shorten the duration of those symptoms. Or you can take a cheaper, natural approach. Below are seven home remedies that may help you feel better along the way.
1. Blow Your Nose Often
It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. If you blow too hard, the pressure can cause an added earache. The recommended way to blow your nose is by pressing a finger over one nostril while gently clearing the other. Wash your hands after and keep sterile after blowing your nose.
2. Stay Rested
Staying well rested when you first come down with a cold helps the body direct its energy toward the immune system. We often feel tired or groggy because our body gets worn down trying to fight the illness. Give your body a little help by lying down and resting.
Gargling can temporary relieve a sore throat by moistening it. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water a couple of times per day. You can also try a thicker gargle with honey in warm water. Let the mixtures cool to room temperature before gargling.
4. Drink Hot Liquids
Hot liquids will usually relieve nasal congestion. They also help prevent dehydration and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat.
5. Take a Steamy Shower
Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. Inhale the steam to ease congestion and a drippy nose. A steamy shower can relax and comfort you when you aren’t feeling your best.
6. Hot/Cold Packs Around Your Congested Sinuses
Either temperature may help you feel more comfortable. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at a local store. Or you can make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it in a microwave or stick the washcloth in the freezer until comfortable (test the temperature before use). You can even take a small bag of frozen food to use as a cold pack or fill a reusable bag full of ice.
7. Use an Extra Pillow
Using an extra pillow will help with the drainage of nasal passages. If the angle is uncomfortable, try placing the extra pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope. It is not common or necessary, but if it makes you feel better it may be worth it.
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