13 Efffective Ways to Get Rid of Cold That’ll Work

Are you looking for some fast and easy ways to treat your cold?

Colds are very common. Even more than one billion cases of the common cold are reported each year, and that’s in the United States alone [1].

But say no to worries as we have some effective and proven ways that will help you get rid of this problem. Here we have a list of home remedies to get rid of a cold fast.

In this article, we will cover the following topics:

  • What is a common cold?
  • A list of natural and effective home remedies for a cold fast
  • How to use these remedies properly
  • Some tips and precautions for you
  • When you should consult a doctor
  • Some frequently asked questions and answers regarding this problem

What is a Common Cold?

The common cold is caused by any of the 100 types of rhinoviruses, which account for up to fifty percent of respiratory problems [1].

This viral ailment affects people of all ages, causing unpleasant symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat [2, 3].

Although it doesn’t seem like a serious problem, it can disrupt sleep, work and social life [4].

It should, therefore, be treated right away.

Effective Ways to Relieve a Cold Fast

Treat your common cold with effective but safe home remedies such as the ones enumerated below.

1. Lemon Juice

One of the most popular remedies for the common cold is lemon juice.

In fact, when people learn that you have a cold, they’ll immediately advise you to drink this juice.

It’s probably because lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, which as studies indicate, can help prevent and treat common cold [5, 6].

While other complementary remedies showed inconsistent efficacy, vitamin C was shown in large studies to have positive effects on people with this viral condition [5].

In 2002, researchers from the United Kingdom divided 168 participants so that half received vitamin C supplement and the other a placebo [6].

Those who belonged to the first group were given two tables of vitamin C every day for 60 days from November to February [6].

Compared to the placebo takers, those who used vitamin C experienced fewer episodes of colds [6].

Vitamin C also shortened the duration of the cold [6].

Researchers concluded that vitamin C takers are less likely to catch a cold, and if they did, they were able to recover more quickly [6].

The best thing about this is that the benefits of vitamin C can be enjoyed without having to worry about harmful side effects [6].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add lemon juice and honey to the warm water.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Drink the solution two to three times a day until the symptoms subside.

Also Read:Lemon Juice for Acne : 8 Simple Home Remedies

2. Garlic

Garlic is widely known for its pungent scent and flavor.

It is also hailed in many parts of the world for being a potent natural medicine.

Historical records show that garlic has been used since 2600 BC in ancient Egypt and Greece as a remedy for a wide range of ailments [7].

Most of the conditions it cured had something to do with bacterial and viral infections since garlic is a strong antimicrobial.

At present, many still rely on it as a treatment for countless health problems, including the common cold.

A study published in the Advances in Therapy Journal reported that 146 volunteers with common cold received either garlic supplement or a placebo for twelve weeks [8].

It was found that those who were given the garlic treatment not only recovered quickly but were also less likely to get sick again [8].

Garlic’s virucidal effects can be attributed to the presence of allicin [8].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients in a glass of water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Let it sit for five minutes before drinking.
  4. Do this once a day until cold is treated.

3. Onion

Onion is similar to garlic in many ways.

Both are used in adding flavor and aroma to ordinary dishes.

Both have potent biological effects that have been used by folk healers for the last 4,000 years [9].

And like garlic, onion also remains a favorite natural remedy for many minor and serious infections like a common cold.

In a 2012 study conducted in the University of Toyama in Japan, it was reported that onion can strengthen the immune system and ward off viruses that cause common cold like the influenza virus [10].

Researchers explain that onion prevented the virus from replicating and spreading [10].

Its polysaccharide has also been proven to boost the production of antibodies that work against influenza virus [10].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or sugar

Recommended Directions:

  1. In a glass jar, put chopped onion.
  2. Add honey or sugar.
  3. Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. The next day, take one teaspoon of the mixture.
  5. Repeat once a day for up to one week.

4. Ginger

Known for its array of health benefits, ginger is widely used in China, Japan, Africa, and Latin America [11].

Most people use ginger to alleviate nausea and vomiting.

Since it’s safe to use and well-tolerated by most users, ginger is even recommended for pregnancy-related nausea.

A cup of ginger tea is also believed to be effective in relieving common cold symptoms such as nasal congestion.

It also gets to the root of the infection with its sesquiterpenes fighting the rhinoviruses that cause this ailment [12].

It has toxic effects of viruses, and can also halt the viral form of plaque [12].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of clove, grated
  • A pinch of salt

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients together to make a paste.
  2. Take one-half teaspoon of this paste twice a day for two to three days.

Also Read:20 Great Ways Of Using Ginger To Fight Your Acne

5. Honey

Honey is very popular as a healthy alternative to sugar.

As it is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, honey has long been used to improve health.

As a skincare regimen, it maintains skin suppleness by drawing moisture from the air and locking it into the layers of the skin.

Did you know that honey can also help combat common cold infection?

In fact, it has been cited by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “potential treatment” for a cough and cold symptoms [13].

