Home Remedies to Get Rid of Common Cold


The Common cold can be irritating, frustrating & at times very annoying. Common cold is a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract mainly your nose & throat. Common cold affects everyone right from toddler to elderly people. Know all about common cold and remedies to get rid of common cold instantly.

The Common cold is usually harmless however if not treated at a proper time it can lead to other infections like strep throat, bronchitis and even pneumonia. The Common cold is not completely curable as it is kind of infection of more than 200 viruses. However, symptoms of the common cold are curable.

Causes of Common Cold

 As per common cold virus facts, more than 200 viruses can cause a common cold. However, rhinovirus is the main common cold virus & it is highly contagious. Other causes include:

  • Change in weather conditions. Cold is especially common during winter & rainy season.
  • Virus of cold can also spread through the droplets in air mainly when someone affected by illness coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • Another major cause of common cold is hand-to-hand contact with a person who is already suffering from the cold. If you touch your eyes, nose or a mouth after such contact then you are likely to be affected by the cold.
  • Sharing contaminated objects used by person having a cold like utensils, towels, toys, telephones etc. can also lead to common cold
  • Around 10% to 15% of adult colds occur because of viruses which are also responsible for other dangerous respiratory diseases.

What are the Symptoms of the Common Cold?

Common cold symptoms usually appear about 1 to 3 days after body becomes infected to a cold-causing virus. These symptoms of a cold are normally gone in 7 to 10 days, however, in certain cases these symptoms of the common cold remain from 2 to 14 days. So what are the symptoms of a common cold? Let’s have a look!

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Itchy or sore throat
  • Headache
  • Itchy eyes
  • Body aches
  • Sneezing
  • Mild fatigue

How Long does the Common Cold Last?

Common cold duration is typically for 1 to 2 weeks. If we look at a breakup, most uncomplicated colds last around 8 to 9 days. However, about 25 percent last two weeks, and 5 to 10 percent lasts three weeks.

So how long is a common cold contagious? Well! a common cold is mainly contagious during first three days when you have cold symptoms. So it is advisable that you stay home during this period & take the rest instead of passing cold to others.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Common Cold

Basic questions relating to common cold like what is the common cold?  What are the types of common cold virus? What are the causes & symptoms of common cold? And how long does a common cold last? are answered in above paragraphs.

Want to know the best part? Here we also explain in detail about different types of common cold remedies. Given below is the list of home remedies to get rid of common cold which you can make use of to treat common cold.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Cure for the Common Cold

Apple cider vinegar with its antibacterial, antiviral & anti-fungal properties is a great line of defense against the common cold. ACV builds an alkaline environment in your body which makes it very difficult for viruses to survive.

 What you need

  • Apple cider vinegar – 2 tsp
  • Water – ½ glass
  • Raw honey – 1 tsp

What you need to do

  1. Mix 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar & 1 tsp of raw honey with a ½ glass of water.
  2. Strain and consume this health drink 3 to 4 times a day to treat the common cold.

2. Ginger Tea for Treating Common Cold

Ginger consists of a compound called as ‘gingerol’ which assists in relieving congestion. Antiviral, expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger make it an effective common cold treatment.

What you need:

  • Ginger root (freshly grated) – 6 tbsp
  • Honey – 1 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Glass jar (at least 1 litre) – 1

What you need to do:

  1. Put 6 tbsp of freshly grated ginger root in a glass jar.
  2. Now boil a cup of water & pour it in a jar.
  3. Steep the mixture for around 30 to 40 minutes & make sure that your jar is covered.
  4. Strain and add 1 tsp of honey to the mixture.
  5. Now drink this mixture i.e. Ginger Tea 3 times a day for curing a common cold.

[Also Read: How Ginger Treat Asthma Naturally at Home]

3. Garlic

Garlic’s antibacterial and antiviral properties make it one of the classic cures for a common cold. Garlic is also beneficial for the immune system and helps in opening up of respiratory passages which enable to flush toxins out of your body.

