Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Select An Article

Home Remedies for Colds

Font Size

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
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat