In most cases, the cold goes away on its own within 4-7 days, but you can try some remedies to alleviate the symptoms and speed up healing. Read on to discover natural methods that will help you get rid of the cold immediately.
Free the Nasal Cavities
1) Drink plenty of hot liquids.
They help to dissolve the mucus in the paranasal sinuses so that it can flow more easily. Getting rid of it will make you feel better immediately. According to some studies, consumption of lukewarm beverages relieves cold symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat and fatigue.
Hot tea without tea is excellent. To regain hydration, drink a chamomile or a peppermint herbal tea. Add honey and lemon to soothe a sore throat and make the effects of the drink last longer. Chamomile is effective for fighting stress and fatigue, while peppermint relieves nasal congestion.
If drunk regularly, benifuuki Japanese green tea helps fight nasal congestion and allergy symptoms. You can also drink tea with targeted properties to combat a sore throat: the Yogi Tea brand has a wide range.
When you have a cold, vegetable or chicken broth is very effective. Consume in large quantities, but prefer low-sodium broth to avoid too much salt. The chicken broth can help soothe a sore throat and dissolve the mucus, thus relieving the congestion.
If you love coffee, you have no reason to avoid it. It has been shown that consuming it increases mental clarity when you have a cold. However, children should avoid caffeine. In any case, you should mainly drink hot water, herbal teas and broths: overdoing with caffeine can dehydrate you.
Avoid alcohol. Nasal congestion and swelling can worsen.
2) Take showers and hot baths.
The vapour moisturizes the nasal cavities, thus reducing their irritation. It also has a relaxing effect, so it relieves cold symptoms. Prepare a hot bath and immerse yourself in the water. Alternatively, in the morning take a hot shower to get the benefits of steam. You can even create a menthol-like “bomb” to relieve congestion. To prepare it, look for an online recipe that explains how to make a bath bomb. But make a couple of changes: use a decongestant essential oil and create a flat-shaped bomb. Place it in the shower box when you start to wash: it will melt thanks to the water and will release its aromatherapy properties.
To make a quick steam treatment, you can heat a pot full of water and bring it to a boil. When steam begins to come out, remove it from the heat and place it on a stable surface, such as a table or a work surface.
Bend your head on the pot, but do not get too close to steam or water. Cover the garment with a light cotton towel. Inhale the steam for 10 minutes. You can do this treatment 2-4 times a day.
Pouring a few drops of essential oil into the water can help to better decongest the paranasal sinuses and exploit the benefits of aromatherapy. Try the peppermint essential oil to relieve sinus headaches Eucalyptus essential oil helps to reduce nasal congestion. Do not use Melaleuca oil: it is toxic when consumed.
3) Try the oil pulling method.
It is an Ayurvedic remedy that allows eliminating germs and bacteria from the oral cavity. Most of these microorganisms bind to the fats contained in the oil, so you can spit them out.
Use coconut oil. It has antibacterial properties and also contains lauric acid, an antimicrobial agent.
Use cold pressed organic oil. Sesame or sunflower seeds are also good, but coconut oil has more antimicrobial properties (and also a more pleasant taste).
Measure one tablespoon of oil, introduce it into the oral cavity and use it to rinse the mouth following a rotary movement for at least one minute. If you do it for longer, you will eliminate more bacteria. Try to get it between your teeth and make sure it reaches the gums.
Do not swallow it. If you have trouble rinsing without ingesting the oil, spit it out a little.
After rinsing, spit the oil in the trash can (not in the sink, otherwise you risk clogging the pipes). Rinse the mouth with lukewarm water
4) To irrigate the paranasal sinuses.
This vessel has the function of eliminating the mucus from the nasal cavities, plus it relieves the symptoms of the cold for several hours thanks to a procedure called “nasal irrigation”. A saline solution is poured into one nostril, which promotes the discharge of the mucus from the other. The neti lota can be found on the internet.
When you have a cold and the symptoms do not give you respite, do an irrigation a day. Once you feel better, you can do it 2 times a day.
Prepare a saline solution or buy it in a pharmacy. To make it at home, mix 1.5 g of kosher salt or whole sea salt up, 1.5 g of sodium bicarbonate and 250 ml of warm distilled or boiled water. It is important to use distilled water or boiled and cooled because tap water can contain parasites or amoebae.
Pour 120 ml of saline into the neti lota. Fold over a sink, but you can also perform the procedure in the shower stall or in the bathtub to avoid wetting the floor. Tilt the head about 45 °.
Thread the neti lota spout into a nostril. Pour the saline solution inside it and let it flow on the other side. Repeat with the other nostril.
5) Blow your nose correctly.
When you have a cold, it is important to blow it well to free the nasal cavities, but you must do it gently. If you blow too hard, the pressure can damage your ears, so in addition to the cold, you will also be an annoying earache. Be sure to blow gently and only when necessary.
Doctors recommend blowing the nose by pressing a finger on one nostril and gently blowing the other into a handkerchief.
Wash your hands every time you finish blowing your nose. You will eliminate bacteria and viruses that could cause other infections or infect others.
6) Use a humidifier.
If the environment in which you live is too dry, the symptoms of the cold can worsen and last over time. A humidifier reports optimal moisture levels in the air, so the nasal cavities are lubricated and the mucus can be removed more easily. Leave it on during the night to facilitate breathing.
