Winter is in full swing in many places, bringing with it colds, coughs, and other infections. Many stock up on medicines for a runny nose, cough, etc., but many of these infections do not spare everyone.
However, many of these drugs have many harmful effects when used long term. Therefore, it is better to opt for home remedies to get rid of cold and cough.
Traditional and natural medicine is very beneficial for our body, as it helps us control mucus production and strengthens the immune system. And the best thing is that many of these home remedies are already available in our kitchen.
home remedies for cold
The following 15 home remedies work wonders to fight a cold or keep it under control:
1. Warm water with lemon
This is an excellent way to provide the body with a vitamin C shock. Lemon is a citrus fruit famous for its high vitamin C content.
A study published in the journal Nutrients states that a supplemental dose of 6 to 8 grams in adults was enough to shorten the duration of a cold by 18%, on average, while for children just 1 to 2 grams was enough.
In addition, warm water helps loosen mucus. This is the most underrated method of relieving colds and coughs. Drinking lukewarm water can significantly relieve irritation and sore throats.
2. Warm salt water
If you don’t live under a rock, you know that gargling with salt water is a proven and effective cough treatment. This method has been used since the time of our ancestors.
Gargle with warm salt water for immediate relief from a sore throat and runny nose.
Just mix some warm water and add salt to it. Gargle with this solution 5-6 times, 2 times a day. Repeat the process until you notice improvements.
3. Infusion of lemon and honey
The vitamin C present in lemon added to all the benefits that honey has to offer, which has been used for centuries, are innumerable.
The antioxidants in honey help control coughing and soothe a sore throat.
In addition, several studies have shown how effective honey is in helping us fight infections. This is because honey is a powerful prebiotic.
Prebiotics are compounds that promote the growth of good bacteria and fungi.
Just mixing a tablespoon of honey with a tablespoon of lemon in a cup of warm water and drinking it during the day is beneficial for health.
4. Garlic infusion
It not only scares away vampires, but also scares away infections! Talking about home remedies and not naming garlic is almost a sin.
Garlic is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. These properties are due to the presence of a compound called “allicin” that gives garlic its strong flavor.
To get rid of cough with the help of garlic, it is enough to crush 5-7 garlic cloves and eat them raw or mix them with a cup of hot water and drink the infusion.
5. Infusion with elderflower
Elderflower is believed to prevent or decrease pain and inflammation and reduce symptoms of respiratory infections. Elderberry is considered by many to be one of the most powerful plants for preventing and treating colds due to its antiviral properties.
Some studies show that elderberry has benefits against colds and flu.
In a study by Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, 93.3% of people who drank elderberry tea reported a significant improvement in flu symptoms 2 days after it started, compared to 6 days after it started. took the control group.
In another study conducted in Norway, it was found that those who had eaten elderberries had higher levels of antibodies against influenza, showing that it can not only treat flu symptoms, but also prevent influenza.
Two to three cups a day of an infusion of dried elderberry flowers are recommended.
6. Infusion of thyme
Thyme is a powerful antibacterial, which in addition to fighting infections, helps reduce fever and clears the respiratory tract. And as if that were not enough, it relieves throat irritation.
You can take it as an infusion, or gargle to soothe a sore throat. To clear the airways, it is recommended to do vapors (breathe the steam).
7. Chamomile tea
Chamomile is undoubtedly one of the most popular herbs among home remedies thanks to its countless benefits.
In addition to being a natural pain reliever, it is an excellent anti-inflammatory, helps clear the airways, and helps the body fight infection.
A study published in Molecular Medicine Reports concluded that chamomile is effective in treating colds and other mild viral infectious diseases of the respiratory system.
Prepare yourself a chamomile tea and drink it as many times as you want during the day. You can add a few teaspoons of honey for greater benefits and to sweeten it.
8. Mint tea
Another great (and delicious) remedy is peppermint tea. This mix will not only help you get better faster, but it will also improve your immunity.
To make mint tea, take a few mint leaves and add them to a cup of hot water. Strain and add a little honey to sweeten (optional: a little ginger).
Drink this infusion at least three times a day for severe cases of cold.
9. Ginger and honey tea
The health benefits of ginger root have been exploited for centuries, but today we have scientific proof of its wonderful properties.
