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15 Most Effective Natural Cold Remedies


Shalu Bhati

Updated At  03 Apr 21



   

Want to know about natural cold remedies? Then, you have come to the right place.

Common cold is a very common illness that affects people of all age groups. It is a viral infection that targets the nose and throat and is known for spreading rather easily. Even though it is harmless, catching a cold is a very nasty experience. Once someone is infected, it can take them anywhere between 7 and 10 days to recover. The more you rest, the better your chances are. But who has this much time in today’s fast-paced lives? This is why we have compiled a list of the 15 most effective natural cold remedies. Consider this as an informative guide on how to deal with a cold at home.

   

 

What Is Cold?

Common cold is one of the leading reasons that can make both children and adults miss their working days. It is an infection of the upper respiratory tract that is caused by viruses and is known to be contagious. It often begins with a runny nose and sore throat. Children below the age of six, adults with respiratory or lung issues, and weak immunity are at a higher risk of catching a cold.

Also known as acute viral rhinopharyngitis, it is a common and frequently occurring infection. This can be attributed to the fact that a cold is caused by more than 200 viruses and our bodies can't build resistance against each one of them.

Let’s find out more about the causes of a cold, its symptoms, and about the most promising common cold treatment at home.

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Causes & Symptoms

There are more than 200 viruses that can cause a common cold. But the most common viruses responsible for causing a cold are coronavirus and rhinovirus.  Out of these two, rhinovirus is the more common culprit. It spreads by respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes, touching contaminated objects, saliva, and skin-to-skin contact.

Once someone is infected, their body would kickstart its defense mechanisms. The first step to this is the production of mucus in the nose and throat which prevents the virus from entering the cells. Therefore, most of the symptoms of a common cold are just a sign that your body is fighting back.

It is after three days of getting infected that the symptoms start to appear. Following are some of the most common symptoms of cold:

  • Runny and stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Mild aches in head and body
  • Low fever
  • General tiredness

It is time to see a doctor if there is high fever, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, or if any other severe symptoms develop.

   

15 Most Effective Natural Cold Remedies

There is no cure for a common cold as it is caused by viruses. However, the symptoms can be made less severe and manageable through some over the counter medications and home remedies.

Following are 15 of the best natural cold remedies that can be tried at home:

 


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1. Green Juice

Ingredients: 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, 1 cup pineapple, 1 green apple, 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon ginger, 2 teaspoon orange zest

How to: Put all the ingredients through a juicer to obtain the green juice.

Frequency: Once a day

Why it works: Go green to treat your cold this season. This green juice is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is especially a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. the antioxidants present in this juice help in inhibiting inflammation. This juice is full of antioxidants that aid in protecting the cells and help in fighting off the infection.

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2. Yarrow

Ingredients: 1 teaspoon dried yarrow, 1 teaspoon dried elderflower, 1 teaspoon dried peppermint, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon lemon juice, 2 cups water

How to: Put water in a pot and heat it. To this, add yarrow, elderflower, peppermint, and ginger. Bring it to a boil to let the herbs steep. Once done, strain the liquid into a cup. Add honey and lemon juice.

Frequency: 2 to 3 times a day

Why it works: Yarrow works like a charm when it comes to seeking relief from common cold especially when used with elderflower and peppermint. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and also for being a viral inhibitor. Elderflower not only tastes good but also has antiseptic, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It calms down the swollen sinuses and brings relief. Peppermint works as a decongestant and relieves body aches. Ginger too is a popular remedy for colds.

 


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3. Hot Toddy

Ingredients: 1 ½ teaspoon of tea, 3 teaspoon honey, 25-50 ml whiskey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cups water

How to: Put water in a pot to boil. Add tea and let it steep. Put cinnamon stick too. Strain into a cup and add lemon juice, honey, and whiskey. Stir to mix.

Frequency: Once a day

Why it works: Hot toddy is one of the best natural cold remedies with its multiple benefits. It aids in reducing congestion and brings relief to a sore throat. It also inhibits coughing to a certain extent. Cinnamon and honey both boast of anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Whiskey, on the other hand, helps you sleep. The hot toddy is best consumed at night before sleeping.

 

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4. Ginger With Apple Cider Vinegar

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon dried ginger powder, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 cups water

How to: Bring water and apple cider vinegar to a boil. Take it down from the stove and add honey, ginger powder, and lemon juice.