Experts believe that honey’s antimicrobial properties come to aid, controlling these illnesses and preventing them from getting worse.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  1. Eat the honey once a day for one week.

Also Read:How to Use Honey and Cinnamon for Cold

6. Echinacea

Scientists from Cologne, Germany assessed the efficacy of Echinacea as a treatment for common cold and found that it is well tolerated and highly effective in reducing symptoms [14].

This was their conclusion after they compared the effects of Echinacea and placebo in 80 adults with first signs of cold [14].

Not only did Echinacea alleviate the symptoms, it also shortened the duration of the common cold [14].

There were no reports of harmful side effects after using this remedy [14].

Swiss researchers meanwhile describe Echinacea as a “low-risk and effective alternative” to the usual medications prescribed for acute common cold [15].

Other studies echo these positive findings regarding Echinacea and its role in the treatment and prevention of this ailment [16, 17].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of Echinacea leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Put the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Let it steep for ten to fifteen minutes.
  5. Drink this tea two to three times a day for up to one week.

7. Water

If you have nasal congestion, runny nose or other signs that you have a cold, be sure to drink plenty of water.

Increased fluid intake is said to have a possible beneficial impact on people suffering from common cold [18].

According to traditional healers, water can help thin the mucus and make it easier to expel.

It can also clear the passageways, and lessen difficulty in breathing.

In fact, it is often recommended as part of standard medical treatment for this illness [19].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 slices of lemon
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put lemon slices in water.
  2. Drink the flavored water.
  3. Repeat seven to eight times a day.

8. Yogurt

Probiotics refer to the live microorganisms that provide beneficial effects to the health when consumed adequately [20].

Yogurt is one of the best food sources of probiotics.

In a study published in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine, researchers analyzed 10 studies involving 2,894 participants, 1,588 of which were given probiotics while the rest a placebo or another common cold remedy [21].

The treatment period went on for more than three months [21].

The conclusion reached was that probiotics can moderately prevent and reduce common cold occurrence [21].

Further studies regarding its safety should be conducted according to the researchers [21].

What You’ll Need:

  • A cup of yogurt
  • Strawberry slices

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add strawberry slices to your yogurt.
  2. Snack on yogurt throughout the day.

9. Eucalyptus

How often do you think about reaching for eucalyptus balm when you’re finding it difficult to breathe?

For most people, this is a go-to solution for common cold and nasal congestion.

It appears to have a soothing and cooling effect on the nasal passages that immediately bring relief.

Eucalyptus oil is one of the main components in an herbal cold balm that has been scientifically proven effective in alleviating common cold symptoms [22].

Of the forty patients who suffer from cold, those who applied the herbal cold balm on their forehead, nose, and neck twice a day for one week report of improvement in their condition [22].

Reduction in sneezing, runny nose, difficulty in breathing, watery eyes and headache was reported [22].

Researchers confirm that inhalation of eucalyptus oil reduces nasal congestion by stimulating the cold receptors inside the nose [23].

But that’s not all, it also has anti-cough and anti-asthmatic effects that can help prevent complications [24].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 5 drops of eucalyptus oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put boiled water in a bowl.
  2. Add eucalyptus oil.
  3. Move your face close to the bowl and take in the steam.
  4. Repeat remedy until symptoms improve.

10. Ginseng

In Canada, ginseng is one of the “best-selling” remedies for flu and cold [25].

In 2011, researchers analyzed five trials that included 747 common cold sufferers [25].

It was shown that ginseng reduced the cases of the common cold by 25 percent, which is higher than the placebo [25].

Although it doesn’t appear to alleviate the severity of common cold, it does shorten the duration of the symptoms [25].

In most cases, it was able to shorten the duration of colds by an average of six days [25].

It was also found that ginseng can exert preventive actions when taken for eight to 16 weeks [25].

Moreover, this herbal remedy has been proven to boost the immune function to make the body more resistant to viral infections [26].

What You’ll Need:

  • One fourth ginseng root, sliced
  • 3 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add ginseng root to water.
  2. Boil over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Simmer for three hours.
  4. Drink the tea two to three times a day until you feel better.

11. Pumpkin Seeds

If there’s any mineral that’s said to benefit those suffering from common cold, it has to be zinc.

Numerous studies have pointed out its role in the prevention and treatment of this viral infection [27, 28, 29].

In 2004, a team of scientists from Ohio, USA analyzed clinical data published from 1980 to 2003 to evaluate the efficacy of zinc in treating colds caused by rhinovirus [28].

It was revealed that zinc can help decrease both the severity and duration of common cold symptoms [28].

Take note that it only works if it was administered within 24 hours when the first signs of a common cold appeared [28].

You can take zinc supplement or eat foods that are rich in this mineral.

A good source of zinc is pumpkin seed.

A cup of pumpkin seeds supplies 44 percent of the recommended daily value for zinc [29].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of pumpkin seeds

Recommended Directions:

  1. Snack on pumpkin seeds throughout the day.
  2. Do this at the first sign of a common cold.

12. Tea Tree Oil

Another essential oil that can help fight a common cold is tea tree oil.

