By Lisa Pecos
Colds are the most common type of infection in the world, with the average adult contracting about three cold infections every year. Yet despite the common cold’s ubiquity, we still have no cure for it. The only surefire way to deal with it is to wait approximately seven to ten days for your body to fend off the infection on its own. However, although science has yet to come up with a solution to the common cold, there are numerous remedies both old and new that can greatly help ease the symptoms of cold, even if they cannot cure it.
For anyone interested in natural remedies to ease cold symptoms and make the infection go away faster, here are five remedies that are worth trying.
1. Herbal teas: Any time you have a sore throat or a cough, it is always a good idea to drink hot beverages. And if you are already going to be drinking something hot, you might as well have one of many varieties of herbal tea that are thought to have cold-fighting properties. Echinacea tea is perhaps the best herb for boosting the immune system and speeding along the cold-fighting process, but other herbs such as ginseng, goldenseal, eucalyptus, and ginger can have noticeable effects as well. Just stay away from teas with too much caffeine, as these can cause dehydration, which is bad when you have a cold.
2. Fruit and fruit juice: Your immune system needs plenty of vitamins to fight off the infection, and fruits are the best natural source of the types of vitamins the immune system thrives on. Try to eat plenty of citrus fruits, especially oranges, but remember that practically every fruit contains valuable vitamins. And because it is always good to drink plenty of fluids when you have a cold, fruit juices are helpful as well. Just stay away from juices that contain high-fructose corn syrup and other unnatural elements. Go organic, whenever possible.
3. Light soups: There are good reasons why grandmothers the world over swear by chicken soup as the perfect remedy for the common cold. A good bowl of soup has many vitamins that can help boost your immune system, and the warm broth of the soup helps ease inflammation in the bronchial tubes and can even help fight congestion. Chicken soup works well, but any light, healthy soup can work wonders. Add plenty of pepper to give the soup an extra kick for clearing your nasal passages.
4. Spicy foods: Speaking of spices, spicy foods in general can provide worlds of relief when you are in the throes of a nasty cold. Any food with chili peppers, garlic, or ginger can help clear your nasal passages while also inhibiting the substances that cause inflammation in your body. And eating spicy foods is not just a folk remedy; numerous scientific studies have shown that it works.
5. Steam and humidity: The viruses that cause the common cold thrive on dry air, so you can use moisture to fight back in numerous ways. Use a humidifier in the room where you sleep to add a little moisture to the air. Take extra long, very hot showers and breathe deeply throughout. You can even simply hold your head above a steaming pot of water. Use these methods a few times a day, and your cold symptoms will be lessened.