Drink Lots of Fluids
Good hydration helps moisturize the lining of the nose and throat, which makes mucus easier to clear. Aim to drink more fluids than usual. But be sure to avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, as they can cause dehydration.
The health benefits of ginger root have been touted for centuries, but now we have scientific proof of its curative properties. A few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water may help soothe a cough or bad throat.
Honey has a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain. Research suggests that honey is an effective cough suppressant, too. In one study, researchers found that giving children 10 grams of honey at bedtime reduced the severity of their cough symptoms. The children reportedly slept more soundly, which also helps reduce cold symptoms.
Vitamin C plays an important role in your body and has many health benefits. Along with limes, oranges, grapefruits, leafy greens, and other fruits and vegetables, lemons are a good source of vitamin C. Adding fresh lemon juice to hot tea with honey may reduce phlegm when you’re sick. Drinking hot or cold lemonade may also help.
You can loosen up your stuffy nose if you breathe in some steam. Hold your head over a pot of boiling water and breathe slowly through your nose. But be careful. Don’t let the heat burn your nose.
Gargling with salt water may help prevent upper respiratory infections. It may also decrease the severity of cold symptoms. For example, it may ease sore throat pain and nasal congestion. Gargling with salt water reduces and loosens mucus, which contains bacteria and allergens. To try this remedy at home, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water. Swish it around your mouth and throat. Then spit it out.
Sometimes you can reduce a child’s fever by giving them a warm sponge bath. Warm baths can also reduce cold and flu symptoms in adults. Adding Epsom salt and baking soda to the water can reduce body aches. Adding a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, juniper, rosemary, thyme, orange, lavender, or eucalyptus, may also have a soothing effect.
Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemons are naturally expectorant, so these bright little beauties are perfect for when you need an extra boost that helps you expectorate phlegm and mucus. They’re also high in Vitamin C which is exactly what you need when dealing with a cold or flu! I like to steep a few fresh slices of lemon in boiling water (covered) and drink it as a tea. Add some raw honey to make it extra soothing.
The herb’s leaves pack a potent punch of cough-calming compounds that work to relax tracheal and ileal muscles, and reduce inflammation. You can make a thyme tea by steeping two teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain.
The strong vapor an onion emits when cut could help stop coughing, too, says Russell. Before you go to bed, cut an onion into quarters and leave it on a plate at your bedside. Although using onions may sound like nothing more than an old wives’ tale, Russell says it’s quite popular in Spain and France, adding that this home remedy for cough is safe for children and babies.