Method 1

What you need:

  • Garlic clove (crushed) – 1
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Honey – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – ½ tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Mix 1 crushed Garlic clove with 2 tsp of Lemon Juice, 1 tsp honey & ½ tsp red chilli powder
  2. Stir the mixture & drink it daily till the symptoms subside completely.

Method 2: Garlic & Honey for common cold

What you need:

  • Garlic cloves (chopped) – 4 to 5
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Honey – 1 tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Boil 4 to 5 chopped garlic cloves in a cup of water.
  2. Add 1 tsp of honey to it.
  3. Drink this mixture 3 times a day as an efficient remedy for the common cold.

4. Essential Steam with combination of Eucalyptus & Tea Tree Oil

One of the instant home remedies to get rid of common cold is to steam out your nose. The best essential oils used for this purpose are strong ones like eucalyptus and tea tree oil. The antibacterial, antiviral properties of these oils help to combat the problem of common cold.

What you need:

  • Eucalyptus oil – ¼ tsp
  • Tea tree oil – ¼ tsp
  • Water – 3 to 4 cups
  • Heatproof bowl – 1
  • Towel – 1

What you need to do:

  1. Put ¼ tsp of Eucalyptus & Tea tree oil in the bottom of the heatproof bowl & then pour in around 3 to 4 cups of water.
  2. Now place your face over the bowl at a safe distance i.e. not too close to steam as it can cause some damage.
  3. Drape the Towel over your head in order to capture all the healing steam & then take deep breaths.
  4. Do this 2 to 3 times a day to dislodge congestion which in turn aids in reducing common cold symptoms.

5. How to get Rid of Common Cold with Spice Tea

Spice Tea is one of the highly beneficial home remedies to get rid of common cold. A Combination of coriander, cumin, fennel & fenugreek seeds with rock candy can be used for this purpose.

What you need:

  • Coriander seeds – 4 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Rock candy – 1 ½ tsp
  • Milk – 2 tbsp
  • Water – 1 cup

What you need to do:

  1. Dry roast and crush 4 tbsp of coriander seeds, 1 ½ tbsp of cumin & Fennel seeds and ¼ tsp of Fenugreek seeds to make a spice powder.
  2. Now boil a cup of water & add 1 ½ tbsp of this spice powder along with 1 ½ tsp of rock candy.
  3. Allow this solution to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes & then add 2 tbsp of milk to it.
  4. Bring the solution to a boil and then strain it.
  5. Drink this spice tea daily as one of the best common cold medicine.

6. Honey Onion Syrup for Common Cold

This is crazy but true. Syrup made of onion & honey can be used as a remedy for common cold. Onion consists of certain components that strengthen your immune system & act as natural antibiotics, anti-inflammatories & expectorants.  Honey with its antiviral & antibacterial properties can be used to treat common cold and also gives you relief from sore throat.

What you need:

  • Red onion – 1
  • Organic raw Honey – 1 cup
  • A tight fitting jar with lid – 1

What you need to do:

  1. Slice the onion evenly & put the base of the onion in your jar
  2. Pour honey in a layer over the onion slice.
  3. Continue to alternate layering the onion & honey and once completed cover the jar tightly with a lid.
  4. Keep this mixture in a jar overnight for about 8 to 12 hours.
  5. Once this mixture has sat out there will be liquid in the jar.
  6. Drink 3 tsp of liquid every hour to control the common cold.

Note: This syrup should be used fresh after you make it. You can store it in a fridge for up to 2 days maximum.

7. Mullein Tea Cure for the Common Cold

The expectorant properties of mullein tea can provide you relief from chest congestion which often comes with a cold. So how to get rid of a common cold with the help of mullein tea?  Let’s check the process given below:

What you need:

  • Dried mullein – 2 tbsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Strainer – 1
  • Honey – ½ tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Fill a strainer with 2 tbsp of dried mullein & put it in a cup of boiling water for around 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add ½ tsp of honey to it.
  3. Drink this mullein tea 2 to 3 times a day to get relief from the common cold.

