With no cure in sight for the cold or the flu, current treatments can at best bring symptom relief or shorten the duration of those symptoms. You can take one of a variety of medications that may help relieve your symptoms. Or you can take the natural approach.
1. Drink hot liquids
Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, help prevent dehydration, and can soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. Plus it’s nice to drink warm.
2. Blow your nose often — and the right way
It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can cause an earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other. Wash your hands after blowing your nose.
3. Stay rested
Resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket.
4. Take vitamin C
Boost your immune system with Vitamin C every few hours. It will ensure your immune system is in top condition to fight the virus.
Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle — such as tea that contains tannin — to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, popular in folk medicine. Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling. Honey should never be given to children less than 1 year old.
6. Take a steamy shower
Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.
7. Use a salve under your nose
A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can open breathing passages and help soothe the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.
8. Apply hot or cold packs around your congested sinuses
Either temperature may help you feel more comfortable. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at a drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 55 seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it’s right for you.) Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.
9. Sleep with an extra pillow under your head
This will help with the drainage of nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.
10. Echinacea and goldenseal for your stomach
Use herbs such as echinacea and goldenseal which are said to help with influenza, also try ginger tea to settle your stomach.
11. For you throat
Take slippery elm and marshmallow for an irritated throat and cough.
Also you can dissolve a zinc lozenge under your tongue every two hours, not only are these a great immunostimulant, they will also make your throat feel better.
12. Garlic pills to cleanse
Try to swallow 2 garlic pills 3 times a day; these act as an antiboitic and are said to cleanse the system.
13. For your nose try Eucalyptus
Inhale eucalyptus oil by putting five drops in a hot bath or a cup of water.
14. As soon as you can eat..
Start with broth (chicken or vegetable) and dry crackers once you can tolerate food.
Remember, serious conditions can masquerade as the common cold and a mild infection can evolve into something more serious. If you have severe symptoms or are feeling sicker with each passing day, see a doctor.