Hello and welcome. This blog sometimes uses affiliate links and I may make a small commission when you purchase any of these carefully selected recommendations. These commissions help me keep the blog running and up-to-date. Feel free to read my very boring disclaimer for further information 😉
The common cold is an infection of the nose and throat. Its symptoms are sore throat, runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sneezing, headache, weakness, etc.
The cough and cold (cold or flu) season happens mostly in the cold season from the last few months of the year to the beginning of the year. Having a raging cough can be embarrassing especially when one has to go to public areas such as school, work, gatherings, etc. Nose congestion, runny nose, and chest congestion on the other hand is very annoying because nose congestion makes it difficult to breathe.
Causes of Common cold
- Lack of sleep
- Poor nutrition etc.
Common colds are easily spread from person to person or child. Children are especially vulnerable to these infections as they experience more cases of cough and catarrh by average than the average adult. So try and contain this infection to yourself while you have it.
Do not take antibiotics because not only do they have no effect on the virus, they can also be dangerous for your health.
The effective Home Remedies
For most of us, we just need proper rest, diet, and home remedies to make our cold go away. I have written another article on how to rid yourself of a sore throat in a day or less. Do check it out if your cold is accompanied by a sore throat.
If you have a cough together with a cold, then you will need to use these effective cough remedies in conjunction with the cold remedies.
Let us begin on the best common cold remedies;
Ginger is best used for cough and blocked noses while it is fresh. Dried ginger and ginger tea are also options if you do not have fresh ginger. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce swelling and relax the inflamed airways making it easier to breathe, breaks down mucus, and fight the infection.
How to use:
- Chew on a piece of ginger throughout the day to clear congestion in your nose, throat, and chest.
- You can also add chopped or crushed ginger to hot water and allow it to steep and cool until it is warm enough to drink.
- Similarly, add some honey and lemon to boost the effectiveness of the tea
- Sip gently until the tea is finished. The congestion in your nose will loosen and your cough should subside by then.
Instead of getting those cough drops from the pharmacy, how about you use a proven natural alternative to it. Honey has been used for these minor infections in many societies for centuries.
It is an anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory food substance that helps fight infections and also boosts the immune system. Some studies have shown that it is actually more effective for a cough than many cough syrups in the pharmacy. It is known to boost our immunity while coating the throat and soothing it.
How to use:
As a cough drop:
- Take a tablespoon of honey or more if you wish
- Use it three times a day
- Do not eat or drink anything else for at least an hour.
To strengthen immunity
- Take a tablespoon of honey and some warm water.
- Mix well and you can add some lemon if you wish.
- Take this 3-4 times a day.
For a dry and scratchy cough
- Take a tablespoon of honey
- Mix it with warm water and sip gradually.
- Allow it to soothe the throat for about an hour before eating anything else. you can do this whenever your throat becomes scratchy and dry.
Where to buy:
Subscribe For Exclusive Remedies & Health Tips
Garlic is very effective in clearing the infections of cold, sore throat and cough or just viral infections in the body. Its antiseptic, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties are well known to be useful in the treatment of common colds.
How to use:
- Cut up not more than 3-5 big pieces of garlic not the whole bunch
- Allow them to sit for 10 minutes so that their useful compounds will be activates
- Swallow them with water.
- It is best taken before a meal.
- Do this every 9-12 hours.
Remember, garlic is a blood thinner so don’t use too much. Also, do not add the chopped garlic to your food because it will not be as effective. Trust me, I have tried that. So eat it separately at least two hours after a meal or an hour before a meal.
This and ginger are one of the most effective remedies that I know for cough and colds.
Sometimes especially at night, we find it hard to sleep because of the constant coughing and stuffed noses (this often happens to me). That is when we go through our cupboards to find that mentholatum or whatever hot balm we have. Especially when we are finding it hard to breathe on our own because of nose congestion.
Mint oil is a perfect replacement for mentholatum and safer too. Mint is known for its antibacterial and antioxidants and it also contains natural menthol which is the main ingredient of mentholatum.