[Also Read:How to Get Rid of Cold Sores]

8.Milk to Treat Common Cold

Milk has antiviral & antibacterial properties and when combined with Turmeric and ginger powder is one of the effective remedies for common cold.

What you need:

  • Milk – 1 glass
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Ginger powder – ½ tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Boil a glass of milk and add ½ tsp of turmeric powder & ½ tsp of ginger
  2. Now let the milk cool to room temperature
  3. Consume this drink 2 times a day especially before going to sleep to cure a common cold.

9. Chicken Soup Remedy for Common Cold

A Chicken soup consists of many important nutrients and vitamins that assist in treating a common cold. The high antioxidant properties present in chicken soup facilitate to speed up the healing process and get rid of head cold.

What you need:

  • Chicken – ½ kg
  • Onion (finely chopped) – 1
  • Large carrot (finely chopped) – 1
  • Garlic cloves (finely chopped) – 2
  • Water – 8 cups
  • Black peppercorns – ½ tsp
  • Sea salt – 1 tsp (approx)
  • Saucepan (large) – 1
  • Tongs – 1

What you need to do:  

  1. Put chicken, onion, carrot, garlic cloves, water, black peppercorns in a large saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Bring it to boil & reduce it to low and cook for around 40 minutes.
  3. Use tongs and transfer the chicken to clean work surface in order to cut the chicken meat from the bones.
  4. Now discard the bones & add the chicken meat to the soup by tearing it.
  5. Add 1 tsp sea salt (approx) for taste.
  6. Consume this chicken soup regularly till the symptoms of common cold

10. Cinnamon for Common Cold

Cinnamon has exceptionally high anti-oxidant activity & comes loaded with powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Cinnamon is also a rich source of manganese, fiber, iron and calcium. Therefore, Cinnamon can fight a common cold effectively and termed as one of the best home remedies to get rid of common cold.

What you need:

  • Cinnamon powder – 2 tbsp
  • Cloves – 2
  • Water – 1 glass
  • Honey – ½ tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Mix 2 tbsp of cinnamon powder, 2 cloves and ½ tsp honey in a glass of boiling water.
  2. Let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Now strain and drink it when it is warm.
  4. Consume this drink 3 times a day to get an answer to the question – how to get rid of the common cold fast?

11. Common Cold Treatment with Lemon Juice

Lemon juice or lime juice is yet another useful remedy for treating a common cold. Lemon juice has ample amount of vitamin C which improves the immune system by providing support to body’s natural defenses.

What you need:

  • Lemon – 1
  • Water – 1 glass
  • Honey – ½ tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Squeeze a lemon in a glass of water to make a lemon juice.
  2. Add ½ tsp of honey to this juice.
  3. Drink this juice daily to get rid of the common cold.

12. Goldenseal for Common Cold

Goldenseal is an astringent and antibacterial herb that works wonderfully on the mucous membranes. Goldenseal consists of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory & astringent properties which make it a potent remedy to combat common cold symptoms.

What you need:

  • Dried goldenseal – 2 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Honey – ½ tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Put 2 tsp of dried goldenseal in a cup of boiling water.
  2. Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Stir the mixture and add ½ tsp of honey & drink it 2 to 3 times a day.
  4. Do this regularly as an efficient common cold treatment.

13. Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry or ‘Sambucus nigra’ as it is commonly called has been used since ancient times to treat anything related to cold. Elderberries reduce inflammation of the mucous membranes thereby enabling you to breathe better & relieve congestion. It cuts down the duration of the cold & keeps your immune system strong.

