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Home Remedies and Handy Tips to Beat the Common Cold

The common cold is a viral infection that affects the nose, throat, and sinuses. It can cause symptoms such as runny nose, cough, sore throat, sneezing, headache, and fatigue. There is no cure for the common cold, but there are some natural remedies and tips that can help you feel better and recover faster. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular and effective home remedies and handy tips to beat the common cold.

Home Remedies for the Common Cold

Home remedies are natural treatments that you can make or use at home to ease your cold symptoms. They are usually inexpensive, easy to prepare, and have fewer side effects than over-the-counter medications. Here are some of the most common home remedies for the common cold:

  • Zinc lozenges: Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in immune function and wound healing. Some studies have shown that taking zinc lozenges within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms can reduce the duration and severity of the cold. Zinc lozenges are available at health stores, online, and in drugstores. The recommended dose is one lozenge every two to four hours, up to six to 12 lozenges per day. However, zinc lozenges may cause nausea, bad taste, or mouth irritation in some people, so consult your doctor before using them.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the cells from damage and supports the immune system. Although vitamin C cannot prevent a cold, some evidence suggests that it may improve cold symptoms and slightly shorten the duration of the cold. Vitamin C can be found in foods such as citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, broccoli, and peppers. You can also take vitamin C supplements or drink vitamin C-enriched beverages. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men, but some experts suggest taking up to 500 mg per day during a cold.
  • Garlic: Garlic is a herb that has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It can help fight and prevent viral infections and boost the immune system. You can eat raw garlic cloves, add garlic to your food, or take garlic supplements. Some studies have found that taking garlic supplements daily can reduce the number of colds and the severity of symptoms. However, garlic can also cause bad breath, stomach upset, or allergic reactions in some people, so use it with caution.
  • Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It can help soothe a sore throat, suppress a cough, and improve sleep quality. You can add honey to hot tea, lemon water, or warm milk, or take a spoonful of honey before bedtime. However, honey should not be given to children under one year of age, as it may contain botulism spores that can cause a serious illness in infants.
  • Ginger: Ginger is a spice that has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and expectorant properties. It can help relieve nasal congestion, reduce inflammation, and loosen phlegm. You can make ginger tea by boiling fresh ginger slices in water, adding honey and lemon juice, and straining the liquid. You can also chew on ginger candies, add ginger to your food, or take ginger supplements. However, ginger may interact with some medications, such as blood thinners, so consult your doctor before using it.

Handy Tips to Beat the Common Cold

In addition to home remedies, there are some handy tips that can help you beat the common cold and prevent complications. Here are some of the most useful tips to follow when you have a cold:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids can help loosen congestion, prevent dehydration, and flush out toxins. Water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water with honey are good choices. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated sodas, as they can make dehydration worse.
  • Rest: Your body needs rest to heal and fight off the infection. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and take naps during the day if you feel tired. Avoid strenuous activities, such as exercise, work, or household chores, until you feel better.
  • Use a humidifier or a steam inhalation: Adding moisture to the air can help ease breathing and soothe irritated tissues in the nose and throat. You can use a humidifier, a vaporizer, or a steam inhalation device to increase the humidity in your room. You can also fill a bowl with hot water, lean over it with a towel over your head, and inhale the steam for 10 to 15 minutes. You can add a few drops of essential oils, such as eucalyptus, peppermint, or lavender, to the water for extra benefits. However, be careful not to burn yourself with the hot water or steam, and clean the humidifier or vaporizer regularly to prevent mold growth.
  • Gargle with salt water: Gargling with salt water can help reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and relieve a sore throat. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, and gargle for a few seconds. Repeat several times a day, especially after eating or drinking.
  • Blow your nose gently: Blowing your nose can help clear the mucus and relieve pressure in your sinuses. However, blowing too hard or too often can damage the delicate tissues in your nose and cause bleeding or infection. To blow your nose gently, press one nostril closed with your finger, and blow through the other nostril. Repeat with the other nostril. Use soft tissues, and dispose of them after each use. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to prevent spreading germs.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the common cold and their answers:

  • Q: How long does a cold last?
  • A: The duration of a cold varies from person to person, depending on the type of virus, the immune system, and the treatment. Generally, a cold lasts for about seven to 10 days, but some symptoms, such as cough or fatigue, may linger for longer.
  • Q: How can I prevent getting a cold?
  • A: The best way to prevent getting a cold is to avoid contact with people who are sick, and to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can also boost your immune system by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and getting enough sleep. Some people also take preventive measures, such as taking zinc, vitamin C, or garlic supplements, or getting a flu shot, but their effectiveness is not proven.
  • Q: When should I see a doctor for a cold?
  • A: Most colds can be treated at home with home remedies and handy tips. However, you should see a doctor if you have any of the following signs or symptoms, as they may indicate a more serious condition, such as a bacterial infection, an allergy, or a chronic disease:
    • A fever higher than 38.5°C (101.3°F) or lasting longer than three days
    • Severe or persistent headache, earache, or sinus pain
    • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or chest pain
    • Coughing up blood or yellow-green mucus
    • A rash or hives
    • Swollen glands or a stiff neck
    • Dehydration, confusion, or drowsiness


The common cold is a common and usually mild illness that can be treated with home remedies and handy tips. However, if you have any concerns or complications, you should consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Remember to stay hydrated, rest, and take care of yourself until you feel better. We hope this blog post has been helpful and informative for you. Thank you for reading!

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