Common cough and cold can be extremely horrible and negatively affect a person’s quality of life. Ask anyone, we guarantee most people will agree that they are ready to go through headache or stomachache than fall sick with cold and flu.
While coughing is perfectly normal, which also clears irritants from our throat, it can get annoying if it persists for a long period.
The common cold is generally accompanied by cough, sometimes with phlegm or without. Both can be nasty.
While you can treat cough due to cold, flu, allergies, and sinusitis with OTC medicines, you cannot cure it completely because viral infections have generally no cure. They come on their own and go as they please.
Cough that is caused due to bacterial infection, such as TB, it can be treated with antibiotics. The best way to treat common cough and cold is by consuming homemade remedies. You must not consume chemicals unnecessarily and weaken your immune system.
We have here quite a few simple remedies for common cold and cough that will help you go through those few excruciating days without losing mind.
Honey and Lime
One of the worst symptoms of cold and cough is sore and itchy throat. According to scientific research, dextromethorphan (DM) in honey can not only soothe a sore throat but also suppress cough effectively.
You can either have honey just like that or make an herbal tea out of warm water, 1 tsp honey, and lemon juice and drink the tea as many times a day as you want. Lemon and honey strengthen our immune system and get rid of common cold and cough.
Chicken Clear Soup
While it may not be the perfect remedy, but studies suggest that chicken soup loaded with vegetables can slow down the neutrophils movement in your body.
A type of white blood cell found aplenty in our body, neutrophils fight against infections. When this particular WBC moves slowly, they tend to spend more time in areas of your body that need healing, in case of cold the upper respiratory system.
Chicken soup is generally considered low sodium soup, which is packed with nutrition and keeps you full and hydrated. However, you must have several bowls of chicken and vegetable clear soup a day to see its full effects on cold and cough.
Ginger is a superfood and has been used in traditional medicines for centuries. However, now we have more concrete evidence on its benefits in treating cough.
Ginger can effectively reduce the symptoms of flu too, such as nausea. You can make ginger tea and drink the solution throughout the day to reduce the symptoms of cough and cold.
Probiotic Foods or Supplements
Probiotics are good bacteria that fight against bad bacteria and keep our gut and immune system strong and active.
While they don’t work on relieving cold and cough directly, they support the function of the immune system throughout our bodies, and therefore, lactobacillus bacterium present in dairy effectively reduces the symptoms of cold and flu and works on allergen sensitivity.
Instead of dairy-based products (they can make phlegm thicker), go for probiotics supplements for better results.
When garlic is crushed, it releases allicin, which contains antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
Therefore, according to one particular research, adding garlic in your diet or having them raw might decrease the symptoms of cold and cough considerably. Furthermore, having garlic regularly could also prevent you from falling sick.
Since there is no other research made on the effectiveness of garlic, we don’t know how they can help cure a cold. But having more cloves of garlic in your meals will not harm you in any way. You can consume them without any fear.
Salt Water Gargle
Saltwater gargle is one of the first home remedies that mothers suggest when we fall sick with cough and cold.
While we don’t know the reasons behind it, gargling with warm salt water does soothe our throat, stops itching and decreases other cold symptoms, such as nasal congestion and throat pain.
Gargling with salt water may also prevent upper respiratory infections effectively. Mucus contains bacteria and allergens, the main reason why cold persists. Saltwater help loosen the mucus, thereby clearing your nasal passage.
Cold and cough virus thrives in dry and cold environments, which is why you must create more humidity, by taking hot water shower with few drops of eucalyptus oil, by taking steam baths or by having more hot beverages like tea and warm milk with turmeric.
Increased humidity will also reduce inflammation and clear your nasal passage. You can even place a humidifier near your bed to feel more comfortable.
Staying hydrated helps in loosening your congestion and also compensates for the water lost due to regular coughing. Along with water, you can also take Warm lemon water with honey, soups, juices, etc. Avoid consuming alcohol, sodas, coffee, and other carbonated drinks as they dehydrate your body and create digestive issues.
Inhaling steam from the hot water also assists in decongesting the excessive mucus. There are two ways in which you can do that. First is, take a bath with warm water and allow the steam to accumulate and then breathe that steam for a few minutes. After that, drink water to prevent dehydration. Secondly, take a bowl of warm water, cover your head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam for around 5 minutes. You can also add certain essential oils such as eucalyptus and rosemary for more effective decongestion and reducing inflammation.
Since long-time, marshmallow roots are being used for treating sore throat and cold. The mucilage compound present in marshmallow roots helps in easing the irritation in your throats, which is caused due to coughs.
The roots are available in raw dried form as well as in tea bags. Add hot water to them and drink it.
Natural cold and flu remedies will help you treat your symptoms using ingredients that are easily available in your kitchen. Always try to go soft on your liver by avoiding OTC medicines and embracing natural, home-based solutions.
Emylee is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, yoga, and fitness through her writing. Currently, she writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.