Natural Remedies to Help Alleviate Cold Symptoms

Getting a cold stinks! Dealing with a runny nose, sore throat, irritating cough, and overall congestion is no walk in the park. The worst part is that there’s no cure for the common cold, so your body has to fight it off all by itself. But while there is no cure, there are at-home remedies and treatment methods that can alleviate some of those pesky cold symptoms. Here are a few to try!

Reduce a Painful Sore Throat With Saltwater

Saltwater gargling is a tried-and-true method for relieving sore and scratchy throats. Simply dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Once ready, tilt your head back and take a large sip of the liquid. Gargle for about 30 seconds, being sure to coat the teeth, tongue, and gums before spitting out. If you can’t seem to gargle properly, ice chips are another easy way to calm the throat.

Inhale Steam for Congestion

Steam introduces much-needed warmth and moisture in the air, helping to loosen mucus inside the body to improve breathing and reduce congestion. To create steam for inhalation, fill half a pan with water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the stove and place it on a flat but sturdy surface with heat-resistant materials underneath to avoid burning. Then, hover your head 8 to 12 inches above the pan. For best results, place a towel over your head to be in a more secluded area with the steam. Be sure to close your eyes and breathe deeply for about two to five minutes. You can also try taking a nice, hot (but not too hot!) shower.

Use a Neti Pot to Break Up Mucus

A neti pot is a container that is specifically designed to help flush the mucus out of your nasal cavity. To use it properly, tilt your head sideways over the sink and angle the spout of the neti pot so that it’s in your upper nostril. Once positioned, pour a saltwater solution into the neti pot and wait as the solution drains through the neti pot and into your nose. Don’t be alarmed if mucus drains out the other nostril or your eyes start to get watery – this occurrence is normal. For further instructions on how to use a neti pot, consult the manufacturer’s manual.

Apply Hot or Cold Packs to Decongest Sinuses

Both hot and cold packs work to soothe inflamed and congested sinuses, so pick the temperature that best suits you. Reusable packs are easy to find at any drugstore, but for a DIY trick, grab a damp cloth and heat it in the microwave for one minute. If it gets too hot, let it sit for a little before placing it on your sinuses. If the cloth is not yet warm enough, try adding another 15 seconds until it’s at a suitable temperature for your skin. If you prefer a cold DIY method, grab some frozen vegetables from the freezer and place them on your sinuses. Peas tend to work the best!

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