How to Get Rid of a Cold

A common cold, with its sneezing, runny nose, and scratchy throat, is a frequent visitor that can leave you feeling miserable.

How to Get Rid of a Cold
How to Get Rid of a Cold

While there’s no magical cure to make a cold disappear instantly, there are numerous strategies and remedies that can help alleviate your symptoms and speed up the recovery process.

In this article, we’ll explore a range of practical tips and natural remedies to help you combat the common cold and get back to feeling your best.

This comprehensive overview will provide you with valuable insights to help you on your journey to recovery. So, let’s dive in and discover how to get rid of a cold and regain your vitality.

What is a Cold?

The common cold is a virus-based infection that mainly affects your nose and throat. It’s usually not serious, but it can make you feel pretty crummy!

Adults typically get about two or three colds each year, while kids get them more often. Fortunately, most people recover from a cold in about seven to ten days.

To protect yourself and prevent the virus from spreading, one of the best things you can do is to wash your hands regularly.

What Are the Common Cold Symptoms?

Usually, after being around the cold virus for a day or three, you might start feeling:

  1. Runny or stuffy nose.
  2. Sore throat.
  3. Cough.
  4. Sneezing.
  5. Body aches and a headache.
  6. Slight fever.
  7. Just feeling tired and not so great.

Most folks can handle a cold on their own, but if your symptoms get worse, your fever sticks around for more than three days, or you’re having trouble breathing, a really bad headache, sore throat, or sinus pain, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your doctor for advice.

How to Get Rid of Cold

Here are some simple remedies that work for getting rid of cold quickly:

  1. Eat Light Foods

When you have a cold, eating can help you feel better. It supports your immune system in fighting the virus. Stick to easy-to-digest meals like:

  • Bone broth with chicken and veggies.
  • Chicken noodle soup.
  • Scrambled eggs with basil, spinach, and tomatoes.
  • Carrot and ginger soup.
  • Winter vegetable and lentil soup.
  1. Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep is not only important for feeling better; it also helps your immune system. Good sleep regulates your body’s defence against infections. If you’re sick, make your sleep environment cosy, avoid too much caffeine, and don’t use too many cold remedies.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Drinking lots of fluids is a common tip when you have a cold. While we don’t know exactly why it helps, staying hydrated may support your immune system in fighting the virus.

  1. Soothe with Honey and Ginger

When you want a natural remedy for your cold, try a honey and lemon hot drink or ginger tea. Honey can help soothe your throat, especially at bedtime.

Some studies in children with respiratory symptoms like coughs and runny noses found that a night-time dose of honey might ease their cough and improve their sleep. Just remember not to give honey to kids under 12 months old.

Ginger not only tastes great but has been used in traditional medicine for various health issues, including colds, fever, and sore throats. It contains compounds like gingerols that offer soothing benefits.

  1. Eat More Garlic

While garlic might help prevent colds in adults, there’s no strong evidence it can cure a cold you already have. However, one study found that taking an aged garlic extract could boost immune cell function, potentially reducing symptom severity.

  1. Boost Your Zinc Levels

Zinc might shorten the duration and severity of a cold, but you need to take a zinc supplement as soon as you feel symptoms starting. Foods rich in zinc like cacao powder, cashews, nuts, seeds, and beans can also help. Combining zinc with vitamin C may provide faster relief.

  1. Eat More Fermented Foods

A healthy gut is essential for overall well-being, as it plays a significant role in your immune system. Probiotics, found in fermented foods, can reduce the duration and severity of a cold.

To promote gut health, include fermented foods in your daily diet, whether you’re sick or not. Options include slow cooker bio yoghurt, berry yoghurt pots, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.

  1. Boosting Vitamin C

Vitamin C is often mentioned as a way to prevent the common cold. However, it seems more useful for people exposed to intense physical stress, like marathon runners or those in very cold places.

For the rest of us, taking vitamin C might only slightly reduce the time we’re sick. It’s better to eat a variety of fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C, like leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, kiwi, and citrus. Here are some ideas:

  • Winter vegetable & lentil soup.
  • Supergreen soup with lentils & pine nuts.
  • Red pepper hummus with crispbread snaps.
  • Fruit & nut breakfast bowl.
  1. Trying Lemon

Lemon in a hot drink with honey and ginger can be comforting but don’t expect too much from the lemon. It’s rich in vitamin C and has some antibacterial properties, but there’s not much scientific proof that it cures colds.

  1. Clearing Your Nose

Using a saline nasal spray or steam inhalation isn’t proven to relieve cold symptoms.

  1. Avoiding Antibiotics

Antibiotics don’t work against cold or flu viruses, so taking them won’t help you get better.

When To See a Doctor 

You should proceed to see a doctor if:

  1. Severe Symptoms.
  2. Persistent High Fever.
  3. Difficulty Breathing.
  4. Persistent Cough with Blood or Discoloured Mucus.
  5. Earache or Sinus Pain.
  6. Worsening Symptoms.
  7. Existing Health Conditions Complicated by the Cold.
  8. Concern About Complications or Uncertain Symptoms.

If your symptoms don’t go away, check the NHS for advice on non-prescription meds. If you’re worried about your symptoms, or you’re elderly, pregnant, have a long-term health problem, or your little one is a baby, ask your local GP for help.



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