The common cold is so named because it is one of the most common ailments known to mankind. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “There are over one billion colds in the United States each year. You and your children will probably have more colds than any other type of illness.” With such a widespread illness, why is a cold still considered incurable? It’s because a cold is a viral infection that’s actually caused by one of a whole host of viruses — at last count, more than 100 viral strains were known for causing the symptoms associated with a common cold. With this kind of variety, it’s impossible to develop any kind of effective vaccine. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to just sit and suffer — plenty of home remedies and management options can help you get rid of the worst symptoms of your cold.
Hydration. The first step is to stay well hydrated. A lot of fluids are lost through vomiting and diarrhea, both possible symptoms of a cold. In addition, regularly drinking fluids can help keep a sore throat moist and reduce the discomfort. Salty fluids, such as broth in soups, may also help reduce the inflammation that is causing the sore throat.
Nutrition. Your body can’t heal if it doesn’t have the nutrients it needs. Make sure to eat well-balanced meals, avoiding very spicy foods that may irritate a sore throat. Fruits and vegetables contain many of the vitamins that your body needs to fight off a cold. Anecdotal evidence suggests that an extra supplement of vitamin C may help you feel healthy faster.
Reducing symptoms. Many over-the-counter products for symptom reduction, such as throat lozenges and decongestants, may be useful for getting rid of symptoms. In addition, a number of naturopathic or herbal remedies, such as peppermint, licorice and chamomile, may be useful for soothing the throat and stomach. If you’re immune deficient in any way, seek medical advice immediately regarding what risks or complications you might face and what you should do about it. Many doctors also caution that you should not use anti-diarrhea products in most cases because this is your body’s way of flushing out the infection.