Ginger tea can help relieve coughs and sore throats, thanks to its anti-inflammatory powers.
Studies in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine suggest that it may also prevent nausea that often accompanies the flu.
It is recommended to drink between 3 and 4 times an infusion of ginger and honey. For this you just have to add a few slices of ginger root to a cup of boiling water and a tablespoon of honey.
10. Eucalyptus steam
Who doesn’t this take back to their childhood?
Making vapors with eucalyptus is one of the fastest and most effective ways to decongest the respiratory tract. This is due to its strong but delicious aroma.
To make eucalyptus steam vapors, you just have to boil water with a handful of eucalyptus leaves in a pot, carefully remove it from the heat once it has boiled and inhale, covering your head with a towel to make the most of the steam.
11. Purple onion
Onion, like garlic, is a powerful prebiotic. A recent study published in Springerlink has concluded that prebiotics can help boost your immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria.
In addition, they promote the production of natural antibodies in the body and can stimulate immune cells and natural killer cells (whose job is to destroy infected and cancer cells).
Just add onion to your meals, salads and soups.
12. Foods with vitamin C
As we already know, it is enough to receive between 6 to 8 grams of vitamin C to reduce the duration of a cold.
Some foods rich in vitamin C are lemon, orange, grapefruit and citrus fruits in general.
Other foods rich in vitamin C are kiwi , red bell pepper, broccoli, and strawberries.
However, the food with the highest vitamin C content is sauerkraut (or Sauerkraut in German), a traditional German food consisting of fermented cabbage.
13. Chicken soup
A grandma classic, but it sure works! Try this chicken soup to feel better and fight a cold:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 diced carrots
- 2 celery leaves, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 chicken thigh
- juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender. Add the garlic, ginger, lemon and rosemary. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the broth, bay leaf and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil Once it boils, add the chicken. Lower heat and simmer, until chicken is cooked through, (10-15 minutes). Remove the chicken and shred.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
14. Hot bath
Nothing like a nice hot bath. The steam from the locked water in the bath will not only unclog your airways but will help loosen your muscles and reduce muscle soreness that often accompanies a cold.
If you have time, it is recommended to take an immersion bath with bath salts, lavender and essential oils that will help unclog your nose and relax you significantly.
15. Massage with menthol ointment
Good old Vick’s or Chinese dragon ointment. Already considered part of the medicine cabinet of millions of families for several generations, these ointments are here to stay.
We all remember feeling immediately great after getting those menthol-scented ointments rubbed on our chests, and they really work.
The ointment helps temporarily relieve coughing and unclogs the nasal passages in the common cold. It can also be used to temporarily relieve minor aches and pains in muscles and joints.
What to do if you have a cold?
While sometimes it is a good excuse to rest and stay home, skip classes or even miss work.
Many times it can be annoying and uncomfortable to go through a cold, here are some recommendations that can help you recover quickly:
What is that that all doctors tell us when we feel bad? Ah yes, rest. But, have you ever wondered why it is so important to rest?
According to the medical journal WebMD, getting plenty of rest is the key to treating a cold. It is recommended to sleep between 8 and 12 hours per night in a warm and humid environment.
This is because when we are sick, our body spends a lot of energy fighting the disease, so we feel tired and have fatigue.
Drink a lot of liquid
David B. Banach, chief of infection prevention and an epidemiologist at the University of Connecticut, points out that one of the main reasons people get sick with the flu or a virus is from dehydration.
Drinking a good amount of fluids is important to ensure a speedy recovery and ease the burden of symptoms.
Also, our body not only needs water to function well, but also needs to eliminate toxins through urine.
Cigarette smoke can play a trick on us if we suffer from a disease that affects our respiratory tract.
This is how today, during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a WHO study indicates that many of the smokers who suffer from this virus need some type of respiratory assistance.
Maintain good hygiene
Maintaining good hygiene is one of the most effective ways to avoid illness.
Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you return from the street and when handling food.
Also, to avoid bacteriological diseases, make sure you clean kitchen utensils well and avoid mixing the use of tables to avoid cross contamination.
Go to the doctor if necessary
Try some of the natural remedies that you already know and that you learned about in this article.
If you do not notice improvements in the first few days, do not hesitate to visit your GP, it is often the best option.
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.