What you need:

  • Dried elderberries – ½ cup
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Raw honey – 1 cup
  • Mason jar – 1
  • Saucepan – 1
  • Strainer – 1

What you need to do:

  1. Put ½ cup of dried elderberries & 3 cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat & allow it to simmer for around 50 minutes.
  3. Now strain the liquid by using a strainer.
  4. Add 1 cup of raw honey to the liquid once it has cooled down and stir until it is mixed properly.
  5. Bottle and keep it in a refrigerator for up to 3 months
  6. Drink 1 tsp of syrup every 3 to 4 hours to eliminate common cold symptoms.

14. Radish to Combat Common Cold

Radish, a crispy & spicy vegetable can work wonders to treat a common cold. Radish consists of lots of vitamins & minerals which are good for your health. The powerful antioxidants present in radishes assists to reduce your symptoms & length of time that you have the cold, Radish also helps to get rid of chest cold.

What you need:

  • Radishes – 2 to 3

What you need to do:

  1. Eat 2 to 3 radishes twice a day or mix it up with other vegetables or salads.
  2. Do this regularly in order to alleviate common cold symptoms.

15. How to get Rid of a Common Cold with Oregano Oil

Chemical constituents of oregano oil provide it antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal & antioxidant properties. Oil of oregano gives a boost to your immune system, fights pathogens & contains many nutrients which are useful to treat common cold.

What you need:

  • Oregano oil – ¼ tsp
  • Water – ½ cup

What you need to do:

  1. Mix ¼ tsp of oregano oil in a cup of water which is half full.
  2. Drink this mixture 2 to 3 times a day to beat a common cold.

16. Hot Tomato Soup

The hot & sizzling tomato soup is one of the essential home remedy to cure common cold. This is because Tomatoes comes loaded with antioxidants which give a tremendous boost to your immune system.

What you need:

  • Tomatoes – 5 to 6
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Garlic cloves (crushed) – 3
  • Chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Fresh basil (chopped) – 2
  • Saucepan – 1

What you need to do:

  1. Add Tomatoes, water, crushed garlic cloves, Fresh basil in a saucepan over medium to high heat.
  2. Now bring it to boil & reduce it to low and cook for around 20 minutes.
  3. Add ¼ tsp salt & ½ tsp chilli powder for taste.
  4. Drink this Tomato soup regularly till the symptoms of common cold disappears.

17. Common Cold Cure with Simple Home Syrup

Simple home syrup including marshmallow root, licorice root, cinnamon & ginger can be used to treat common cold. Marshmallow root and licorice root eases racking coughs and sore throats whereas, cinnamon & ginger relieve congestion & pain.

What you need:

  • Licorice root – 1 tbsp
  • Marshmallow root – 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon sticks – 6
  • Ginger (chopped) – 1 tbsp
  • Water (cold) – 4 cups
  • Organic raw honey – 1 cup
  • Glass jar with a tight sealing lid – 1
  • Saucepan – 1
  • Bottle – 1

What you need to do:

  1. Mix 1 tbsp of Marshmallow root, 1 tbsp of licorice root, 1tbsp chopped ginger, 6 cinnamon sticks in a saucepan along with 4 cups of cold water.
  2. Now simmer the mixture over low heat till it has been decreased by half & then strain it.
  3. Add 1 cup of organic raw honey to the liquid over the lowest level of heat stir.
  4. Let it sit for 10 minutes & then remove from the heat and bottle the liquid.
  5. Take 1 to 2 tbsp of this syrup 3 times a day to get rid of the common cold.

18. Nutmeg

Nutmeg or ‘jaiphal’ has many health benefits. Nutmeg consists of a compound known as myristicin which enables to clear the respiratory passage and therefore can be an effective remedy to combat the common cold.

What you need:

  • Nutmeg – 1 or 2
  • Grinding stone – 1
  • Milk – 4 tbsp

What you need to do:

  1. Make a nutmeg powder by rubbing 1 or 2 nutmegs on a flat grinding stone.
  2. Take around 2 tbsp of this powder & mix it with 4 tbsp of milk to form a paste.
  3. Apply this paste on your forehead and nose for instant relief from common cold symptoms.

