The common cold is the most widespread viral infection and every person has it multiple times in their lifetime. Sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, cough, a weak sense of taste and smell, and chest congestion are some of the common signs of a bad cold. With tried and tested home remedies, you can easily suppress symptoms of a cold and prevail over the infection while avoiding side effects of medications.
A highly contagious disease, a common cold is caused by a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract. While over 200 viruses around, your body can never build complete resistance against each viral infection. Perhaps, boosting your immune system may help reduce the frequency of common cold attacks.
- You may catch a cold when you come in direct contact with contaminated surfaces or airborne droplets of the virus released by an infected person through respiration or sneezing.
- An infected person may spread infection by blowing his nose and then touching an uninfected person.
- Additionally, a cold virus can transmit to objects, including a handkerchief, telephone, pens, and coffee cups, when these come into contact with an infected person or his airborne droplets. It can survive for several hours and transmit to you if you touch these objects.
What Causes A Common Cold
Of 200 different viruses, Rhinovirus accounts for 10-40 percent of common cold incidents. Young children are highly prone to the common cold virus due to their low immunity.Infection occurs when a virus manages to overpower your immune system.
Your body has a self-defense mechanism. However, when the virus penetrates your line of defense, infection shows up in the form of symptoms of a cold. Mucus, which is a slippery fluid that traps dust, bacteria, and viruses, is your first line of defense against a viral infection. The mucus glands produce mucus in the nose and throat.
When a virus penetrates the mucus, it enters a cell and takes control of it. As a result, the virus replicates using the cell protein and starts attacking surrounding cells.
Natural Remedies for the Common Cold
Medications can only provide temporary relief from symptoms of a cold. However, these over-the-counter drugs are not immune from side effects. Fortunately, some of the proven home remedies for a cold can help.
Adequate hydration can help keep the mucus lining from drying out while flushing out the virus. Intake plenty of fluid intake when you are down with a bout of the common cold. This will help keep the mucus moist and prevent congestion. This means you can clear it from your nose easily.
- Herbal tea, ginger tea, and chicken soup can help relieve symptoms of a cold.
- Sip a warm drink every 2 hours made with honey, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon. Boil a cup of water with cinnamon and grated ginger. Let it simmer until the concoction smells spicy.
- Turn off the flame and stir in lime juice and honey. Sip this remedy for a cold every 2 hours for best results.
Honey and ginger have antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help alleviate your symptoms.
Saline Nasal Drops
Excess mucous is unable to drain in a person suffering from a cold attack. It can further worsen symptoms, leading to a stuffy nose and swelling and stuffiness. Make a saline water solution to rinse your nasal passages. This will help clear out excess phlegm, allergens, and bacteria.
- Mix 1 tsp of baking soda with 3 teaspoons of iodide-free salt.
- Drop 1 teaspoon into 8 ounces of lukewarm boiled, distilled, or sterile water.
- Fill a syringe with the solution, hold one nostril with a finger, and gently squirt the liquid into the other nasal passage. Follow the same process for each nostril.
Alkalinize Your Body
Apple cider vinegar is a wonder natural remedy for several ills that helps keep your pH levels balanced. If you have been using it only for salad dressings, you may want to explore its infection-fighting benefits.
- Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with half a teaspoon of organic honey and blend it with a glass of lukewarm water.
- Sip the infection-fighting drink to fight off the sinus symptoms and improve digestion.
The drink will help alkalinize your body. By creating an alkaline environment, you can make your body unappealing to viruses. You may replace apple cider vinegar with lime juice.
A wonder remedy from nature’s pharmacy, turmeric has natural antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties. If you have been using curcumin in the preparation of some recipes alone, you are not doing justice to this amazingly therapeutic herb.
You will be surprised to know that turmeric has viral-fighting properties.
You can prepare a therapeutic drink with the herb to fight off a cold caused by viral infection.
- Toast carom seeds.
- Boil a cup of milk with a ½ teaspoon of turmeric and toasted carom seeds and black pepper.
- Allow the drink to simmer on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in a teaspoon of honey before gulping down the lukewarm golden milk.
- Enjoy this virus-fighting home remedy for a cold and explore its amazing health benefits.
Garlic Ginger Curry
Do you know ginger, garlic, and turmeric have antifungal and antiviral properties, which make them a potent remedy for a cold?
This is one popular home remedy for a cold made in most Asian homes.
- Run a small piece of ginger and 5-6 cloves of garlic in a food processor. Add a few drops of water to make a paste-like consistency.
- Stir this in a teaspoon of butter on low flame for a couple of minutes.
- Add 1/4th teaspoon of turmeric, a fat pinch of black pepper powder, and salt to taste.
- Boil the paste with 1 cup of milk.
- Turn off the flame in 5 minutes.
- Enjoy this delicious remedy for a cold with an Indian flatbread or simply sip it lukewarm.