Home Remedies for the Common Cold and the Flu

By Dr. Pallavi Sharma

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The winter season is full-blown with the common cold and flu. The last thing you want to do is spend your time sneezing and coughing, but there are simple things you can do to keep yourself healthy and happy.

You’re probably wondering how you can help yourself recover from a cold or flu. Well, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to do it!

It’s cold and flu season, and we want to help you stay healthy. We’ve put together a list of tips that can help you fight off a cold and stay healthy:

Flu

So, how do you know if you’ve got the flu or just a cold? Well, there are some key signs.

The common cold is a viral infection that is caused by any one of more than 200 different types of viruses. Sore throat, running nose, and cough are the common symptoms of the common cold.

The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that causes fever, headaches, and muscle aches.

The common cold lasts for about one week, but the flu can last from three days to two weeks.

This disease is self-healing but the flu can be treated with antiviral drugs.

  • Coughing for more than three weeks straight.
  • Fever for more than one week straight without going away completely.
  • Runny nose for at least 5 days straight.
  • Muscle aches and pains (but not enough to be considered a serious illness) will suggest viral flu most.

Home Remedies

Drinking Plenty of Water

One way to make sure that you’re staying hydrated is by drinking more water. The water you drink will help your body fight off germs and keep them from taking over your system.

Whether it’s plain old H2O or a fancy bottled variety like Fiji Water, drinking enough fluids will help you stay well-hydrated and fight off any viruses that might be trying to take over your body.

Caffeine and alcohol-like beverages should be avoided as they can cause the most dehydration.

Gargling with Salt Water

Rest and gargling with salt and water are two cold treatments that can help clear a clogged throat.

Salt is useful for opening up your airways, which will help you breathe easier. It also has antibacterial properties that can help prevent further infections.

Gargling with salt water will also help clear your sinuses and make you feel better in no time.

Rest

First, make sure that you get enough rest. If your clod isn’t getting any better after a few weeks of treatment and you’re feeling fatigued and unable to sleep, the problem could be more serious than simple clod treatment.

Saline Nasal Spray Treatment

Flu season is upon us again. If you’ve been hit with a case of the flu, there’s no better treatment than the saline nasal spray.

Saline nasal sprays are used to treat the symptoms of common colds, sinusitis, and other respiratory issues.

They are also good for relieving congestion in children. The saline solution in these sprays is made from salt and water, which draws out excess mucus from your nose or throat.

It’s important to note that these sprays aren’t designed to replace your regular over-the-counter medication—they’re meant to help relieve symptoms while you wait for it to run its course.

Get Enough Sleep

The first step is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

Studies show that sleeping less than seven hours a night increases your risk of developing a cold or flu by up to 40%.

Getting enough sleep helps improve the immune system, so you’re less likely to get sick!

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas contain many compounds that have been shown in studies to help boost your immune system and make it stronger. It is especially good for treating sore throats and nasal congestion.

so that it can fight off germs more effectively when they do attack.

Herbal teas also contain antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation, which is what causes most people’s colds and flu symptoms to be so uncomfortable.

Showers with Hot Water

The warm water will help to reduce nasal congestion, which will make your nose less blocked. And it reduced sinus headaches.

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier is a safe, effective device that uses warm air to help you stay hydrated and reduce nasal congestion and dry cough.

Zinc, Vitamin C

This vitamin C is a very effective treatment for colds and flu. There are several vitamin C preparations that avs

  • As a supplement: It is sold in tablets and capsules. One tablet or capsule contains about 100 mg of vitamin C.
  • As an oral liquid: This form of vitamin C is usually used when you have a mild infection, such as a common cold or sinusitis.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that supports your immune system by helping to reduce inflammation and protect your cells from oxidative stress.

It’s also an important part of the production of collagen, which helps keep connective tissues like skin healthy.

Vitamin C helps fight infections and can reduce the severity of the symptoms that come with a cold or flu. You can get vitamin C from foods like citrus fruits and berries or from supplements.

Zinc is a vital part of your cold and flu treatment. It helps to boost your immune system, which will help you fight off the virus and make you feel better faster.

You can get zinc from supplements, but it’s also found naturally in foods like red meat, nuts, and shellfish.

Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is a classic home remedy for treating a cold. The rich liquid and nutrients can soothe the throat and help you feel better.

There are also many health benefits to chicken broth, such as its strong anti-inflammatory properties.

But most importantly, chicken soup is a great way to get liquids into your body when you’re feeling dehydrated from being sick!

Antipyretics

are commonly used to reduce viral fever and treat colds. Antipyretics work by reducing the production of prostaglandins, a chemical produced by the body in response to an infection or injury that causes inflammation and fever.

The most common antipyretic medications are aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium.

Neti Pot Irrigation

Neti pots are a type of nasal irrigation that is used to cleanse the nose and sinuses. A neti pot is used to rinse out the nose by filling it with water and then pouring the water out through one nostril.

This process can help reduce congestion, clear sinuses, and relieve symptoms of a cold.

The water should be boiled and sterile to prevent introducing infections to the sinuses.

Neti pots are an alternative to using over-the-counter decongestants or other medications for relieving congestion associated with a cold.

They may also be useful for people who have allergies or chronic sinus problems.

Herbal Tea Made from Echinacea

Echinacea is a herb native to Northern America. Native American groups for medicinal purposes.

It is known to be an immune booster and can help fight off viruses, including the common cold. It is available as oral pills, capsules, syrups, and as tea.

There are two types of echinacea used in medicine: Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida. The former is more potent than the latter and contains higher levels of polysaccharides, which is believed to be the reason for its stronger immune-boosting abilities.

The scientific research on echinacea is inconclusive about its effectiveness in treating or preventing colds.

Some studies have found that it may shorten the length of a cold by one day, but others have found no significant difference in duration between people who took echinacea and those who did not.

Bee Honey

Honey can be used as a natural treatment for the common cold. Honey has been used as a remedy for centuries to treat a variety of ailments.

It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which could help reduce the severity of the common cold.

Zn Supplements

Zinc supplements have been shown to reduce the severity and duration of common cold symptoms.

Research has found that patients who took zinc tablets within 24 hours of developing a cold had shorter illness durations than those who did not take zinc.

However, zinc is not a cure for the common cold; it just reduces the severity and duration of symptoms.

Zinc gluconate lozenge, 23 mg three times a day, will help with viral infections as well as sore throats.

When to See the Medical Doctor

The common cold is a viral infection of the nose, throat, and respiratory tract. It’s caused by different variants of rhinovirus, coronavirus, and adenovirus.

The flu is caused by the influenza virus and will cause high fever other than a cold-like illness.

People usually get better on their own in 10–14 days, but some people may need to see a doctor for a common cold or flu if they are:

  • under age 2 or over age 65
  • have asthma or other chronic lung disease
  • have diabetes.
  • have a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, or taking medications that suppress the immune system
  • are pregnant
  • have neck stiffness, headache, and increased light sensitivity
  • have new onset muscle weakness or numbness
  • have chest pain and shortness of breath
  • have rashes
  • have an ear pain
  • have severe diarrhea and persistent vomiting
  • have confusion or seizure
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TeleHealthDoc articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Dr. Pallavi Sharma is one of Melbourne’s best, well respected cosmetic doctors and aims to provide longstanding anti-aging benefits for her clients. With over 11 years experience in Performing cosmetic procedures, Dr. Sharma has lectured medical professionals regarding cosmetic treatments and is heavily involved in providing up to date cosmetic treatments to her clients and friends.
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