How to Fight a Cold the Natural Way

The common cold is something that has caused misery to people for as long as viruses have been around. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the cold virus is constantly mutating and changing means that scientists have been unable to find a cure. Usually, when you get the first symptoms of a cold, including a headache and a sore throat, you try over the counter remedies such as a honey and lemon drink or soothing throat lozenges. However, there are many people who believe you can treat the symptoms of a cold far better by relying on a more natural approach.

Do You Have a Cold or Flu?

When you first get the sniffles and a sore throat, you might just dismiss it as a cold; however, while a cold will make you feel bad for a couple of days, the flu is a different matter. When you catch the flu, you will feel a lot worse than having a cold! In fact, many people are laid up in bed unable to do anything. The cold is a viral infection that is caused by the adenovirus and the coronavirus. There are also many other variants that make up the cold strain which is why it is so hard to find a cure. With the flu, it is always caused by the influenza virus; this makes it a lot easier to create a vaccine to help people avoid it. It is important for all those who are vulnerable, such as the elderly, babies, those with cancer or an autoimmune issue to have the vaccine. The flu virus can cause many complications including chest infections which can be deadly for vulnerable people.

Blow Your Nose in the Right Way

One of the things that can be the most annoying with a cold is a running or blocked nose. At the height of the cold's attack, your nose can constantly be running, meaning lots of tissues and a red, sore nose from constant wiping. You might not think that it makes a difference, but there is a right way to blow your nose, to prevent getting an earache. If you blow with both nostrils, this can build-up pressure which causes the ear pain. The best thing to do is to close one nostril and blow the other one gently. Doing it this way will also help to clear your nose better because you are concentrating on one side at a time. Once you have blown your nose, it is vital that you wash your hands, as germs from your nose will quickly be able to pass to others on surfaces if you don’t wash them properly.

Take a Rest

You have probably heard some people saying that they never stop for a cold and that they just carry on with it. While you can carry on, it doesn’t help your body fight the cold. In fact, it can do the opposite! If you have to get up early for work and you don’t go to bed until late in the evening, then you are asking your body to fight a virus with little rest. Your body needs plenty of rest when it is battling a virus so that it can conserve its energy to dealing with the cold. If you are suffering from the flu virus, then chances are you won’t be able to function well at all. The aches in the joints and the fever will make you want to rest, and that is exactly what you need to do.

Gargle to Help Your Throat

If you are suffering from a particularly sore throat, then you find it hard to swallow or eat anything without it hurting. Gargling can provide some temporary relief from the symptoms. Try adding a teaspoon of salt into some warm water and gargling with it four times a day. The salt will help to clean and prevent the throat from becoming infected. If you want to try and stop the annoying tickle in your throat, then try gargling with an astringent such as tea. The tea contains tannin which can help to close the membranes and ease the sensation. Another idea is to add one tablespoon of lemon juice into two cups of hot water and then add one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then use it to gargle a few times. Not only will it soothe your throat, but the hot liquid will help to ease congestion. It should be noted that honey should never be given to babies under the age of 1 year.

Drink Hot Liquids

Colds and flu can give you a fever that will make you sweat, and this together with the constant running nose, will lead to dehydration. You should replace your liquids regularly, preferably with something warm. The temperature will help to relieve the nasal congestion as well as deal with the dehydration. It can also help to sooth the membranes in your nose and throat to make you feel better. The hot liquid you choose is up to you, though to get the best effect, you should use honey and lemon together.

Get Steamy to Help with Congestion

Congestion can make you feel frustrated; you can’t breathe properly which is bad during the day, but far worse at night. Not being able to breathe through your nose, means you will most likely start to use your mouth when you’re asleep. It can be annoying for you to wake up with a dry mouth, and for your partner having to hear you snore! To try and remedy the situation, try introducing steam. One way you can do this is to have a steamy bath or shower just before bedtime. The steam helps to moisturize your nasal passages, and it also relaxes you. If you are suffering from the flu, it can make you feel a little dizzy. If that’s the case, take a bath or sit down in the shower, so you don’t accidentally fall. Another good idea using steam is a humidifier or a diffuser. There are many reasons that both can make you feel better, but you will need to investigate the humidifier vs diffuser to see which one is best for you.

Use Hot or Cold Packs

Sometimes, using steam to try and unclog your sinuses doesn’t work, or it doesn’t give you much relief. Instead, to make your sinuses feel better, you need to try placing cold or hot packs on your sinuses to see if this helps to relieve the symptoms. You can buy these packs from your local drug store, or you can make them yourself. Take a damp washcloth and place it in the microwave for a few seconds. Then, test it to see if its too hot and place on your sinuses. You can do the same for the cold pack by putting the washcloth in the refrigerator or the freezer instead of the microwave.

Sleep with an Extra Pillow in Bed

Another symptom that can be a barrier to sleep is your sinuses not draining properly. If you lay down flat as you would normally in bed, the sinuses might not be able to drain effectively. When this happens, you can start to feel congested and unable to clear your throat. Raising your head higher than your body will help the sinuses to drain and prevent this feeling. If adding a pillow makes for an uncomfortable angle, then try to add something under the head of the mattress to create a gradual gradience.


Many people have used elderberries to fight off flu and colds for many years. There are many ways that you can consume them, for example, you can drink elderberry tea, or you can buy zinc tablets from your local health food shop. Taking elderberries as you start to feel that you are coming down with a cold or flu is considered the best time to get the full effect.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar or ACV as it’s known has some amazing properties that make it good for many things. Not only is it good for fighting colds, but it is also good for conditioning hair and deodorizing. ACV is a probiotic fermented liquid that has long been thought to help fight off all types of viruses. Some people like to drink it diluted in water, though others prefer to add it to soups and salads. If you think that you are coming down with something, then it is recommended that you take two tablespoons in water three times a day. By doing this, it is thought that you can prevent your cold or flu from getting worse.

If you are against taking traditional medication for your cold, then there are many other alternatives you can try. Apart from the elderberry and the apple cider vinegar, you can also take garlic, coconut oil, or bone broth. Many people also put great faith in chicken soup, and there has been some thought that it does work. 

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