Cold Congestion Remedies

by Sam Malone

Cold is one of the most common ailments to affect people of all ages around the world. It is usually characterized by sneezing, sore throat and a runny nose. Most people also experience congestion as a result of a cold. There is no cure for a common cold, as it is caused by a virus. Moreover, in most cases a cold goes away on its own, without any treatment. Fortunately there are several steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms of a cold, especially congestion.

A cold congestion can be very uncomfortable, as it could cause you to experience breathing difficulties. In order to reduce the congestion, you need to reduce the inflammation in your nasal passage and unclog the mucus that stops the air from getting through. Some of the most effective cold congestion remedies include:
  • Fluids: Drinking at least 8 glasses of water and other healthy liquids during the day thins out the mucus, which makes it easier for your body to expel it. For best results, drink fluids that are warm as they also help soothe your throat. Some of the fluids that are good for loosening cold congestion include hot water with a dash of lime or honey, herbal tea and clear broth. Orange juice is high in vitamin C, which boosts your immunity and helps your body fight off the infection-causing virus. Dilute half a glass of fresh orange juice with an equal part of warm water and drink it while it is still warm.
  • Chicken Soup: The consumption of warm chicken soup speeds up the movement of mucus in the body, which in turn relieves the congestion. This remedy also limits the amount of time the virus is in contact with the lining of your nose.
  • Steam: Inhaling steam is one of the best ways of clearing out the nasal passages and alleviating a cold congestion. Boil some hot water in a pan and allow it to cool for around five minutes. Cover your head with a thick, large towel and bend your face over the pan of steaming water, so that you can breathe in the steam properly. Try to inhale the steam for as long as you can. Alternately, run some steaming hot water in your bathroom, with the door shut. Once the bathroom steams up completely, stay there for around 20 minutes or so, breathing deeply
  • Nasal Irrigation: The practice of flushing out thick mucus and other irritants from the nose using saltwater is known as nasal irrigation. Several commercial products, easily available over the counter can be used as nasal decongestants. You could also prepare a decongestant at home, using fresh water and a teaspoon of salt. Warm half a cup of water and add a teaspoon of salt to it. Once the salt dissolves in the water, fill an eye dropper with the saline solution. Tilt your head back and pour a few drops of the solution into each nostril. Keep your head tilted backwards for a few minutes, so that the solution drips all the way to your nasal passages.
  • Vaporizer: Increasing the humidity in the air with a vaporizer or a humidifier can relieve nasal congestion. The increased levels of humidity in the air cause the mucus to become thinner; this normalizes nasal secretions and makes it easier to breathe.
  • Warm Compresses: Apply a warm compress to your face to loosen the mucus from the nasal passages. Place a water bag filled with warm water, or a warm damp towel on your face to open up your nasal passages and alleviate your discomfort.
  • These remedies only help relieve congestion; they do not treat a common cold. While the cold congestion remedies mentioned above are quite safe if used correctly, it is important to check with a doctor before tying any of them.
References:
  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003049.htm
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036/


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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