You know the signs—sore throat, headache, and runny nose. A cold is coming, and it’s about to take hold. Adults average about two to four colds a year, while children can have as many as 12. That’s a lot of Kleenex and missed work days. Luckily, there are home remedies for the common cold right in your kitchen that can help ease your cold symptoms and get you back on your feet.
Honey Cough Syrup
You can thank the bees for this useful natural cold remedy and immune booster, as honey can offer several antimicrobial and antibacterial benefits. Take a spoonful of honey directly several times a day or mix it into your favorite warm beverage for a homemade honey cough syrup. Drinking tea or warm water with lemon and honey is a time-honored method of soothing throat irritation naturally. Research has found that honey is also effective at suppressing a cough, especially at bedtime. You can make your own cough syrup with a combination of honey and onion. Onions are a great natural expectorant and stimulate the cleansing of airways. Combine onion slices in a bowl or jar with 3 tablespoons of honey and let soak overnight. The next morning, strain the mixture and take a dose directly or dilute in water throughout the day as needed. Remember, avoid giving honey to a child until they are over a year old.
Fresh Ginger Root Tea
Native to Southern Asia, ginger has been used medicinally for centuries. Fresh ginger root is inexpensive, and the anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals can help to relieve a sore throat quickly. This all-natural spice also helps loosen phlegm in your lungs and air passages to allow you to expel it from your chest with a productive cough. Chop or grate a portion into fine pieces and put them into a tea strainer. Brew a cup using boiling water and add a touch of lemon or honey. Drink three or more cups a day until you are feeling better. Ginger has also been shown to be effective at enhancing the immune system during cold and flu season, so it can build your defenses against what’s going around.
Cinnamon Sore Throat Medicine
Widely used in Asia for more than 4000 years, cinnamon has strong chemical compounds that can help dispel colds, treat fever, and increase appetites often suppressed during illness. The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine describes cinnamon as one of the most important herbal drugs because of its high source of antioxidants. Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree in the Middle East and South Asia and is rich in phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and other antioxidants that power up your immune system and reduce inflammation. To create a simple recipe for sore throat relief, combine 1 part cinnamon to 4 parts honey. You can slather it on toast, add it to your tea, or mix it into yogurt. Several doses may be necessary until you feel improvements.
Carrot Smoothie for Colds
Act like a rabbit and grab yourself a carrot. Rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, carrots can strengthen your immune system and help improve your respiratory health. These vegetables contain several essential nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. Adding carrots to your diet when you are suffering from a cold may motivate your white blood cells to work more efficiently at ridding your body of the virus causing your symptoms. Carrot juice has been shown to help control pertussis, or whooping cough, a bacterial infection that leads to severe coughing. Make a cold-fighting smoothie by throwing a few peeled carrots, an apple, ginger, Veggie Shake, and cold water into a blender and mix. Carrots have a wealth of valuable nutrition and can benefit the body in many additional ways, from improving eye health to decreasing the risk for heart disease and stroke.
Garlic Cold Remedy
Along with warding off vampires, garlic is one of the best natural cold remedies with impressive antimicrobial properties. Packed with disease-fighting agents, this powerful antioxidant provides decongestant and expectorant effects. Garlic contains the compound allicin, which is an immune system enhancer that can help prevent the attack of the common cold virus. It also helps in faster recovery if you do fall ill. If you’re brave, pop a whole clove of garlic in your mouth. For the less daring folks, crush up two cloves and allow a few minutes for the enzymes to activate. Add a touch of honey and top a cracker with the mixture. Garlic supplements are also an option and can help to prevent and reduce the severity of a cold. A study showed adding a garlic supplement to the diet reduced the frequency of colds in a season and significantly cut short the duration of symptoms.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with warm salt water helps break up mucus and ease throat pain and nasal congestion. To benefit from this home remedy, gargle a half teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water and spit out excess liquid. How does it work? You’re creating a high-salt barrier, or a magnet, that’s pulling out the fluid from your throat and nasal area, helping to wash out the virus and congestion.
If you are still feeling sick after a few weeks, make an appointment with your doctor. The second you begin experiencing an increased heart rate, cannot catch your breath, feel light-headed, or begin vomiting, see a medical professional. As always, one of the best ways to avoid the common cold is prevention. To stay healthy, eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and wash your hands, especially during cold and flu season.