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How Do I Treat a Cold at Home?

How Do I Treat a Cold at Home?

A cold – even the simplest case of the sniffles – can be intrusive on daily productivity. Fortunately, while there is no cure, many home remedies will help minimize the symptoms.

Drink Lots of Fluids

Fluids help cleanse the body and, while they will not wash out the cold, they can help prevent dehydration and ease symptoms. Stick to water and clear juices.

Use a Humidifier

Dryness in the air can aggravate nasal passages or a cough. Using a humidifier, especially while you sleep, will limit that irritation.

Nasal Spray

Like humidifiers, nasal sprays can help prevent dryness and irritation in the nasal passages. Some are also designed to break up congestion. The process also drains bacteria and viruses from your nasal passages, helping you get better faster.

Salt Water Gargle

If you are coughing, a simple gargle can soothe an irritated throat.

Get Plenty of Rest

The body needs sleep to repair itself and fight off the cold virus. You will probably be tired anyway, so listen to your body, and give it the extra sleep it needs.

Chicken Soup

Studies substantiate the claims that the old-fashioned remedy of chicken soup is beneficial to cold symptoms.  In addition to being a nice comfort food, the soup is an anti-inflammatory and helps to increase nasal mucous velocity.

Over the Counter Medicines 

Night time meds will help you sleep in addition to relieving the symptoms. Daytime medicine will let you stay awake. Antihistamines will relieve congestion and a runny nose. Many of these medications also contain painkillers to relieve any discomfort that comes along with the cold. For colds with a cough, there are many non-drowsy syrups that will knock it out. For multi-symptom colds, many remedies combine medications so that everything can be alleviated.



“Cold remedies: What works, what doesn’t, what can’t hurt –” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2010. <>.

Saketkhoo, K, A Januszkiewicz, and MA Sackner. “Effects of drinking hot water, cold water, and chicken soup on nasal mucus velocity and nasal airflow resistance..” Chest 74.4 (1978): 408-410. Print.


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