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    Home Remedies for Colds

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    No. 5: Stay Warm and Rested

    It's especially important to get rest when you first come down with a cold or the flu. It helps your body direct its energy to fighting off your infection. This battle taxes your body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket to stay warm if necessary.

    No. 6: Gargle With Warm Salt Water

    It moistens your sore or scratchy throat and brings temporary relief. Try a half teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water four times a day.

    To calm the tickle in your throat, try a gargle made from tea. Or use one that's got honey in it.

    No. 7: Drink Hot Liquids

    They relieve your congestion and soothe the inflamed lining of your nose and throat.

    If you're so congested you can't sleep at night, try a hot toddy, an age-old remedy. Here's how:

    • Make a cup of hot herbal tea.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of honey and one small shot (about 1 ounce) of whiskey or bourbon if you wish (adults only!).

    Limit yourself to one, though. Too much alcohol inflames the membranes in your nose and throat.

    No. 8: Use Mentholated Salve

    Try a small dab under your nose. It opens up breathing passages.

    Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.

    No. 9: Put Hot Packs on Your Sinuses

    You can buy reusable ones at a drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 30 seconds in a microwave. Test the temperature first to make sure it's right for you.

    No. 10: Try an Extra Pillow Under Your Head

    Do this at night when you sleep to help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, place the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on December 18, 2014
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