Being sick is miserable. Seriously, cold and flu season is the worst: Fevers and chills, congestion, sore throats and coughs are never fun. But before you go running to the doctor for antibiotics, remember that the common cold is a virus... which means antibiotics won't work and you basically just have to wait it out. So, in addition to LOTS of rest and fluids, here are some home remedies you can use to relieve symptoms and feel better faster.
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Gargle Salt Water
Modern medicine actually backs up this old home remedy: There's research out there that indicates that gargling salt water during cold and flu season can lower your incidence of infection. Even better? Gargling can also ease symptoms when you have them; loosening mucus and removing irritants from the throat and providing minor pain relief.
Plus, it's super easy: Just dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds before spitting out.
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The bees know best! Honey is a natural antimicrobial, which means it kills bacteria. It's also known as an effective cough suppressant (some studies even indicate that it works better than certain cough syrups!), and it has a soothing effect on sore throats. Add it to your tea or take it straight; both will help — and both are yummy, too.
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Try Some Vitamin C
Vitamin C can help boost your immune system, and there's research that supports the fact that it may even shorten the duration of your cold. Of course, foods are always the best way to get your vitamins. The best sources for vitamin C? Strawberries, curly kale, kiwi, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, and of course, oranges.
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Drink (or Eat) Hot Liquids
Drinking hot tea or sipping on some of mom's chicken noodle soup (or trendy bone broth!) prevents dehydration and soothes irritated throats. If you can't sleep, try a hot toddy — tea, honey, and last but not least. and a shot of whiskey.