[ Also Read:7 Best Home Remedies for Flu (Influenza)]

19. Ajwain Seeds to Combat Common Cold

Ajwain has been used since ages to fight cold symptoms. The germicide and antiseptic properties of ajwain can be helpful to counter the symptoms of common cold.

What you need:

  • Ajwain seeds (crushed) – 2 tbsp
  • Muslin cloth – 1

What you need to do:

  1. Take a muslin cloth & tie 2 tbsp of crushed ajwain seeds in it.
  2. Inhale it frequently until your cold disappears.

20. Betel Leaves Juice for Common Cold

Betel leaves with its various health benefits & healing properties can keep your common cold at bay. Betel leaves contain an essential oil that consists of phenol called as chavicol which has potential antiseptic properties.

What you need:

  • Betel leaves juice – 2 tsp
  • Honey – 1 tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Make betel leaves juice by crushing 4 to 5 betel leaves.
  2. Take 2 tsp of this juice & mix it with 1 tsp of honey
  3. Drink this juice 2 times a day about half an hour after food to heal common cold symptoms.

21. Basil (Tulsi) to Treat Common Cold

Basil, because of its incredible medical properties is a popular natural remedy for treating various illnesses. Basil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory & antibacterial properties and therefore, can be a good option for treating common cold.

What you need:

  • Basil leaves – 8 to 10
  • Water – 1 glass
  • Rock salt – ¼ tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Boil 8 to 10 basil leaves in a glass of water till the mixture becomes almost half.
  2. Now add ¼ tsp of rock salt to this mixture.
  3. Drink this mixture for 2 to 3 times a day to get rid of common cold.

22. Gargle to Bring Relief from Cold

Gargle is a process of washing your mouth and throat with a liquid which is kept in motion by breathing through it with a gurgling sound. Gargling enables to moisture your throat which brings temporary relief from common cold.

What you need:

  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Water – 1 cup

What you need to do:

  1. Add ½ tsp of salt to a cup of warm water.
  2. Now make use of this solution to gargle.
  3. Repeat the process 3 to 4 times a day to combat a common cold.

23. Lift Up your Head

This is one of the simplest common cold remedies. Lift or elevate your head with a help of an extra pillow while you are sleeping. This will provide you relief from the congested nasal passages. You can enjoy a better sleep without any breathing problem.

What you need:

  • Pillows – 2

What you need to do:

  1. While you are sleeping add an extra pillow over your regular pillow on your head side.
  2. Try to elevate your head up to 4 to 6 inches.
  3. Follow this procedure regularly to get rid of common cold symptoms.

24. Steam Breathing

Steam breathing gives you reprieve from the problem of stuffy nose and also gets rid of various common cold viruses.

What you need:

  • Water – 3 to 4 cups
  • Kettle – 1
  • Bath towel – 1
  • Vicks vapor rub – 1 tsp

What you need to do:

  1. Boil 3 to 4 cups of water in a kettle for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Now cover your head and other parts with a bath towel
  3. Cover it in such a way that steam should not escape from the towel.
  4. Add 1 tsp of Vicks vapor rub in boiling water.
  5. Inhale on the steam slowly.
  6. Do this regularly till the symptoms of common cold alleviate.

25. How to get Rid of the Common Cold with Hot Water Bag

The traditional hot water bag can be used effectively to treat common cold. The mild steady warmth of this bag will soften up the phlegm & will help to get rid of the deep congestion in your chest.

What you need:

  • Water (lukewarm) – 3 to 4 cups
  • Water bag – 1
  • Towel (soft) – 1

What you need to do:

  1. Fill the water bag in such a way that it is half full with lukewarm water.
  2. Burp it to throw the air out & then carry on filling almost to the top by leaving 1 – 2 inches of space at the top.
  3. Now wrap this hot water bag in a soft towel and lay it on your chest or on your back between the shoulder blades
  4. Continue doing this activity regularly till the congestion in the chest disappears.

