man blowing into tissue while wrapped in blanket on his couch

6 of the Best Remedies for Cold and Flu Symptoms

December 15, 2023

It’s never fun to be sick. Whether you have a cold, the flu, or another respiratory illness, you likely want relief from your symptoms as soon as possible. While there are no remedies that can cure your illness immediately, there are a few things you can do to minimize the unpleasant symptoms you’re experiencing such as nasal congestion, cough, and sore throat. Here are some of the best remedies for cold and flu symptoms that may help provide the relief you’re seeking.

1. Salt Water Gargle

One of the most widely recommended remedies for cold and flu symptoms is gargling with salt water. This remedy can help moisten and soothe a sore throat to bring temporary relief. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and gargle with the solution. You can repeat this process four times daily to help ease the discomfort of a sore or scratchy throat and reduce cough-inducing mucus.

2. Saline Nasal Rinse

blue neti pot filled with saline solution

If you are suffering from a stuffy or runny nose, a saline nasal rinse is one of the remedies for cold and flu symptoms that you may find helpful. You can use a saline nasal spray or nasal irrigation kit to help relieve symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. Dissolve a quarter teaspoon each of salt and baking soda in eight ounces of distilled or previously boiled water. Then use a nasal bulb or neti pot to pour the solution into one nostril then let it drain. This will moisturize and drain mucus from your sinuses, helping to relieve nasal congestion.

3. Hot Liquids

It’s very important to drink lots of liquids when you are sick to prevent dehydration and to help thin and loosen mucus. One of the best remedies for cold and flu symptoms is drinking hot liquids in particular. Hot liquids such as tea or chicken soup are great for providing hydration while also relieving nasal congestion and soothing the inflamed membranes of your throat and nose. Add honey to your tea for more relief from throat pain and to help suppress a cough.

4. Steamy Shower

steam-filled bathroom

Humidity is great for reducing the dryness and inflammation in the nose and throat that accompany cold and flu symptoms. Take a long shower or linger in a steamy bathroom to breathe in the humid air. This can moisturize your nasal passages and help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. You can also use a humidifier near your bed or couch for a similar effect. Just make sure you change the water in the humidifier daily to prevent mold growth.

5. Rest

The absolute best of the remedies for cold and flu is rest. When you are sick, your body needs plenty of sleep and rest to fight the illness and recover. Resting while you are sick allows your body to direct its energy toward healing, which takes a lot out of your body. Getting plenty of sleep and rest allows your immune system to function at its best to fight off the virus causing the cold or flu from which you are suffering.

6. Herbs and Supplements

bottle of vitamin c supplements next to orange slice

If you are looking for remedies for cold and flu symptoms, you may find relief with the help of herbs and supplements. Natural supplements such as echinacea, garlic, ginger, elderberry, and ginseng may help boost your immune system to reduce the length and severity of your symptoms. Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and zinc may also help reduce the duration of cold symptoms.

More About Cold and Flu Season

These are some of the best remedies for cold and flu that may help you feel relief from your symptoms as your body recovers from the illness. If you want to learn more about cold and flu season and how you can protect yourself from the flu, check out this guide to everything you need to know about flu season so you can stay healthy this winter!

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