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Head colds can make you feel miserable. The persistent coughing, sneezing, aches and pains, sore throat, and congestion can sap your energy and leave you feeling listless. Fortunately, there are natural home remedies for a head cold that can help relieve the symptoms and make you feel better quickly.
Before discussing natural home remedies for a head cold, it helps to know what causes a head cold and what symptoms to look out for.
What Causes a Head Cold?
A head cold, also known as the common cold, is caused by a viral infection. It can be any one of more than 200 different types of viruses that cause inflammation of the membranes lining the nose and throat.
The rhinovirus is the most common of these viruses and the cause of most head colds. It can be spread through the air, by direct contact, or even through shared objects such as glasses or utensils.
Common Head Cold Symptoms
The most common symptoms of a head cold are a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and a sore throat. Other symptoms might include a mild fever, headache, body ache, and general malaise.
Most head colds will resolve on their own within a week or two if you have a strong immune system. Those who have a weakened immune system are at risk of developing more complications such as a sinus infection or bronchitis. In severe cases, it can even lead to pneumonia.
Using natural home remedies for a head cold during the early stages can help prevent the symptoms from getting worse.
What’s the Difference Between a Head cold and a Chest cold?
All colds are essentially respiratory infections. They are caused by viruses that cause various membranes in the respiratory system to get inflamed. The difference between a head cold and a chest cold refers to where the symptoms are located.
If your symptoms include a stuffed or runny nose and watery eyes, it is a head cold as the symptoms are located in the head region.
However, if your symptoms include chest congestion and a bronchial cough, it would be called a chest cold.
The remedies are similar for both, a head cold and a chest cold.
What’s The Difference Between A Head Cold And Sinus Infection?
Head colds and sinus infections share several similar symptoms including a dripping nose, congested and blocked nasal passages, headache, and coughing with phlegm.
The main difference between a sinus infection and a head cold lies in what causes the symptoms. Head colds are caused by viruses. Sinus infections are also caused by viruses but it’s the bacteria that grow in the air-filled sinus cavities that cause the advanced symptoms. These may include pressure and tenderness in the face around the eye area and in the forehead.
Top 12 Natural Home Remedies For a Head Cold
Natural remedies for head colds are safe and effective and can be used by people of all ages. Plus, they are often cheaper than over-the-counter medications.
The natural home remedies for head colds mentioned below have been used for centuries and are known to work without any adverse effects. They will help to fast-track your recovery time and lessen the discomfort in the meantime.
1. INCREASE YOUR VITAMIN C INTAKE
Getting enough vitamins and nutrients is vital at all times, but even more so when you’re ill. When you’re sick, your body struggles to absorb crucial nutrients, creating a deficit in the body. This deficit can delay your recovery period so you stay ill longer. Vitamins and nutrients boost your immunity and help you recover much sooner.
There are a variety of vitamins and nutrients that can speed up recovery faster from a cold, the most important of which is vitamin C.
Vitamin C works to speed up the healing process by supporting the immune system. However, the body can’t store this vitamin.
The body only absorbs what it needs for the moment and expels any extra. This is why it’s so important to take Vitamin C supplements regularly. Taking Vitamin C before you get a cold can act as a good preventive measure as well.
Bell peppers, oranges, and citrus fruits are chockful of Vitamin C. Add these to your diet to keep those Vitamin C levels high.
2. STAY HYDRATED
Drinking a lot of fluid is so important when you have a chest or head cold.
For one thing, you aren’t eating or drinking as much as you typically do. In addition, you’re losing fluids through the nasal discharge. Both these together can cause you to get dehydrated.
Increasing your fluid intake helps to thin out the mucus in the airways and makes it easier to cough it up. Unsweetened juices and drinks that have added electrolytes can also help replenish those nutrients lost in the nasal discharge.
Cut back on your caffeine and soda intake. Caffeine will only dehydrate you even more while sugary sodas provide optimum conditions for bacteria to thrive.
3. Use a Humidifier
A humidifier is designed to release small quantities of water into the indoor atmosphere. This keeps the air in your home moist, which can help to loosen up the mucus in the airways.
Using a humidifier regularly can help to relieve the symptoms of a head cold and make you feel better faster. It is especially helpful when used at night as head cold symptoms generally tend to get worse when you lie down in bed.
4. Use Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is a powerful natural decongestant and can help to relieve the symptoms of a head cold.
To use eucalyptus oil, simply add a few drops of the oil to a bowl of hot water. Place a towel over your head and the bowl, and breathe in the steam for 10-15 minutes.
Doing a steam inhalation without eucalyptus oil will also help relieve head cold symptoms but it is less effective.
5. USE A NETI POT FOR SALINE IRRIGATION
A neti pot is a small pot that looks similar to a teapot. It is one of the most effective natural remedies for a head cold.
You put warm, saline water into the device, insert the spout into your nasal passage and let the water flush through. Repeat on the other side.
The warm saline water flushes your nasal passages and clears the congestion and sinuses, giving you instant relief. Plus, the warm water going through your nasal passages can feel immensely soothing. It offers much-needed comfort from the congestion and frequent sneezing, and runny nose.
Never used a neti pot before? How to Use a Neti Pot for Sinus Relief.
6. Make & Drink This Honey-Lemon Drink
Honey and lemon is a classic home remedy for a head cold. The honey helps to coat and soothe the throat, while the lemon helps to break up the mucus in the airways.