26. Bath Salt to Clear the Common Cold Symptoms

A blend of bath salt can be an effective way to clear up congestion from your body. The aromatherapy combined with soothing warmth of the bath is a perfect combination you need to clear the common cold symptoms.

What you need:

  • Epsom salt – 1 cup
  • Eucalyptus oil – ¼ tsp
  • Peppermint oil – ¼ tsp
  • Lavender oil – ¼ tsp
  • Dish (small) – 1
  • Glass airtight container – 1
  • Water – ½ tub

What you need to do:

  1. Put 1 cup of Epsom salt in a glass airtight container & in the small dish mix ¼ tsp of eucalyptus oil, ¼ tsp peppermint oil & ¼ tsp lavender oil.
  2. Now add the oils to the Epsom salt & stir it thoroughly.
  3. Fill the tub half with water & add the combination of Epsom salt & essential oils to it.
  4. Now relax, breathe deeply and enjoy your bath.
  5. Follow this procedure regularly till your common cold symptoms go away.

27. How to Cure a Common Cold with Neti Pot

Neti pot is a technique used to clear the nasal passages with a mild saline solution. It is an efficient remedy to clear runny nose which is one of the major common cold symptoms.

What you need:

  • Neti pot – 1
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Baking soda – ¼ tsp
  • Water (lukewarm) – 1 cup
  • Tissue papers – 2 to 3

What you need to do:

  1. Prepare a saline solution by mixing ½ tsp of salt, ¼ tsp of baking soda in a cup of lukewarm water.
  2. Now pour this warm saline solution in a neti pot.
  3. Take a neti pot to the sink or wash basin.
  4. Bend yourself & tilt your head towards one side.
  5. Insert the spout of the neti pot into one nostril by taking the air with a mouth.
  6. The pour water in the neti pot will smoothly flow through the nasal passages by moisturizing the area.
  7. Finally, the water will come out of the other nostril by removing the mucus.
  8. Repeat the same process for other nostril.
  9. Now clean up the remaining mucus by using a tissue paper.
  10. Do this 3 times a week to heal the common cold symptoms.

[ Also Read:Home Remedies for Runny Nose and Sore Throat]

Tips to Prevent Common Cold

It is literally impossible to completely stop the cold from spreading. However, the tips given below can definitely help to reduce the chances of being infected with a virus that leads to common cold.

  • Wash your hands regularly especially after going to public places to prevent transmission of cold.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eye areas if you are with someone infected with cold.
  • Smoking can lead to cold & flu more frequently. So stay away from smoking.
  • Avoid excess consumption of alcohol as it weakens your immune system
  • Keep your household surfaces clean like door knobs, drawer pulls, telephones, light switches, remote controls, sinks etc. since it can easily harbor viruses if used by an infected person.
  • Inhale steam regularly especially at night before going to bed to reduce congestion in your body.
  • Blow your nose frequently in a proper manner.
  • Drink hot liquids like warm water, herbal tea, soups & other hot fluids to prevent dehydration which further helps to sooth the inflamed membranes.
  • Take a bath with warm water as it helps to loosen the mucus & provides respite from common cold symptoms.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by following a nutritious diet plan, regular exercises & proper rest.

The wide list of cures or home remedies to get rid of common cold mentioned above can go a long way to treat common cold and its symptoms. So use this remedies and tips to maintain your health. Also, let us know which remedy worked best for you.

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Hey all, I am Suzanne, I love collecting new information on natural cure for health ailments. I always feel that nature has remedies for all our health problems, we just have to use it in the right way. I am DIY pursuer and thus keep trying natural things to get rid of nasty diseases. You will be amazed to know about the treasure mother earth has and how it can help us improve our health. Join me in a journey which take you closer to nature and keep you healthy.