The common cold is the result of  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. It causes 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].

You should treat it right away.

There are more than one billion cases of the common cold 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. We have a list of home remedies to get rid of a cold fast.

Treat your common cold with safe & effective home remedies.

13 Effective Remedies To Get Rid Of Cold

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 tell you to drink this juice.

It’s because lemon juice is rich in vitamin C. Studies show, it can help prevent and treat common cold.  [5, 6]

Vitamin C showed positive effects on people with this viral condition [5].

In 2002, 168 participants attended a clinical trial. Half received vitamin C supplement and the other a placebo [6].

The first group received two tables of vitamin C every day for 60 days from November to February [6].

Compared to the placebo takers, vitamin C users experienced fewer episodes of colds [6]. Vitamin C also shortened the duration of the cold [6].

It means 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 has no harmful side effects [6].

How to use lemon juice:

To prepare this remedy, take 1 tablespoon of squeezed lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 glass of warm water.

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

READ MORE: Lemon Juice for Acne : 8 Simple Home Remedies

2. GarlicGarlic

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.

Garlic has been famous as a remedy for a wide range of ailments since the ancient time [7]. Most of the conditions it cured had something to do with bacterial and viral infections. Because garlic is a strong antimicrobial.

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

146 volunteers  with common cold attended a clinical trial. They received either garlic supplement or a placebo for twelve weeks [8].

Those who received the garlic treatment had faster recovery. They were also less likely to get sick again [8]. Garlic’s virucidal effects can be attributed to the presence of allicin [8].

Learn how you may use garlic:

You will need: 1 clove of garlic (crushed), 2 tsps of lemon juice, 1 tsp of honey, 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper and 1 glass of warm water.

Add all ingredients in a glass of water and mix well. Let it sit for five minutes before drinking. Do this once a day until your cold heals.

3. Onion

Onion is similar to garlic in many ways. Both can add flavor and aroma to ordinary dishes. Both have potent biological effects that folk healers have been using for the last 4,000 years [9].

Onion is a favorite natural remedy for many minor and serious infections like a common cold.

Onion can strengthen the immune system and ward off viruses that cause common cold [10].

Researchers explain that onion prevented the virus from replicating and spreading [10]. Its polysaccharide can boost the production of antibodies that work against influenza virus [10].

Here is a simple method of using onion:

To prepare this remedy take 1 small onion (chopped), and 1 tablespoon of honey or sugar.

In a glass jar, put chopped onion. Add honey or sugar. Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, take one teaspoon of the mixture. 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 ease nausea and vomiting. It’s safe to use and well-tolerated by most users. Thus, it is even recommended for pregnancy-related nausea.

A cup of ginger tea is 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].

An easy way of using ginger:

To make this remedy, take 1 teaspoon of ginger (grated), 1 teaspoon of clove, grated and a pinch of salt.

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

READ MORE: 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 rich in nutrients and antioxidants, it can improve health.

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? The World Health Organization (WHO) has cited it as a “potential treatment” for a cough and cold symptoms [13].

Experts believe that honey’s antimicrobial properties come to aid, controlling these illnesses. It can also prevent them from getting worse.

How to use honey:

Consume 1 tablespoon of honey once a day for one week.

READ MORE: How to Use Honey and Cinnamon for Cold

6. EchinaceaEchinacea

Echinacea is quite effective in reducing symptoms of common cold [14].

This was the conclusion after the comparison of the effects of Echinacea and placebo in a study [14].

Not only did Echinacea ease 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]. Researchers meanwhile describe Echinacea as a low-risk alternatives to the usual medications [15].

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

Learn how you may use echinacea:

You will need: 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of Echinacea leaves, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of honey.

Boil water in a pot. Remove the pot from heat after boiling. Put the rest of the ingredients. Let it steep for ten to fifteen minutes. 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 may have a beneficial impact on people suffering from 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].

Here is a simple method of using water:

Take 3 slices of lemon and 1 glass of water. Put lemon slices in water. Drink the flavored water.

Repeat seven to eight times a day.

READ MORE: How to Get Rid Of Smegma: 7 Ways to Treat It at Home

8. Yogurt

Probiotics contain live microorganisms that provide beneficial effects to the health [20]. Yogurt is one of the best food sources of probiotics.

In 10 studies involving 2,894 participants, 1,588 of which received probiotics. The rest took a placebo or another common cold remedy [21].

The treatment period went on for more than three months [21]. The probiotics moderately prevented and reduced common cold occurrence [21]. Researchers should conduct further studies about its safety [21].

How to use yogurt?

Take a cup of yogurt and add strawberry slices. Snack on yogurt throughout the day.

9. Eucalyptus Oil

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 has a soothing and cooling effect on the nasal passages.

Eucalyptus oil is one of the main components in an herbal cold balm. It is effective in alleviating common cold symptoms [22].

Forty patients who suffer from cold attended the study. Those who applied the herbal cold balm saw improvement in their condition [22].

There was reduction in sneezing, runny nose, difficulty in breathing, and headache [22].

Inhalation of eucalyptus oil stimulates the cold receptors inside the nose. Thus it reduces nasal congestion [23]. It also has anti-cough and anti-asthmatic effects that can help prevent complications [24].

A simple method of using eucalyptus oil:

Put boiled water in a bowl. Add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil. Move your face close to the bowl and take in the steam. Repeat remedy until symptoms improve.

10. Ginseng TeaGinseng-Tea

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].

Ginseng reduced the cases of the common cold by 25 percent, which is higher than the placebo [25].

Although it doesn’t appear to ease 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, it can boost the immune function to make the body more resistant to viral infections [26].

How to use ginseng tea:

To prepare the tea you will need one fourth ginseng root (sliced) and 3 cups of water

Add ginseng root to water. Boil over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Simmer for three hours.

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.

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

Zinc can help decrease both the severity and duration of common cold symptoms [28].

It only works if you administer it within 24 hours when the first signs of a common cold appears [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].

Learn how you may use pumpkin seeds:

Take 2 cups of pumpkin seeds and snack on it throughout the day. 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. This oil is a powerful antiviral agent that can combat influenza virus [30].

When applied within two hours of infection, it can prevent the virus from replicating [30]. It’s because it has active compounds named 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.

It’s more effective when you apply it immediately after you’ve become infected with the virus.

How to use tea tree oil:

To prepare this, take 5 drops of tea tree oil and 1 bowl of water. Boil the water and transfer into the bowl. Add in tea tree oil drops and start inhaling the steam. Repeat several times a day until you get relief.

READ MORE: Tea Tree Oil for Keloids : 9 Natural Remedies

13. 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. And the salt fights off the germs and bacteria that get 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.

Here is a simple method of using salt water:

Combine salt and warm water together. 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.

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, you must consult a doctor.

Also, if your cold takes too long to cure there might be 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. They may prescribe some medications or send you for some tests to analyze your condition.


Common cold is not something that people usually panic about. It causes unpleasant symptoms and hampers productivity.

People who are over sixty-five years and have other kidney and chest complaints are at a higher risk from cold and flu.

Besides, 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 about this article, feel free to ask us.

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

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