Naturally relieving cold symptoms

Drinking tea alleviates throat soreness and can stifle coughing. It is known to soothe chest pain and relax chest muscles.

Drinking tea alleviates throat soreness and can stifle coughing. It is known to soothe chest pain and relax chest muscles.

Zoe Werner, Staff Reporter

As the cold weather drags on, many of our immune systems are struggling to fight the overwhelming amount of germs compromising our health. One of the most frequent illnesses during this time of year is the common cold. Although there is an assortment of syrups and over-the-counter medications to decrease the symptoms, there is no definite cure for a cold. While these medications are successful, there are often all sorts of chemicals and ingredients that are unknown to the typical consumer. Instead of putting mysterious substances in your body, why not try a few natural solutions that have similar effects? Behold, five natural cold remedies that will have you feeling better in no time!

  First of all, hydration is absolutely vital. A headache will be worsened drastically by dehydration, so make sure to drink plenty of water. Another hydration option is tea. Tea will help to soothe chest pains and irritation from coughing, and the addition of honey will help to alleviate a sore throat. Junior Marcelo Maltrana says that “in my experience, honey with a hint of lime not only works to soothe my sore throat, but it also acts as a cough suppressant. When I get a cold, this is the first thing I try.” The combination of tea, honey, and lemon juice will loosen congestion and aid in clearing nasal cavities. 

  Secondly, gargling a saltwater solution can temporarily soothe a sore or scratchy throat. Simply mix about half a teaspoon of salt with an eight-ounce cup of water until dissolved. Gargle water for 30 seconds and throat pain will be minimized. 

  Steam is an easy decongestant. Take a hot shower; the steam will moisturize your nasal passages, and the hot water will help your muscles relax and reduce aching. Additionally, a cool-mist humidifier will add moisture to the air to loosen any congestion.   

  Spicy foods just became your best friend! Certain spices open up your sinuses, clearing mucus from the nose, and even break up mucus in the chest. Chilli peppers are the most effective, but any spicy foods should do the trick!

  Finally, get plenty of rest! Your body is hard at work fighting the invading virus, so do your part and get plenty of sleep to refuel. While sleeping, elevate your head with extra pillows, or create a gradual slope by placing pillows between the mattress and the box spring. Elevation promotes clearing of your nasal passages, improving comfort and ability to breathe through your nose. 

  Although none of these tricks are 100% guaranteed, they are proven to be quite effective by many people around us.  While medications are effective, everyday household ingredients and items offer a simpler, natural solution to uncomfortable cold symptoms.