To cause a cold in humans, there are around 200 types of viruses. So there is no specific vaccine or medicine that can cure a cold easily. There are only ways in which you can get better relief from a sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, irritated eyes, and leaking/running nose.

When you catch a cold, the virus strain attaches itself to the mucous membrane in the body. There are natural ways to ease the symptoms and sufferings due to the common cold.


Garlic is a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral that is available easily. It helps you to flush out toxins from your body. The odor from garlic opens up a blocked nose and throat.

How to consume

  • You can chew 4 or 5 pieces of fresh garlic cloves
  • You can boil 5 to 6 garlic cloves in milk for 20 minutes and eat it
  • You can apply garlic oil externally on your nose and throat
  • You can boil 5 to 6 pieces of garlic cloves in water for 15 minutes and add honey for taste. Consume it once cool to treat the common cold.

Garlic can also boost your immune system. Click here to know more about garlic.

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Honey + Onion

Honey has the most effective soother in it when it comes to cough and cold. It can heal a sore throat and also boost your immunity. When it is combined with onion, it works wonders. Onion has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties in it. It is one of the oldest natural remedies to treat the common cold.

How to use

Ingredients required – 1 Red Onion big, Organic honey

  • Cut the onion into thin slices
  • Take a jar and place one slice of onion at the bottom
  • Pour honey over it and place one slice of onion on top of the honey
  • Continue this alternate arrangement
  • Close the jar with an airtight lid
  • Leave it overnight
  • There will be liquid when you open the jar in the morning, you can consume one spoon, 3 times a day.

If you are allergic to honey or you don’t like honey, you can use white sugar. This can be given to children too.

Sliced onions

Ginger tea

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the itching throat and blocks. The spicy flavor of ginger can loosen up the phlegm that is congested in your chest.

How to make the tea

  • Cut fresh ginger root into small pieces.
  • Boil 2 cups of water and add the ginger pieces in it.
  • Let the ginger steep for 5 minutes.
  • Later, strain the water and cool it down.
  • You can add honey and lemon juice along with it for taste.

You can also chew on ginger pieces and or include more ginger while cooking. You can consume this tea twice a day.

Ginger tea
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Classic steam

Steaming is the best remedy according to me. Be it cold, headache, or sinus, steaming can lessen all the irritation. It will help you to drain out all the bad fluids and loosen the phlegm too.

How to steam

  • Take 2 or 3 liters of water in a thick base vessel or heat resistant vessel
  • Boil it until you see bubbles
  • Switch off the flame, cover the vessel and bring it down
  • Place it in a table or on the floor very carefully
  • You will need a thick blanket or towel to cover your head along with the vessel while you inhale the steam
  • Put a few drops of eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil in the water
  • Now don’t let the vapor escape, it better if you inhale all the steam through your nose by covering your head with the blanket
  • You can steam for the maximum time possible

Use a dry soft towel and pat dry your face. After the steaming, you can have a hot cup of ginger tea.

Saltwater gargle

Gargling is one of the best ways to soothe your sore throat. This saltwater gargle can reduce the itchiness in the throat and also reduce the cough.

How to gargle

  • Heat water up to a limit you can bear to hold in your mouth
  • Add a generous amount of salt to the water and stir it
  • Now gargle with a loud noise for 10 minutes

You need to make enough gargling noise so that the water touches the deepest part of your throat. This can be done any number of times per day.


Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is a very important task when you are sick. You can drink citrus-based juices with warm water, like lemon, orange, and sweet lime juice with less sugar. This can help you fight cold and also keep you hydrated.

You can also frequently dink warm water and tea with honey.

Take rest

When you have a cold, it is always best to give enough rest to your body. The more you take rest, the more you are going to recover quickly. If you fall sick on a weekday, you could always take a break and rest to treat the common cold.

If you still don’t feel better, you can consult a doctor and take the prescribed medication.


Cicek, Y., 2003. The Normal and Pathological Pigmentation of Oral Mucous Membrane: A Review. The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, 4(3).

Martin, K., 2016. Salt water gargle. United States, Patent No. US20160346322A1.

Mushtaq, M., Sultana, B. & Bhatti, H. N., 2014. Optimization of Enzyme-assisted Revalorization of Sweet Lime. Bio Resources.

Salim, N., 2008. Skin patch for absorbing toxins from the body. United States, Patent No. US8317762B2.

Vasala, P. A., 2012. Ginger. Handbook of Herbs and Spices, Volume 1, pp. 319-335.

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.