Be sure to clean the humidifier regularly. Mold can easily proliferate in wet environments.
To make the environment more humid, you can also bring to the boil 2 glasses of distilled water. The distilled water does not contain the same impurities as the tap, which can worsen the cold.
The plants you have at home have a natural humidifying action. The flowers, the leaves and the stems release steam into the air. Furthermore, they purify it by absorbing carbon dioxide and other contaminants. Some of the most effective are aloe vera, bamboo, ficus benjamina, aglaonema, various species of philodendron and dracaena.
Use Natural Remedies
7) Take the elderberry extract.
Common elderberry is widely used in medicine. It can help reduce congestion and other typical symptoms of respiratory disorders. It has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, useful for fighting colds. It also stimulates the immune system.
Elderberry extract can be found in the form of syrup, tablets or capsules in herbal medicine and pharmacy.
You can also prepare an elderflower tea. Leave 3-5 g of dried elderflower infusion in a cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Filter the infusion and drink it up to 3 times a day.
Do not use elderberry for prolonged periods without first consulting a doctor. You should seek expert advice even before taking the extract. It can have side effects for pregnant women, but also for individuals with autoimmune diseases or those with low blood pressure. The same applies to those who take medicines for diabetes, laxatives, chemotherapeutic drugs and immunosuppressants.
Do not use unripe or raw elderberries: they are poisonous
8) Try the eucalyptus.
It has antioxidant properties that protect against free radicals, molecules that can damage cells. The active ingredient of eucalyptus is called “cineole”, a compound that has an expectorant function: it helps fight respiratory infections and relieve coughs. It is available as tablets, cough syrup and effervescent bath tablets. You can buy it in herbal medicine.
Ointments containing eucalyptus essential oil can be applied in the area of the nose and thorax to relieve congestion and dissolve the phlegm.
Fresh or dried eucalyptus leaves can be used to prepare herbal teas. You can also mix them with warm water and gargle to alleviate a sore throat. As for the herbal tea, leave 2-4 g of dried leaves in a cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes. Drink it up to 3 times a day.
To make gargling, put 2-4 g of dried leaves into a glass of warm water. Add 1.5-3 g of salt. Leave them in infusion for 5-10 minutes. Gargle after meals to fight bad breath and relieve a sore throat.
Do not swallow the essential oil of eucalyptus: it can be toxic. People who suffer from asthma, epileptic fits, liver disorders, kidney problems or low blood pressure should not use this method without first talking to a doctor.
9) Use peppermint.
It is very common to treat cold symptoms. Its active ingredient, or menthol, has excellent decongestant efficacy. It dilutes the mucus and the phlegm. It can also alleviate a sore throat and cough. It can be found in the form of essential oil, supplements and herbal teas. You can also buy it fresh or dried.
Peppermint herbal tea can help alleviate a sore throat. Leave a sachet (about 3-4 g of leaves) in the boiling water. Adding honey will calm a cough.
Do not give peppermint essential oil or other menthol-containing products to children under 2 years of age.
The peppermint essential oil can be used for aromatherapy purposes and for massaging the thorax. It should not be taken orally.
10) Eat some raw honey.
Honey, especially if not treated, contains antiviral properties and strengthens the immune system. The raw one is solid at room temperature and has a slightly stronger flavour than pasteurized honey. To make the most of the benefits, you prefer honey at zero kilometres: it helps the body to fight the allergens typical of the area in which you live.
When you prepare a herbal tea, you can add honey and lemon to soothe a sore throat and calm a cough.
Honey should not be given to children under the age of one.
11) Eat garlic.
Strengthens the immune system and has mild antiviral properties. Further study is needed to understand if it can help fight colds, but for now, it seems promising.
You can take it as a supplement or eat it directly. Try to consume several segments a day to make the most of the benefits.
12) Gargle with warm salty water.
If your throat scrapes you, salt water can help moisturize it. Mix 1.5-3 g of kosher salt or whole sea salt up to 250 ml of lukewarm or boiled distilled water.
Gargle for a minute, then spit out the water. Repeat every 3-4 hours according to your needs.
Younger children should not gargle: they risk ingesting the liquid by accident.
13) Consume more vitamin C.
Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that can help strengthen the immune system. It will not cure a cold, but it can speed up healing. Most adults should consume 65-90 mg per day, without exceeding 2000 mg daily.
Citrus fruits, red and green peppers, kiwis, spinach and other types of raw fruits or vegetables are good sources of vitamin C.
Do not consume excess. Although minimal, there is a risk of overdosing, not to mention that the body can not store excess vitamin C: it will be expelled in the urine.
14) Drink plenty of fluids.
Maintaining optimal hydration can alleviate a sore throat. Drink plenty of water, juice or broths. If you have vomited, try a sports drink: it contains minerals, so it can restore the electrolyte balance in the body.
Lukewarm lemon and honey water can help alleviate congestion. Mix the juice of half a lemon with a glass of warm water. Add honey to taste.
Tepid apple juice can relieve a sore throat. Pour into a glass and let it heat in the microwave oven for one minute.
Under normal conditions, women should drink at least 9 glasses (2.2 litres) of fluids a day, while men 13 glasses a day (3 litres). When you’re not well, try to increase the consumption of liquids.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine drinks. The former can worsen inflammation, while both of these substances can dehydrate you.