There are a number of time-tested remedies that might help ease your symptoms and shorten the duration of your cold or flu. These methods might be as effective--or more effective--than any over-the-counter medicine:
- Rest and relax. Sleep is healing, and avoiding stress can help your immune system work better.
- Drink plenty of fluids, including warm fluids like tea and soup. Tea with honey is especially helpful if you have a sore throat. One small study found that the popular "Throat Coat" brand of medicinal tea actually does reduce sore throat discomfort, as compared to placebo tea.137
- Take a warm bath, especially if you have a headache and/or muscle aches.
- Breathe humidified air by using a humidifier, taking a hot shower, or sitting in a bathroom with a shower running. This is especially useful for relieving congestion and coughing.
- Gargling with warm salt water can help relieve a sore throat.
- Using a saline nasal spray can relieve congestion.
Effect of Acupuncture on Viral Upper Respiratory Infections (Colds and Influenza)
Acupuncture can help to strengthen the immune system, thus leaving it less susceptible to infections including common colds and influenza.
Effect of Yoga on Viral Upper Respiratory Infections (Colds and Influenza)
Having a healthy routine, like one that includes yoga, is important for keeping the body healthy and able to fight off colds and influenza well. It is important to know when to rest with a cold or...
Read more about Viral Upper Respiratory Infections (Colds and Influenza) and Yoga.
- Brinckmann J, Sigwart H, van Houten Taylor L. Safety and efficacy of a traditional herbal medicine (Throat Coat) in symptomatic temporary relief of pain in patients with acute pharyngitis: a multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. J Altern Complement Med. 2003;9:285-298.
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