Frequency: One spoon daily

Why it works: This is one of the many popular natural cold remedies. Apple cider vinegar is a rich source of vitamin C, fiber, and acids which are known to boost immunity and reduce congestion. It is also very effective in killing off the germs that resulted in your illness. Ginger, on the other hand, is anti-inflammatory and a real treasure trove when it comes to treating illnesses including the common cold. It is anti-viral and soothes sore throat as well as coughing.


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5. Chamomile

Ingredients: One to two fresh chamomile flowers, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon honey, 3 to 4 leaves of apple mint, 2 cups water

How to: Boil chamomile flowers, ginger, and leaves of apple mint in water. Strain into a cup and add honey. Drink.

Frequency: Twice a day

Why it works: Chamomile is an effective remedy for soothing colds. It not only acts as a decongestant and relieves a sore throat but also helps you rest owing to its sedative properties. When mixed with ginger and honey, it forms a very powerful concoction that not only helps you sleep but also works towards relieving the symptoms of your cold.

 

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6. Elderberry

Ingredients: 1 ½ cup frozen elderberries, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup raw honey, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 cups water

How to: Add elderberries, blueberries, cinnamon, and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and then let it cook for 45 minutes. Once it has cooled down start mashing the berries. Strain the liquid to discard the remains of the berries. Add honey to the mixture thus obtained and mix well. Store in a glass container.

Frequency: One spoon two to three times a day

Why it works: This elderberry syrup is highly effective in combating cold symptoms. It reduces congestion as well as fever. It contains high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols which are very good for immunity. It will increase your body’s infection-fighting power and control the severity of your cold.


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7. Rosemary

Ingredients: 1 large rosemary sprig, 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 1 lemongrass stalk, 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon honey

How to: Boil rosemary, thyme, and lemongrass in water for 5 to 7 minutes. Strain in a cup and add honey. Drink.

Frequency: Two to three times a day

Why it works: This is one of those quick cold remedies which are a one-stop solution for relieving cold symptoms. Rosemary, thyme, and lemongrass are wonder herbs. Rosemary stimulates the circulatory system and relieves headaches. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is also known for its infection-fighting powers. Thyme helps relieve body aches, sore throat, congestion, and spasms. Lemongrass is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. It is a good source of vitamin C. Together, these herbs bring instant relief to cold symptoms.

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8. Ginger And Cinnamon Tea

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons grated ginger, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tablespoon honey, a squirt of lemon, 2 cups water

How to: Add water, grated ginger, and cinnamon to a pot and bring to a boil. Once the ingredients have steeped well, strain the liquid thus obtained into a cup. Add honey and lemon juice. Drink.

Frequency: Two to three times a day

Why it works: This ginger cinnamon tea is a great remedy for managing cold and cough at home. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. It consists of a compound called gingerol which brings instant relief to body aches. Cinnamon aids in clearing out nasal passages and soothe sore throat especially when mixed with honey.


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9. Honey

Ingredients: 2 tablespoon honey, 1 ½ teaspoon green tea, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 cups water

How to: Put the green tea into water and let it boil. After the tea has steeped, bring it down from the heat and strain in a cup. Add honey and lemon juice. Drink.

Frequency: Twice a day

Why it works: This antioxidant-rich drink has multiple benefits. Honey has been used for soothing common colds for hundreds of years. It is due to its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. This concoction makes a layer on the throat and brings relief in coughing and sore throat. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C which is known for its infection-fighting and immunity-boosting properties.

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10. Horseradish

Ingredients: 1 grated horseradish root, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 cups water

How to: Add water and horseradish to a pot. Bring to a boil. Take it off from the stove and strain.  Add honey and lemon juice. Drink.

Frequency: Daily

Why it works: Here is yet another one of the most effective natural cold remedies. Horseradish very effectively clears off the sinuses, removes congestion, and helps in flushing off the toxins from the body. It increases the rate of perspiration which in turn helps in reducing fever.

 


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11. Chicken Soup

Ingredients: 2-liter chicken stock, 2 cups shredded chicken meat, 1 ½ cup finely chopped celery, 1 ½ cup chopped carrot, 2 to 5 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 cup parsley, salt, and black pepper as preferred

How to: Put some olive oil in a pot and add garlic, ginger, turmeric, carrot, and celery to it. Cook for about five minutes. Now add the chicken stock and chicken pieces. Cook on simmer for 10 minutes. Season with parsley, salt, and black pepper.

Frequency: Once a day

Why it works: When you think of natural cold remedies, chicken soup often comes to mind. And why not? This hot and steamy nutritious mix of broth, chicken, and vegetables aids in alleviating inflammation, coughing, and congestion. It helps in keeping up the hydration and energy levels while also aiding the immune system in fighting off the infection.

