Treating the Common Cold

If you want to try different options, look for alternatives to medications right in your own home.


If you're not interested in topical and oral medications, there are several good options for fighting a cold right in your own home.

1. Get rest

One of the best ways to kick your cold is to take a day or two off so your body can properly fight your cold. It’s possible that you caught the cold because of stress and a weakened immune system. In addition, stay hydrated so your body has the fluid it needs to ward off the cold.

2. Humidifier

Colds thrive in dry environments, according to the Mayo Clinic, which explains why colds are more common in the winter. If you have a humidifier, it will help to moisten the air and keep your mucus membranes from drying out, which causes a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. Cool mist humidifies are cheaper and safer if you have small children and are just as effective. One caution with humidifiers is that if they are not properly cleaned they can develop mold and bacteria. Be sure to clean them based on the manufacturer's recommendations.

3. Chicken Soup

Grandma's chicken soup may be just what you need. Chicken soup is easy to digest and is gentle on a sore throat, which is a great combination when you are sick.

4. Nasal rinse

Using warm salt water or an over-the-counter saline solution, you can rise out your nasal passage using a devise like a Neti Pot or Neti plastic squirt bottle. This helps to clear the nasal passages of excess mucus and clears your sinuses.

5. Tea, Lemon and Honey

Drinking herbal tea with lemon and/or honey can temporarily soothe a sore throat. It’s also been reported that honey can reduce coughing. This is particularly helpful with children who are not able to take many of the
over-the-counter cough medicines. However, children under the age of 1 should not be given honey unless instructed by a physician.

6. Light exercise

Light to moderate exercise can boost your immune system while you are sick, but it’s important to listen to what your body is telling you before hitting the gym. You should not exercise if you have a fever, are light headed, dizzy or vomiting. If you have asthma, exercising with a cold could induce your asthma so proceed with caution. However, as you begin to feel better, you will probably appreciate a short walk around the neighborhood or a light workout at the gym.

Just because it’s wintertime that doesn’t mean a cold has to take you down. Listen to your body. Use the remedies that work best for your body and hopefully this cold season will pass you by.

Rob Germino December 17, 2011 at 02:03 PM
It appears that ready-to-use products such as Simply Saline are safer than Neti Pots. The latter has been linked to brain-eating amoeba.


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