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Can I do anything to make my cold go away faster?

Internist, WebMD Medical Expert
Chief Medical Editor, WebMD

While there’s no cure for a cold, there are definitely things you can do to help your body beat a cold virus faster. Don’t underestimate the importance of getting extra rest to help your body focus on ridding you of that nasty cold virus. Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration will only make you feel worse. And yes, even chicken soup can help ease symptoms. Research shows supplements may also help – at least a little. Echinacea and zinc lozenges can shorten a cold in some people if you start taking at the first signs of a cold. High doses of vitamin C may also help. But limit it to 2 grams per day to avoid stomach upset. And remember, even supplements can have side effects and interfere with other medicines you take, so be careful and talk to your doctor. Siberian ginseng may also help. And no, antibiotics won’t help because a cold is caused by a virus and antibiotics only fight bacteria.

And don’t suffer needlessly from cold symptoms. Natural remedies like saline nasal sprays and irrigation (neti pots) can help clear mucus and congestion. Over-the-counter medicine also helps ease symptoms. Just choose the medicine that matches your symptoms.

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