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What are Some Natural Cold Remedies?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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While no cure for the common cold has ever been discovered, there are many different kinds of cold remedies available to help manage cold symptoms. Some of these solutions may also help to shorten the duration of the cold by making sure the body has what it needs to fight off the shivers, aches, and general stuffiness that are part of the common cold. Natural cold remedies are ideal options for people who prefer to fight a cold through the use of herbs, vitamins, minerals and a balanced diet. Here are a few examples.

Natural cold remedies for the common cold often are geared at helping replace some of the nutrients that are quickly depleted once the cold has settled. By adding additional amounts of Vitamin C, the B vitamins, and zinc to the daily diet, it is possible to make sure the body’s immune system has the fuel necessary to chip away at the cold or flu and shorten the duration of the cold. These vitamins and minerals can easily be obtained by drinking plenty of fresh fruit juices, eating green vegetables, and enjoying a hot bowl of chicken soup that is seasoned with hot pepper spices. If possible, include onions and fresh garlic to meals. It is also possible to take nutritional supplements spaced throughout the day to ensure that the body has what it needs to deal with the cold.

One of the most important natural ways to deal with a cold is to get plenty of rest. However, it is very hard to sleep when the congestion, aching and a sense of having a head stuffed with cotton is a constant reminder of being sick. For this reason, the use of natural remedies that help to open up the nasal passages and relieve some of the aches will go a long way to help achieve recuperative sleep. Herbal teas made with chamomile, peppermint, cayenne pepper, ginger and cinnamon can help provide an enhanced sense of well being and make it easier to fall asleep. Toss in some lemon or honey for additional benefit. If there is still trouble sleeping, try adding a calcium, magnesium, and zinc supplement to the mix. The combination of these three minerals help to relax the nervous system and will help ease some of the discomfort associated with a cold.

Along with hot soup and hot tea, foods that are loaded with green vegetables and lots of hot spices can often clear the head and make it easier to recover from a cold. For people who enjoy Thai cuisine, ordering a dish including red and green bell peppers, broccoli, onions and other vegetables in an extra spicy curry sauce provides a wide range of nutrients essential to fighting colds. These spicy natural cold remedies will provide some sensation of taste even if the head congestion seems to have rendered the taste buds useless, and will often provide a great deal of relief for a short period of time.

It is important to note there is not one single cold remedy that functions as a magic bullet to get rid of a cold overnight. Instead, natural cold remedies are aimed at giving the body some ammunition to fight with by keeping nutrition levels high, keeping the body hydrated, and helping the body and mind to relax enough to get plenty of sleep. Getting over a cold does take time. But by using a mix of natural cold remedies, it is possible to ease the discomfort significantly and help the body’s natural defenses deal with the situation in a timely manner.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By mendocino — On Mar 27, 2010

When I was little and had a cold, my mother would insist I stay in bed. She would make chamomily tea and give me an aspirin if I had any aches. She would also scramble an egg for breakfast and give me soup later in the day.

Staying in bed invariably made me sleep more. In a couple of days I was good to go.

Some studies are coming out now proving my mother right. They claim that sleeping more than seven hours at night will speed up the healing process by as much as three times, which is really no surprise to some of us. Instinctively and traditionally we knew that rest helps the body heal faster, or in more scientific terms, the immune system gets a boost, particularly by sleep.

Our mothers knew all along, without any laboratory tests, without any fancy studies.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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