A cold is a non-serious viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses, and upper airways. Generally, it resolves on its own within one to two weeks. Its main symptoms include sore throat, stuffy nose, or runny nose.
Colds is usually caused by viruses, such as rhinovirus, coronavirus, and parainfluenza, as per Web MD. However, there are still a number of viruses that have not been identified yet by researchers and doctors. According to Web MD, about 20 to 30 percent of adults are affected by these unknown viruses.
When it comes to home remedies, drinking lots of fluids is one of the easiest. It involves no special preparation, since water is very accessible at home. According to Web MD, most people should drink at least eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day. Water helps relieve colds by moistening the throat, as well as hydrating the body and the cells.
Chicken soup is one of the best home remedies for colds. According to a study published in the medical journal Chest, a bowl of steamy chicken soup and vegetables can decrease the rate of movement of body cells called neutrophils, which are types of white blood cells that defend the body from infection. The publication also mentioned that the reduced movement of neutrophils allows them to focus in body areas that need them. In addition, investigators discovered that chicken soup was efficient in the management of upper respiratory infections, such as colds, due to its nutritional content.
Another home remedy that can be used to treat colds is ginger. Aside from its function as a spice, ginger is also known for its health properties that it has been used for ages. According to Healthline, few slices of raw ginger root mixed in boiling water may help sooth cough and sore throat that accompany colds. In addition, the ginger preparation also alleviates the feeling of nausea in diseases like influenza. In fact, a study published in British Journal of Anesthesia revealed that a gram of ginger can lessen clinical nausea due to various etiologies.
Honey is also an option when it comes to treating colds without pharmacological intervention. Honey, when combined with tea and lemon, is known to ease sore throat; however, new studies have found that honey is also a good cough suppressant. According to a research published in Peditarics, ten grams of honey given before sleep decreased the intensity of cough in children and improved the level of their sleep. These results, along with the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of honey, can help reduce the symptoms of colds. Nonetheless, honey should not be given to children less than one year old, as per Healthline. Honey usually has botulinum spores, which are too strong against infants’ immune system.
Garlic is known as an anti-hypertensive agent, as it helps manage high blood pressure. However, garlic also contains a compound called allicin, which suppress the enzymes that lead to the progress of several bacterial and viral infections. It is still unknown whether taking garlic supplement at the onset of a cold could reduce the symptoms; however, it would be a good move to include it in the diet, as per Healthline.
Echinacea has been used by the Native Americans to treat infections for more than a hundred years. It the herb contains ingredients called flavonoids, which have therapeutic effects to the body, such as reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system. According to Healthline, several studies have proved that Echinacea is effective in reducing the length of the symptoms of colds and influenza. For adults, one to two grams of Echinacea root or herb can be mixed with tea thrice a day, but not longer than a week.
Saline nasal drops can help relieve stuffy nose or nasal congestion. According to Mayo Clinic, experts suggest putting saline drops into one nostril, then a bulb syringe is used to suction that nostril. As per Web MD, distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water should be used to prevent causing another infection.
Vitamin C is one of the best home remedies for colds. Aside from its function in cellular repair, Vitamin C is also known to boost the immune system. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and limes. Lemon juice can be added to hot tea with honey to help reduce phlegm. According to some studies, including at least 500 milligrams of Vitamin C in the daily diet increases immune function, which helps the body resist and fight infection. As per Healthline, people under stress like athletes got the greatest health benefit from Vitamin C.
The presence of colds when one is at work or at school can be devastating. Along with medical consult and possible pharmacological advice from the physician, one can employ the above home remedies to manage and treat colds.