Home Remedies for Colds


How to cure a cold fast

Can you get rid of a cold in 24 hours?  Unlikely, but if you treat the symptoms immediately you might shorten its length and severity. Here are a few home remedies for that common cold to help you get back on your feet fast! 

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Colds usually start with a scratchy throat

It’s the middle of the night…you wake with a sore throat and a cold. Instead of turning over and hoping you can sleep if away, take action.  Get up, boil some water and mix it with salt and turmeric.  Let it cool and gargle away!  The anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antibacterial properties of turmeric can stop the germ factory in your throat. Go back to sleep and if possible, give yourself a few extra hours of rest.  

When you drag yourself into the events of the day it’s likely that your cold will take hold (and everyone gets to share you germs!) Take action by dialing back on the activity so that you don’t get sicker!

Zinc for colds

Zinc is effective in reducing the length of colds but primarily when taken within the first 24 hours of onset of symptoms.  Be sure to use lozenges instead of sprays or nasal swabs, as these have been associated with decreasing your sense of smell.   

While zinc lozenges need to have enough zinc to be effective (between 13 and 23 mgs), don’t pop them like candy, because too much can actually suppress your immune system.  When your symptoms begin to subside, reduce your zinc intake to a more moderate level.  

How much zinc is right for you?

Zinc is an essential mineral for health and assists in the functions of over 300 enzymes in the body.  It’s a strong resource for maintaining the immune system and cellular repair.  Current daily recommendations are between 11-13 mg of zinc in healthy adults.  As with all nutrients, it’s best to consume zinc from food sources.  Red meat, shellfish and legumes are high in zinc.  Seeds, nuts, eggs, dairy and poultry all have zinc in lesser quantities. 

Easy Cold Remedies

Colds have been around for as long as humans, but the way we treat them has changed dramatically in the last 50 years.  Rather than the home remedies that our grandmothers might have shared, we now go to the closest drug store and grab whatever over-the-counter product marketed for our symptoms.

While we might get some immediate relief, there’s not much evidence that these products shorten the duration of colds, and in some cases might suppress the body’s ability to return to health.

Natural Home Remedies

Why not turn to some time tested ways to feel better that you can find in your kitchen or grocery store?  Staying hydrated is paramount and warm teas are a great way to both reduce your down time and feel better.

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Turmeric has received lots of attention lately with good reason.  It’s naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-biotic.  Try sipping this tea all day for relief: 

1 tsp turmeric (or substitute tulsi)

 ½ fresh lemon juice

1 inch fresh ginger

pinch of black pepper

½ tsp of raw honey

How do you flush out your sinuses?

Using a Neti pot is a great way to both prevent and treat stuffy, runny noses.  There are a couple of important things to remember when using your neti pot:

Boil the water before using (kills microbes that might not be friendly).

Let the water cool to lukewarm and then add salt.

Salt water should be the salinity of tears: if it burns it’s either too much or not enough.  Taste it if you’re not sure.

Turn your head so that one ear points towards the sink.  Slowly pour the water into top nostril.  If it drips out of the bottom nostril, you can continue until the sinus feels clear.

If your nose feels full, and/or the water is moving into the throat, pause, blow your nose and try again.  It might take several attempts before you clear out the sinus cavity but the results are well worth it!

Clear the air(waves)

Turning off your electronic devices, sleeping and taking time for self-care can get you back into your life quickly!

Feel Better Yoga and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Feel Better Yoga is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program


Karen Quinn