Sneezing, coughing, sore throat, congestion – these are just a few of the symptoms associated with the common cold.

This illness is caused by a viral infection, which affects the upper airways and sinuses, as well as the throat and nose. Though a cure for the common cold doesn’t exist, there are ways to treat this infection both naturally and through medication.

In today’s blog, we’re going to cover five ways to naturally treat the common cold.

Rest is best – When battling a cold, it’s important that you get enough rest. By doing so, you’ll be giving your body the energy it needs to support its current immune battle, which depletes your body’s energy supply. So kick back, relax and let your immune system do the work!

Blow your nose – Regularly blowing your nose rather than sniffling the mucus back into your sinuses will rid your system of the toxins. Keep in mind not to blow your nose too hard; the pressure could in turn cause an earache. The right way to blow your nose is to press a finger over one nostril while gently blowing the other nostril. Always remember to wash your hands after blowing your nose. 

Soothe your throat – A scratchy and sore throat is a common symptom when a person has a cold. For temporary relief, consider the following mixtures:

  • Warm saltwater – Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in warm water. Gargle this mixture four times per day.
  • Honey and vinegar ­ – If you’re experiencing a tickle in your throat, consider gargling a honey and apple cider vinegar mixture, or steep a tablespoon of lemon juice in two cups of hot water and mix in one teaspoon of honey. The latter combination doesn’t have to be gargled, and can be sipped.

Stay hydrated ­­– When you’re sick, staying hydrated is more important than ever to help fight off your illness. Water, natural juices and clear broth are all viable options that will help loosen your congestion and prevent dehydration. If you’re suffering from symptoms of the common cold, make an effort to avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages which can increase the likelihood of dehydration, and consider avoiding dairy, which can add more mucus.

Enjoy a hot shower – Though showers are likely part of your daily routine, when you’re battling the common cold, use your time in the shower as a defense mechanism. If you’re congested, a hot, steamy shower will put moisture back in the air, which, in turn, will make its way into your sinuses. After your shower, be sure to gently blow your nose as described above. Soothing and clearing your sinus passages with a hot shower promotes drainage, which will help to rid your system of congestion.

These are just five ways to combat the common cold. Consult your primary care physician if you’d like to learn more about treating this illness.

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