Drop some mint oil on some cotton and place it a the entrance of your nostril. I will not advise you to fill both nostrils with it as breathing might become difficult for you. One nostril at a time should be enough. Take note not to push it too much inside your nose. Just keep it at the entrance of your nose so that every breath you take, you will be taking some of it with you and it will help open your air passages some more
You can also just rub some of the oil under your nose just above your lips if you do not have cotton or tissue with you.
Vitamin C is vital to human immunity which is why when we have infections especially colds, coughs, and sore throats, the doctor almost always prescribes some vitamin C tablets for the person to suck or drink.
Since only the body can fight these infections, we can make the process faster by supporting the immune system.
How to use:
Take the vitamin C as direct on its package though I will advise that you get the 1000mg tablets. They are more effective and you only need to take them once a day.
Where to get it:
For vitamin c, there are many options apart from dietary sources. If you prefer capsules, Nature Made Vitamin C capsules are a good option.
Each capsule is 1000mg and it costs about $9 for the whole bottle which contains 90 capsules. You can buy it on Amazon.
A non-GMO certified vitamin C capsules is also an option if you prefer that. You can buy it on Amazon too.
Note:*You should know that 1000mg is the recommended daily dosage by doctors.
Black seed supplement
Black seed is a very powerful immune booster and my preferred option to vitamin C. I only use vitamin C when my stock of black seed runs out.
It is also known as black cumin and numerous studies have shown it to have anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting antioxidants, etc. properties. If you have never used this supplement before, you need to begin today.
Its wonderful effect on common colds will surprise you as it is known to be good for respiratory health.
How to use:
- If you bought it in capsule form, then take it as directed on the product packaging.
- If you bought the powder, then take a teaspoon in the morning and evening. about an hour after meals. Take not more than a tablespoon in a day
Where to get it:
Good Quality Black seed capsules are available on Vita Springs. They cost about $16 for a bottle of 100 capsules. Each capsule is about 500mg of the herb/spice. It is also gluten-free and Non-GMO certified.
*Remember to take it AFTER MEALS! It is very potent and powerful that if you take it without eating properly, you will get very sick including vomiting, nausea, etc.
This very useful fruit is necessary when fighting a common cold not just for its vitamin C but for other vitamins it contains. Some might think because we are taking vitamin C then we don’t need this but no. We still need to take oranges if we want to get well fast.
How to use:
- Cut 7-10 big oranges 0r 10-12 medium-sized oranges to your desired taste
- Take the entire oranges in one seating. Don’t rush yourself
- You can also juice the oranges and sip the juice. You need to sip it and not drink it so that it will coat the throat well and fight the infections in the throat.
Tips for Fast recovery
Dress in warm clothes
Avoid fans and air conditioners like the plague. They will only make your situation worse and stay warm even if it is in the summer and the sun is shining outside. Stay as warm as you can with long sleeves, jackets, socks, hats, etc. It will really help you get rid of it fast. Promise!
This is probably the most delicious of all the home remedies. Make yourself some spicy soup with lots of pepper, ginger, black pepper, cloves, and all those good spices. Just make it a full meal. Drink as much as you can of the soup all day. Also, make sure that the soup is warm, not cool or cold.
Soups are encouraged for coughs and flu because they help the body recover and are richer in nutrients than just plain water. They help clear nasal congestion and mucus becomes thinned so that it can easily drip out of the body. So keep some tissue nearby as you are enjoying your soup
Gargle with salt water
A warm salt and water solution is a very old remedy for not only coughs but also sore throat. The salt fights the bacteria in the throat and loosens the mucus which will in-turn, clear your sinuses.
Simply mix some salt with enough warm water, taste it and gargle. You can do this about three times a day or whenever the discomfort starts bothering you.
Steam bath/steam inhalation for nose congestion
Sometimes our nose becomes too congested that even breathing becomes a problem and our throats become so uncomfortably dry. All in all, we feel miserable. This is the time to take a very warm bath that leaves you feeling anew.
