So you have a scratchy throat, cough, headache, and multiple negative Covid tests. You may just have the common cold. While these aren’t serious, they can still be annoying.
While other scientific advances appear to be accelerating, researchers have yet to find a cure for the common cold. But that doesn’t mean you have to get by without symptoms.
In the seven to ten days when your body is fully recovered, there are many things you can do to stop the pain and help relieve the typical and uncomfortable symptoms of a cold – you know, a runny or stuffy nose , scratchy throat, annoying headache. One way is to stop by the pharmacy’s aisles filled with colds and flus. There, you can find some great remedies to help stop the cold from making you feel so bad.
But other ways to relieve cold symptoms may be as close as your own kitchen. Or table chairs or sofa cushions. Classic home remedies like chicken soup have actual scientific evidence. There are even signs now that trade-in strategies like meditation can even help you fight a cold more in the first place.
Some of these legal remedies may even help speed up your recovery time. Strategies like getting enough sleep, eating nutrient-dense foods, and consistently washing your hands may help stop the spread of the cold virus in the first place.
So next time you come down with a cold, use these tips to fight it and get back on your feet.
1) Drink hot tea or chicken soup.
Or really, just drink hot liquids. There’s a reason people always tell you to drink tea or chicken soup. “Hot fluids increase your mucociliary clearance,” explains Bruce Barrett, a professor in the UW-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He explained that you have small amounts of hair (cilia) in your airways that help sweep mucus from the base of your lungs all the way to the front of your nose. “The hot liquid increases this activity,” he said. “They actually measured it by putting a small amount of dye in the back of the throat and measuring how long it took to get through the tip of the nose.”
Some studies suggest that chicken broth may do a better job than other liquids. “I don’t believe it,” Dr. Barrett said, though he said if you like chicken soup and it makes you feel good, drink it. (Learn more about colds here.)
2) Gargle with salt water.
Gargling with salt water several times a day during cold and flu season has long been touted as a home remedy to help relieve swelling and loose mucus. In fact, a study is currently underway investigating its efficacy in treating symptoms of Covid-19. To try this remedy for cold symptoms, simply mix and dissolve about half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and rinse your mouth several times a day.
3) Take a steaming shower.
Although there is no research to prove that taking a hot bath cures a cold, this remedy has been Proven to help relieve some common symptoms. Steam from a hot shower can moisturise your sinus passages and throat, and help relieve congestion and relax aching muscles.
4) Stress relief; even meditation.
“When you’re under stress, your immune system ends up underreacting against viral and bacterial infections,” says Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD, physician and former president of the American College of Physicians of. Perhaps that’s why a study published in PLoS One by Dr. Barrett and colleagues found that mindfulness meditation training can reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of colds. That doesn’t mean you can ease a cold with a single sitting meditation — study participants were trained for eight weeks. But it does show that regular meditation can help you avoid getting sick. By the way, the study also looked at exercise and found that people who exercised regularly were also less likely to catch a cold. (If you have a cold, here’s what to do when you’re feeling down.)
5) Consider zinc.
Many people swear that zinc, usually in lozenges like Cold-Eeze and Zicam, can reduce the symptoms and severity of a cold, especially if you take it within the first day or two of a cold they. In fact, while no studies have shown that taking zinc is effective in treating colds, a 2017 study suggested that taking it in lozenge form may reduce the duration of colds. “There’s no clear evidence, but it looks like it might be,” said Dr. Barrett.
6) Try echinacea.
Research on whether this herb can prevent colds or help you get over a cold faster goes back and forth. Dr. Barett also didn’t find hard evidence, but he did find something interesting in his research. His group gave some people a placebo or echinacea, while not giving others a pill. Then, they observed who had a cold. Those who had a positive experience with echinacea — who had taken it before and thought it worked — and those who took the pill, had a cold about 2.5 days shorter than those who didn’t have any of the pills. It doesn’t matter if the pill actually contains echinacea. “Colds have a strong placebo effect,” Dr. Barrett said. That means, if you think echinacea (or another harmless remedy like chicken broth) works, go for it.
7) Consider over-the-counter medications.
Famous colds come with headaches, and a simple pain reliever should help ease these. Research shows that antihistamines can also treat colds if you take older-generation drugs like Benadryl. “They did reduce mucus secretion,” Dr. Barrett said. “For a lot of people, they provide a little sedative.” This can be welcome when you’re too stuffy to sleep and too tired to sleep. “I don’t really recommend them, but if people want to take them, that’s okay,” says Dr. Barrett. Be warned: the newer non-sedating antihistamines don’t work at all.
Please do not ask for antibiotics. They don’t help with colds and have the potential to make antibiotic resistance worse for everyone. (Learn more about the antibiotic resistance crisis here.) We know that when you’re suffering, you want anything that works. Turn to Netflix. Ask someone to make you chicken soup. anything. But don’t go the antibiotic route.
8) Eat the right food.
This is always good advice. However, healthy foods have the ability to prevent colds in the first place. “If a person has certain healthy habits, the immune system is generally stronger,” said Sharon Bergquist, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University. “Gut bacterial balance is a critical part of the immune system,” she said. Say. So you want to feed your good bacteria what they like to eat; that’s what’s considered a “prebiotic” food category. Like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. What they have in common is fiber. “All prebiotics are fiber, but not all fiber is prebiotic,” she said. But if you eat more of the above, you’ll get the type of fiber your gut bacteria likes.
9) Get enough sleep.
Getting enough sleep is essential to keep your immune system strong, you need to fight germs and fight colds faster. Internal Medicine Archives A study in found that people who slept less than 7 hours a night were three times more likely to catch a cold than those who slept more than 8 hours a night.
10) Wash your hands.
We know you know. But really, you have to stick with it because it prevents the spread of colds. Soap and water are great; these remove and wash away bacteria. Hot water feels great, but don’t worry if you’re in an area with no water around: Rutgers University research found no difference in cleaning power when the water was 60 (cold), 80 (warm) or 100 degrees . But time does matter. The longer you scrub, the fewer germs you have.
11) Eat some garlic
Garlic has long been touted to provide various health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers Risks. Some studies even suggest that taking garlic supplements may reduce the risk of developing a cold if taken regularly during cold and flu season, and may even reduce the duration of colds and minimize symptoms.
Marty Munson, currently Director of Health at Men’s Health, has worked at Marie Claire, Prevention, Shape and real age. She is also certified as a swim and triathlon instructor.
Emilia Benton is a freelance writer and editor in Houston. In addition to women’s health, she has contributed health, fitness, and wellness content to publications such as Runner’s World, SELF, Prevention, Healthline, and POPSUGAR. She is also a 10-time marathon runner, frequent traveler and avid amateur baker.