Overcome Colds at Home without Medication

September 24, 2019
You can overcome common colds at home with some simple tips and natural remedies. Continue reading to find out more.

In this article, we’d like to share our six tips to overcome colds at home without medication. You can relieve these common viral infections by following some simple guidelines, the home remedy of your choice and, above all, much-needed rest.

The inflammation of your upper respiratory tract may cause a lot of pain and discomfort while you have a cold. So, here are some tips that’ll help you relieve your symptoms and accelerate the healing process.

Six Tips to Overcome Colds at Home

1. Stay away from antibiotics

First, we’d like to make sure you know that a cold is a viral infection so it would be useless and even harmful to go on antibiotics. These are only useful for treating bacterial infections.

However, if you’re unsure if you have a virus or a bacterial infection, make sure to see a doctor.

That said, the main symptom of a cold is the inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. It can affect the nose, the throat, the trachea, the larynx, the sinuses, and even the ears. Thus, the remedies or drugs you need to take should relieve discomfort in the respiratory system area.

Read also: Antibiotics: Some of their Inherent Risks

2. Essential ingredients to overcome a cold at home

A jar of honey, limes and garlic.
Some foods can overcome a cold without drugs, either due to their antiviral properties or to relieve your symptoms.

Some natural remedies can help you overcome your cold at home. These healing substances stand out either for their antiviral, decongestant or expectorant properties:

  • Ginger is an expectorant that also brings a lot of heat to the body and promotes the end of the infection.
  • You can crush, chew or slice garlic to produce allicin, which is where its immune-boosting properties are. This is a powerful remedy against viruses.
  • Ceylon Cinnamon is expectorant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral.
  • Lemon and lime are high in vitamin C and are powerful decongestants.
  • Cayenne pepper in small amounts strengthens the immune system and is also a decongestant.
  • Honey relieves your cough by loosening and facilitating the expulsion of mucus.
  • Licorice is an expectorant and antiviral, relieves coughing, and also inflammation and irritation.

3. Hydration is essential to overcome a cold at home

Another essential thing you should do to overcome colds at home is to stay well hydrated. It’ll help you loosen the mucus and phlegm and, therefore, relieve your congestion.

In addition to drinking water, you can also take some infusions using any of the plants we listed above. If you don’t just want to drink water and tea, you can also increase your intake of fluids by eating fresh fruit, soups, and juices.

4. Keep your airways moist

A man with a towel on his head holding a bowl.
Vaporizing helps loosen your mucus and thus relieve cold symptoms.

Another tip to overcome colds at home is to keep your airways moist. This is very helpful when you have a dry cough and throat irritation, among other benefits.

One way to do so is to use a room humidifier. Some even give us the possibility of adding essential oils. The ones that work best are eucalyptus, lemon, pine, and oregano.

Another way to do this is to vaporize above a pot to open, clear and humidify your airways directly.

Read also: Clean the Air and Defeat the Spread of Bacteria

5. Rest

A cold is a sign that your immune system is weak and that you need to rest. You can go through it without it being such an inconvenience. Think of it as a purifying process your body does once in a while.

When you force yourself to maintain your usual routine, all you’ll do is worsen your symptoms and lengthen your cold. You also put yourself at a higher risk of further complications.

Use your time down to relax and enjoy your “mini-holiday” as much as possible. Drink herbal infusions, stay warm and avoid any changes in temperatures. Rest for as long as your body needs to. Try not to go out and don’t drink or smoke if you usually do.

6. Go to the doctor if …

A woman in bed coughing trying to overcome a cold at home.
Consult your doctor immediately if you belong to a high-risk group or your symptoms worsen and lead to other complications.
  • … the person with a cold belongs to a high-risk group such as pregnant women, infants, children under 5 years of age and patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as non-immune migrants, mobile populations and travelers.
  • You can’t breathe.
  • The mucus you expel is yellow or green or pink or any other color than whitish.
  • You feel pain or discomfort in your ears.
  • There’s fever higher than 102°F, especially if it lasts more than 4 days or reappears after it was already gone.
  • You have more symptoms than those of a common cold or are in great discomfort.
  • Your cough doesn’t go away with the passing of days or becomes stronger.

You should be able to overcome colds at home if you follow these simple tips while allowing your body to rest. Natural remedies can help you get well in a few days.

  • Nair, S. S., Pharande, R. R., Bannalikar, A. S., & Mukne, A. P. (2015). In vitro antimycobacterial activity of acetone extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra. Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research.
  • Oduwole, O., Meremikwu, M. M., Oyo-Ita, A., & Udoh, E. E. (2014). Honey for acute cough in children. Evidence-Based Child Health. https://doi.org/10.1002/ebch.1970
  • Saeed, S., & Tariq, P. (2008). Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum L.). International Journal of Biology and Biotechnology.
  • González Requejo, Á. (2015). Catarro de vías altas.
  • Luis, J., & Bañuelos, V. (2017). Infecciones agudas de la vía aérea superior. In Neumología clínica.