Adults get an average of 4 colds per year. What’s the best DIY cold remedy? Scientists haven’t found a cure for the common cold, but there are some effective methods for how to make a cold go away faster. The key is to deal with the symptoms and boost your body’s immune system. That helps it fight the virus so you can recover faster. There are many folk remedies like chicken soup, honey and apple cider vinegar, and orange juice. Many people claim that these DIY treatments are just as good as or better than prescription medicines.
Scientists have been searching for a cure for the common cold since the 1950s. There’s already a flu vaccine but none for the cold. The main problem is there are 160+ kinds of viruses that cause most colds. Many people have their go-to home remedies for dealing with cough fever, stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing. The big question is sorting through the different options to figure out what works and what’s a phony remedy that a “snake oil salesman” once old. The good news is there’s some scientific proof that certain home treatments can effectively deal with cold symptoms for a full recovery.
What Exactly Is the Common Cold?
This is the first issue to take up. A “common cold” is an infection in the upper respiratory system. A virus causes the illness and the condition always affects the nose. However, it can also affect other things like the sinuses, throat, and breathing tubes.
The different names for colds range from rhinopharyngitis to sniffles. Fun Fact: The cold is the world’s most common sickness. One reason there’s no single cure is there are 250+ viruses that cause it.
The most common cause is something called a “rhinoviruses.” There are 160+ of them so that makes it tougher for scientists to find a cure for the condition. The best we can do now is to deal with the symptoms until the body gets rid of the virus.
The common cold causes mild symptoms that usually stay for up to 10 days. However, the symptoms can remain for a maximum of 3 weeks.
A different group of viruses causes influenza (flu). The symptoms are sometimes more serious. However, the “flu-like symptoms” can be like the common old.
One of the problems with cold viruses is it’s easy for other people to catch them. They can spread in the air and other people can catch a cold when they contact tiny droplets from someone sneezing or coughing.
However, some of the most common ways people catch colds are through mouth contact or hand-to-face contact. You can also get it from objects that someone with a cold has touched. You can even get a cold when the droplets from coughing/sneezing touch your face/mouth.
The old-school advice to wash your hands frequently during cold/flu season is a good one. That’s because you can get viruses from hard-surface objects including:
- Computer keyboards
- Grocery carts
Skin doctors often recommend washing your hands 10+ times per day.
How to Make a Cold Go Away Faster
This is one of the best options because it gives your body time to recover. Missing one day of work or school might be worthwhile if it means you can spend time recovering from the cold. Make sure to also get a full night’s sleep.
This cold remedy helps to add moisture to your bedroom, which is especially important at night. The small device can help to clear up congestion. Make sure to maintain the humidifier properly and avoid using steam.
Various over-the-counter nasal drops/sprays can help to deal with a stuffy nose. This is one of the most common symptoms of the common cold since the virus always affects the nose/breathing.
Apple cider vinegar and honey
This is another old-school remedy that seems to work. The combination is loaded with antioxidants and the mix of sweet and sour is effective in dealing with sore throats. You can also go with regular vinegar as a substitute for ACV.
This is a classic remedy that works. There are many options like bone broth, lemon water with honey, fruit juice, and water. This helps to loosen up your congestion and also keep you from getting dehydrated. Make sure to avoid stuff like alcohol, caffeinated tea/coffee, and sodas since they can increase dehydration.
Chicken soup/Bone broth
In recent years bone broth has been trending as a Paleo Diet food. Cavemen didn’t have cans of chicken noodle soup so they simmered animal bones in water. Both options are good because the warm liquids can help soothe the body and help with a stuffy nose. This is done by helping mucus flow better.
Dissolve ½ teaspoon in 8 ounces of warm water. This can help to provide relief from a sore/scratchy throat. Fun Fact: An ancient Egyptian medical writing mentions salt as a treatment for chest wounds.
Orange juice is one of the go-to home remedies for the common cold. However, you could boost your Vitamin C intake with other options like lemons/limes, grapefruit, or green leafy vegetables. Other options include a little lemon juice and honey to green/herbal tea.
These healthy drinks might not cure your cold. However, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can fuel your immune system. It can also help to deal with other issues like breathing issues related to the common cold/flu.
This spice herb has a chemical compound that might help to fight microbes. Some studies show that the superfood might help to make cold symptoms less serious. Some studies show it might even help to prevent illness by boosting your immune system.
The world’s oldest honey pot content was found in the nation of Georgia and is believed to be about 5,500 years old. Honey has properties for fighting bacteria and microbes. One effective remedy is drinking tea with honey and lemon. It can also help to reduce coughing.
People have been using ginger root for centuries to treat different health issues. Today there’s scientific proof that can help to soothe sore throats and coughs. It might also help with flu-caused nausea.
Vicks Vapor Rub doesn’t smell like a bed of roses but it seems to work. This topical ointment seems to help to treat colds. Add it before bed to battle congestion by opening air passages and redoing coughing. It can even help you get a good night’s sleep. It’s a good alternative to cold medicines.
This is a fancy term for friendly germs/yeast in the human body. You can consume certain foods for a stronger immune system and better gut health. Some options include:
- Kefir (fermented dairy)
- Miso soup
Try these foods if you want to learn how to make a cold go away faster.