Simple Ways to Ease a Cold


Colds — about 30 million Americans are coughing, sneezing and blowing their noses while you read this. What’s wrong with them? They have the most common illness known — the common cold.

The common cold usually lasts about three to seven days and the average person gets three to four colds each year. Symptoms of a cold include: sneezing, runny nose, fever of 101°F or less, sore throat, and dry cough.

Self-Care Tips

  • Rest in bed if you have a fever.
  • Drink losts of liquids to help clear out your respiratory tract.
  • Use salt water drops to relieve nasal congestion. Mix 1/2 tsp. of salt in one cup of warm water. Place in a clean container. Put three to four drops into each nostril several times a day, with a clean medicine dropper.

For a sore throat:

  • Gargle every few hours with a solution of 1/4 tsp. of salt dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water.
  • Drink tea with lemon (with or without honey)
  • Suck on a piece of hard candy or medicated lozenge every so often. (Do not give to children under age five.)
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to add moisture to the room.
    Have chicken soup. It helps clear out mucous.
  • Check with your doctor before trying vitamin C. For some people, vitamin C helps them feel better when they have a cold and may help keep them from getting a cold, but it hasn’t been medically proven.

Prevention of a Cold

  • Wash your hands often. Keep them away from your nose, eyes and mouth.
  • Try to avoid touching people or their things when they have a cold, especially the first two to three days of the cold. This is the most contagious period.
  • Get lots of exercise and sleep well.
  • Use a handkerchief or tissues when you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose. This helps keep you from passing cold viruses to others.
  • Use a “cool mist” vaporizer in your bedroom during the winter.

Source: American Institute for Preventive Medicine, 1-800-345-2476