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Winter Wellness: Home Remedies for the Common Cold

Monday, November 19, 2018 7:56 AM

Coughing, sneezing and fatigue are familiar symptoms of the common cold. They are bothersome, they slow us down and we want them gone. Whether we are sick ourselves or caring for our sick kids, we want to be able to get better fast.

Susan Roth, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, gives us five tips on how to help your body fight against the common cold this winter:

  1. Chicken soup. Mom was right; chicken soup does help when you are sick! Research shows that chicken soup is the most effective at reducing upper respiratory infections. Low-sodium soup helps you stay hydrated.
  2. Honey. Honey in tea with lemon helps to soothe throat pain. Honey also acts as a cough suppressant. When taken before bedtime, honey can help reduce pain and irritation and aid in sleep.
  3. Humidity. Increasing the humidity in your surroundings decreases your exposure to influenza, which transfers easily in dry environments. Humidifiers help reduce nasal inflammation, and when supplemented with vapor rub, can lessen coughing which is a big plus for bedtime.
  4. Fluids. Drinking plenty of fluids helps break up congestion and moistens the throat. Most importantly, it helps you from becoming dehydrated.
  5. Rest. When you first feel symptoms of a cold, it’s crucial to get rest. Your body needs the energy to fight off the infection.

It can take 7-10 days to get over a cold. Everyone wants to get better after 2-3 days, but you have to just be patient and take care of yourself – it will get better over time.

What home remedies have helped you fight colds?