Or you can choose the better option which is steam inhalation. Here, you will need some type of oil that is used for the respiratory tract.
Hopefully, you have some eucalyptus oil, any citrus oil, peppermint oil, mint, thyme, rosemary oil, etc. in the house. If you don’t, that is ok. It will simply be more effective with essential oil.
- Pour plain water into a pot or kettle
- Once boiled, pour it into another bowl or container, or bring the pot to where you are going to sit.
- Put the blanket over your head and cover all possible holes that steam can escape.
- Open the pot or bowl and pour about 7-10 drops of the essential oil into the pot.
- Open your mouth and widen your nose well so that the steam and all the goodies in the oil will do their work.
- You can close your eyes if it is more comfortable for you
- Sit with the steam entering your nose and mouth inside the blanket for about 10-15 minutes or until the water cools down
I am sure you will feel better than before once finished. This method always works for me and those around me though it is not the most pleasant experience.
Warm drink and teas
Avoid cold, cool, and room temperature drinks, teas, and if I may say water. The water is optional for you but if you want to get rid of this infection fast, you should switch to warm water even if it is not for the whole day but most of the day, you should drink warm liquids.
This is a very effective remedy that people often overlook (including me). As I am typing this, I am trying to re-recover from a common cold after I have recovered the first time using these remedies. You can guess it. I went out and had a stressful grocery shopping that lasted for about 4 hours and by the time I came back home, I was sick again even though I just recovered the previous day.
Don’t be like me. Rest and continue taking your remedies at least 1 day after you have recovered but preferably 2-3 days after recovery. This will strengthen your immunity and prevent you from getting sick any time soon
Subscribe For Updates & exclusive content
My common cold 72-hour recovery formula
You might be wondering how you can use all of these remedies to chase away any symptoms of common cold. It usually begins with a cough, sore throat, or nasal congestion. This formula works best at the onset of the attack. Here is how I do it:
- Use the ginger remedy as directed at the onset of the sore throat. It is very effective if you take fresh ginger steeped in hot water at the onset of a cough. Sip gently and sip it warm. If it is lukewarm, it won’t be very effective.
- Take the oranges about 2 hours after eating and at least 1 hour before another meal
- Chop and swallow the garlic as described above during the day and before bedtime.
- Take the honey before you sleep or when you are not going to eat for about an hour but overnight is best
- Take your supplements (black seed or vitamin c supplement but the black seed is preferred)
- Use the steam bath to decongest your nose and air ways if needed
- Rub the mint oil or any hot balm after the steam bath on the chest, neck and put some at the entrance of your nostril if breathing becomes difficult at night
- Use the salt-water gaggle if your throat becomes irritated or painful from coughing and sore throat
- Repeat this for the next 2-3 days. You will recover fast
- Just remember to continue taking your supplements and garlic at least 2 days after recovery preferably 3 for long-lasting results
- This should be your regimen for 1 day. Repeat exactly for the next 3 days
- That is it!
Don’t forget to eat well including fruits and vegetables while using these remedies. You need to be well-nourished.
I believe if you follow these remedies well, you will be rid your common cold in a few days or less than a week. If it still persists or is only getting worse despite your efforts with the home remedy, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Remember, cough and cold are a reaction to infection most of the time and the body needs time to get through this attack so you need to be a little patient as the body has to go through some stages before it can finally defeat the infection.
Try to contain your cough as soon as it begins because it can worsen over time. This is because a cough has stages and its remedies at different stages are not the same. Check out the post on curing a cough before it gets worse if you have one.
Take care of yourself especially in this cold and dry season where colds and coughs are just waiting around the corner ready to pounce on you. I hope you found these remedies helpful which by the way are ones that I use when I have colds or coughs as most of us do around the year. I only share home remedies that I know are effective because there are many ineffective remedies on the internet.
If you enjoyed or if you tested these remedies and they worked for you, subscribe to the blog for more effective remedies and rate this article at the end of this post down below. I will then alert you the next time I publish another article.
Have a nice day!