Research has shown that this oil is a powerful antiviral agent that can combat influenza virus [30].

When applied within two hours of infection, it can successfully prevent the virus from replicating [30].

This mechanism of action can be attributed to its active compounds namely terpinene-4-ol, alpha-terpineol and terpinolene [30].

When you feel that you’re about to have a cold, be sure to use this remedy right away.

Its effects are more pronounced when it is applied immediately after you’ve become infected with the virus.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 bowl of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Pour the water into a pot.
  2. Bring it to a boil.
  3. Transfer the water to a bowl.
  4. Add in tea tree oil drops.
  5. Start inhaling the steam.
  6. Repeat several times a day until you get relief.

Also Read:Tea Tree Oil for Keloids : 9 Natural Remedies

13. Gargle with Salt Water

Most often the easiest remedy is right in front of our eyes.Gargling with warm salt water might be the only thing you need to get rid of your common cold.

This remedy is so easy to prepare and also quick in action.The warm water relieves your throat from the pain and irritation while the salt fights off the germs and bacteria that get easily acquainted with the cold.

The remedy works best when you have a cough as well. You can also add some turmeric to the salt water mixture for the maximum benefits.

What You’ll Need:

  • A cup of warm water
  • A teaspoon of salt

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine salt and warm water together.
  2. Start gargling with the mixture. When you take the mixture into your mouth, try to take it as close to your throat as possible without gulping.
  3. Spit the water out after 20 to 30 seconds and repeat the same with the whole mixture.4. Do this several times daily for quicker relief.

Some Tips and Precautions

  • Practice a good hygiene
  • Wash your hands often throughout the day
  • Maintain a healthy diet rich in nutrients and minerals
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that contain lots of vitamins
  • Try to stay more hydrated
  • Take lots of rest if you feel weak or too sick
  • Try sipping warm liquids which can ease your pain
  • Take warm baths
  • Maintain a healthy sleeping routine

When To See A Doctor

If a cold that seemed common at first tends to become more serious with time, it is recommended to consult a doctor.

Also, if your cold takes too long to cure there might be the possibility of some other health problems related to it.

In such cases, it becomes compulsory to go through a thorough check-up for which you need to visit a doctor first.

Doctors may prescribe some medications or send you for some tests to analyze your condition.

Some Frequently Asked Q&A About Cold

Q. How long can a cold last for?
A. As soon as you are exposed to a cold virus, your body will start reacting to it. The symptoms may start to occur within two or three days while longevity of the cold depends on how serious your cold is.

Q. Name three most effective remedies for sinus pain relief.
A. Three most effective remedies that will ensure instant relief from sinus pain are: flushing your nasal passages, applying warm compresses and taking steams.

Q. What is the best remedy to get relief from a sore throat?
A. The best remedy is to gargle with warm water mixed with some salt few times a day. This actually promotes instant relief.

Q. What are the common symptoms of a cold?
A. Usually, cold and flu have some common symptoms. These are:

  • A sore throat
  • A stuffed nose
  • A runny nose
  • Intense or mild coughing
  • A mild fever

Other symptoms can also include:

  • A higher fever chill
  • Aching all over the body
  • Fatigue

Q. Is there any vaccine to treat cold and flu?
A. No. There is not. It is because, as mentioned above, the common cold is caused by more than two-fifty different viruses. Therefore, it is close to impossible to create one vaccine that will be effective against all of this.

Q. Can cold symptoms be a cause of allergies?
A. Yes. They can be. If you do not have a fever or other additional symptoms then it is highly likely that your cold is actually caused by allergies. Also, look if you have any rashes or itchy eyes. Then be sure that the cold symptoms are caused by allergies.

Q. Apart from using home remedies, what medication should I get to treat a cold?
A. The best treatment, that is always suggested, to treat cold is to drink hot fluids. Plus, you can try over-the-counter medicines to treat your cold. These can include:

  • Aspirin
  • Nasal decongestants which help to make breathing a lot easier
  • Saline nasal sprays
  • Cough syrups

You should only get antibiotics if you have other complications in addition to the cold and flu. If required, it will be suggested by your doctor.

Q. When should I visit a doctor if I have a cold?
A. You should go and visit a doctor if your symptoms are present for more than seven to ten days. Plus, if your temperature is upwards or same as hundred three degrees than you should go to a doctor. Other conditions because of which you can go to the doctor include trouble breathing, dizziness and inability to ingest fluids and keep them down.

Bottom Line

Common cold is not something that people usually panic about.

Since it causes unpleasant symptoms and hampers productivity, it’s only right to get the proper treatment immediately.

Do remember that people who are aged over sixty-five years and have other kidney and chest complaints are at a higher risk from cold and flu.

Apart from these home remedies for cold and flu, if you have a chronic condition of the cold, then seek medical help immediately.

You can definitely get rid of a common cold with the help of these proven home remedies for cold.

Hope this article was helpful to you.

In case you have any questions or confusions regarding this article, feel free to ask us.

Also, share your experience with us by commenting on our comment section below.

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