To make a honey and lemon drink, simply mix one tablespoon of honey, the juice of half a lemon, and a cup of hot water. Drink this two to three times a day to help relieve the symptoms of a head cold.
Honey also works by itself to reduce head cold symptoms.
7. Eat plenty of Ginger & Garlic
Ginger and garlic are some of the most powerful herbs for head colds.
Ginger helps to relieve congestion, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system.
To use ginger for a head cold, simply steep a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a cup of hot water. Drink this two to three times a day to help relieve the symptoms of a head cold. A cup of hot ginger tea can work wonders to help soothe your nausea, and headaches when you get a cold.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antiviral, which makes it a great home remedy for a head cold. It also works to boost the immune system. Not only will it help you to fight off your existing symptoms, but it will also help you fight off a head cold in the future.
To use garlic for a head cold, chop up two cloves of garlic and add them to a cup of hot water. Let the garlic steep for 10 minutes, then strain and add a teaspoon of honey. Drink this two to three times a day to help relieve the symptoms of a head cold.
8. Drink Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works by breaking up the mucus in the airways, which reduces congestion.
Look for organic apple cider vinegar with the mother for the best results.
Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of honey in a cup of hot water. Drink this two to three times a day to help relieve the symptoms of a head cold.
9. Make These DIETARY CHANGES
Several studies have shown that the right diet can work as a powerful natural remedy for head colds.
Your diet should include foods, herbs, and spices that are known to reduce the symptoms and heal your body more quickly. On the other hand, you need to avoid foods that are known to make those symptoms worse.
Foods to avoid: Avoid dairy foods, which can worsen some of the symptoms as it promotes the production of phlegm. If your head cold is accompanied by excessive congestion, phlegm, or ear infections, dairy can actually make these side effects worse. This is even if you are not allergic to dairy. Try cutting out dairy and see what a difference it makes.
9. Drink Warm Herbal Tea
Herbal teas offer dual benefits, in that they help you stay hydrated and you also get the benefits of the herb.
You can make an herbal tea by steeping a tablespoon of dried herbs such as chamomile, thyme, or rosemary in a cup of hot water.
Alternately, you can buy herbal tea bags with the herbs mentioned above.
Drink a warm cup of freshly brewed herbal tea two to three times a day to help relieve the symptoms of a head cold.
11. Steam Inhalation
Steam inhalation is another effective way to relieve the symptoms of a head cold. The steam helps to loosen up the mucus in the nose and throat, and it also helps to soothe the irritated tissues in the airways.
To do steam inhalation, fill a bowl with hot water and add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Place a towel over your head and the bowl, and breathe in the steam for 10-15 minutes.
Adding eucalyptus oil is not mandatory but it does boost the effectiveness of the steam inhalation.
Natural home remedies for a head cold can be a great way to relieve the symptoms and make you feel better faster. Natural remedies are solution whether you’re dealing with a head cold or just looking for ways to boost your immune system.
Recipes for 3 Healing Soups for a Head Cold
If you are suffering from a head cold, one of the best things you can do is give your body healthy foods without a lot of artificial ingredients. You might know that chicken noodle soup does a body good when you have a cold, but that’s not the only type of soup that is good for you. Here are some different options to try out.
1. Chicken and Veggie Soup
A bowl of delicious chicken and vegetable soup is an excellent way to get the nutrients you need to boost your immune system when you have a cold. It is also a good detox soup, so if you want to detox your body after your cold, try this soup out.
The exact recipe is up to you and your preferences, but it’s a good take on a classic chicken soup, without the noodles.
Like many chicken soups, this starts with chicken breast that is already cooked and either shredded or cut into cubes. You can also get a cooked rotisserie chicken and shred that as well.
Add in your chicken or vegetable stock, celery, carrots, and onions.
Add in other veggies such as chickpeas, kale or spinach, mushrooms, and bell peppers according to the taste.
For spices, try salt and pepper, herbs, crushed ginger, crushed garlic, and some turmeric for added immune-boosting power.
2. Coconut Bok Choy Soup
This is another variation of a simple soup that can help treat your head cold with nutritious ingredients, while also helping to relieve your symptoms.
This is a vegetarian soup, but you can of course add in some cooked chicken or turkey for added protein.
The soup uses vegetable stock and a good helping of baby bok choy, making sure the bottoms are chopped off before you add it to the pot.
Add in some mushrooms, celery, onion, garlic, and kale.
Go with turmeric once again for added nutrition, along with some ginger, garlic, and coconut oil.
3. Healing Pho Soup
If you enjoy eating pho soup, you will love this recipe when you have a cold. You get to enjoy the warm goodness, while also having something delicious and healing for your body.
The main ingredient in pho soup is soba noodles. You can find a wide variety of soba noodles on Amazon, including organic and gluten-free soba noodles.
Use vegetable broth as the main base of the soup, or you can prepare your favorite broth from any Asian soup recipe. To this add chopped green onions and cilantro leaves.
To spice it up, add some jalapeno, and for a little crunch, add in crushed peanuts as well.
You can turn this into a chicken noodle soup if you like by simply adding some chopped chicken.
Don’t let a head cold make you miserable for too long. Try one of these natural remedies for head colds to get relief from those nasty symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.