Do Home Remedies for Colds Actually Work?

There are a lot of old women tales that are persistent though what it seems to be centuries. We all know at least a few, and it seems like different countries and cultures all have some very interesting solutions for common cold symptoms management. Some are based on science, and others not so much. Here we will go through the most popular and see why and if they work.

1. Soup

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Chicken, beef or vegetable, we all know that we are offered soup when we get sick. The science behind it is that the soup contains a lot of minerals and electrolytes that will help you rehydrate and balance the metabolites. This is especially the case if some digestive issues are in order. The soup is nutritious enough and yet very mild for the irritated stomach and bowels. Chicken or other meat of choice is an excellent source of proteins, and vegetables are a healthy addition to nutrition. While being sick it is essential to keep your fluids and eat healthily to give your body the power to overcome the disease.

2. Tea

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Another warm fluid recommended by people to drink when sick. The science behind it is the hydration, but some herbs do contain specific compounds that may relieve different symptoms. So, for example, cranberry tea can be used to relieve UTI infection symptoms, while chamomile can be used to soothe an upset stomach. For difficulties with gases and abdominal pains, cumin tea can be recommended. Before reaching for the herbal remedies make sure that the mixture is not made from the plants that you are allergic to, as well as if you are not pregnant since some plants are not recommended to be used during pregnancy.

In addition to this, you can add honey to your tea, since some research states that it has soothing effects onto irritated throat and windpipe. This is, again, if you are not allergic to it.

A good addition to your tea can be ginger since it does help your body fight infection and int can help with nausea.

3. Vitamin C

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There is a huge myth in vitamin C supplementation while being sick. It is true that our body cannot make its own vitamin C and that we need to take it every day by food, but the amount of this vitamin needed on daily bases is really small and it bearly reaches 90mg. The tablets you can buy contain up to 2000mg. What happens to the excess of vitamin C? You excrete it out, so instead of helping your body fight cold, you are just making very expensive urine. Research conducted with pure vitamin C has shown no correlation between increased intake of vitamin C and getting over the cold faster. This does do not mean that you should stop eating fruits and vegetables while being sick, as the body tries to fight off the infection a good and healthy pool of nutrients is preferable, so munch on those veggies but skip the vitamin C supplement.

4. Probiotics

Source: Harvard Health – Harvard University

The introduction of foods that contain probiotics will for sure be beneficial for the body any day, not just when dealing with the cold. By increasing the number of good bacteria in your gut, some research has shown an increase in the immune response, but the results were not as conclusive. What we know is that while being sick, cold can trigger some unpleasant digestive issues, so probiotic bacteria can assist you in overcoming these a bit faster. Also, all those products have a high nutritional value which is important for the body that is fighting an infection.

It is important to know when to stop and call up professional help. If the symptoms persist or they are too severe, you can check with a real doctor what to do, by visiting Yourdoctors.Online

5. Saltwater

Source: Science | HowStuffWorks

If you have clogged nose inhalation over the pot filled with salty water can help to drain the mucus. By adding additional moisture and expanding the airways it will help you get rid of the mucus and help you breathe. You can buy the solution and use it to wash the inside of the nose instead of using nose drops, this is especially good for children and if you are allergic or too sensitive to the nose drops. In addition to this, a humidifier can be used to help with dryness of mouth since while the nose is non-functional, we tend to breathe through or mouth which can increase the throat pain. Be careful with this since increased air humidity can trigger asthma attacks in some patients.

6. Warm baths

Source: Medical News Today

This one can be a bit tricky since a warm bath and evaporation of the water can be soothing to the clogged nose, it can cause an increase in the bodily temperature, so be very careful. It is always best to check if you have a fever before you go to the bathtub and rest for a few minutes. This is extremely important in children since their bodies are smaller and can heat up faster. If the body temperature is normal, taking a bath can be very soothing for painful muscles and joints especially if you add a few drops of essential oil. Peppermint oil will help to drain the mucus from the nose and sinuses. As mentioned, increased humidity can affect the patients that have asthma, so pay attention to the breathing rates.


Even though there are a lot of remedies, these are some of the most popular and famous. Not only that you need to be careful, but you should know when to seek professional help. Some of the remedies can be potentially dangerous for the ones who have allergies, asthma or for the ones who are pregnant. Some remedies, as vitamin C are not effective at all, while others will help you with symptom management. With colds, symptoms management is the best you can do, treat yourself right, rest and nurture your body till it fights off the infection.