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12. Carrot Soup

Ingredients: 7 cups vegetable stock, 1 ½ cup carrot, 1 sliced onion, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped ginger, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves

How to: Add all the ingredients in a pot except thyme and cook it on a simmer for about 20 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. After this, put the contents of the pot into a blender and blend to make a consistent mix. Sprinkle thyme leaves on top and serve.

Frequency: Once a day

Why it works: Carrot soup makes for a very effective common cold treatment at home. This soup is a delicious way of boosting the immune system. This soup comes packed with the goodness of vitamin A, thanks to the carrots. Ginger and garlic make it anti-inflammatory as well as anti-infection. This soup will also help in soothing major symptoms of cold including coughing, sore throat, and congestion.


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13. Peppermint Oil For Cold

Ingredients: 4 to 5 drops of peppermint oil, 2 to 3 drops of almond oil

How to: Add the oils either to a steaming bowl of water or to a diffuser

Frequency: Daily

Why it works: Peppermint is a magical common cold treatment at home. Peppermint essential oil cools down the nasal cavity, relaxes the airways, and clears the sinuses. It acts as a very effective decongestant. It is also very effective in soothing headaches and in improving your overall mood.

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14. Eucalyptus Oil For Cold

Ingredients: 1 large bowl of water, 5 to 6 drops of eucalyptus oil, 2 to 3 drops of ginger oil

How to: Take a bowl of steaming water. Add the eucalyptus and ginger oil to it. Inhale the steam for 5 to 8 minutes.

Frequency: Twice a day

Why it works: Eucalyptus oil when inhaled with steam helps in decongesting the nasal passage and chest. It also works to fight off the virus, bacteria, and other infection-causing germs. You will feel an improvement in headaches and body aches after inhaling eucalyptus oil-infused vapors.


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15. Garlic For Cold

Ingredients: 1 to 2 cloves of garlic

How to: Crush the garlic cloves and eat it. If you wish to use it for cooking then wait for 15 minutes after crushing.

Frequency: Daily

Why it works: This is one of the most trusted natural cold remedies. Garlic is widely known for its medicinal properties. It is anti-infection and anti-inflammatory. It works wonders when it comes to decongest. It is also known for giving a boost to immunity. However, people who are taking medication that results in blood thinning must not eat garlic.

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Some More Tips And Precautions

Following are some tips and precautions to keep in mind when suffering from a common cold:

  • Gargle with saltwater
  • Use nasal drops
  • Take steam
  • Eat spicy food
  • Eat meals rich in proteins and zinc
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing
  • Stay warm. Use a humidifier 


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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. Which are the best quick cold remedies?

For quick cold remedies, drink a lot of water, rest properly, and up your intake of vitamin C and zinc.

 

Q. Which are the effective cold home remedies for breastfeeding mothers?

Carrot soup and green juice are two of the most effective cold home remedies for breastfeeding mothers. These remedies, not only aid in soothing the symptoms of a cold but can also be taken simply to boost immunity.

 

Q. Which are the effective cold home remedies for infants and babies?

Chicken soup, broth, and other such healthy meals are effective cold home remedies for babies. Breastmilk, warm mustard oil massage, coconut oil massage, turmeric are some of the effective cold home remedies for infants. Honey helps in a cold but avoid giving it to babies under the age of one.

 

Q. Which is the fastest home remedy for cold and cough?

If you seek fast relief from cold and cough, then you should up your intake of fluids, vitamin C, proteins, and zinc. Gargle with salt water, drink ginger tea, and rest well.

 

Q. Which are the best herbs for cold?

Yarrow, elderflower, elderberry, peppermint, chamomile, thyme, rosemary, basil, are some of the best herbs for cold.

 

Q. Which are the popular Indian home remedies for cold?

Ginger tea, lemon, honey, and cinnamon tea, milk, and turmeric, honey, lemon ginger concoction are some of the popular Indian home remedies for cold.

 

Q. Which are the effective newborn baby cold home remedies?

Following are some of the effective newborn baby cold home remedies:

  • Breastmilk
  • Apply turmeric and hot water paste on the chest, forehead, and soles of your newborn’s feet
  • Elevate your newborn’s head to help in breathing
  • Keep your newborn hydrated
  • Heat coconut oil with basil leaves. Use it to massage on newborn’s chest, back, palms and feet once lukewarm




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