Got a Cold? Treat Symptoms With These 13 Tips

POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim
POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim

There's tons of information out there on how to prevent a cold, but once you've got one, it feels impossible to treat it, right? While there's no "cure" or fix for a cold, there are things you can do to heal more quickly, alleviate symptoms, and keep your body functioning as best it can. Pick any combination of these 12 tips (or try them all!) to get yourself back to healthy and happy.

  1. Sleep. The best way to heal? Get some rest. Take time off work (please — don't get everyone else sick!) for yourself and others. Cancel plans, sleep as much as possible, and then do the rest of these things to alleviate your symptoms.
  2. Drink tea and soup. Warm liquids can soothe a sore throat and ease congestion.
  3. Use tea tree oil. Dip a Q-tip in some tea tree oil and swab your throat. Just trust us on this one.
  4. And peppermint oil. Did you know peppermint oil can help alleviate headaches and pain? Put a few drops into a diffuser or some boiling water, and inhale the soothing fragrance.
  5. Try a cold pack. Apply a cool pack or one of those gel face masks to your sinuses to soothe pain and reduce inflammation.
  6. Load up on vitamin C. You saw this one coming, didn't you! Vitamin C fortifies your immune system and helps you heal more quickly, so load up on that orange juice! You can try making this immunity shot with an orange juice base.
  7. Hydrate. Speaking of OJ, drink tons of water. You need to stay as hydrated as possible, as colds can often dehydrate your body.
  8. Do a salt gargle. Mix some salt with warm water, gargle (like with mouthwash), and spit it out (please don't drink it). This can kill bacteria (just like the tea tree oil) and ease pain.
  9. Make a DIY throat spray. Using tea and some natural ingredients, you can make your own sore throat reliever.
  10. Get a quick checkup. You don't always need to see a doctor, especially when you have a cold. But when your symptoms feel unbearable and you're worried it might be more than just a bug, your local pharmacy may offer a quick checkup for colds (like CVS's MinuteClinic).
  11. Try a pain reliever. While we're all for natural remedies, even naturopathic doctors recommend NSAIDs like ibuprofen for pain relief (in small amounts).
  12. Take a hot shower. Steam up the bathroom, and take a hot shower to alleviate congestion and soothe aches.
  13. Invest in a neti pot. It may sound odd and look gross, but neti pots work. The holistic health remedy helps flush out mucus in the nose, allowing you to breathe better and ward off bacterial growth, which can lead to further infection.