A common cold develops when viruses attack the throat. Owing to its contagious nature, it can spread from one person to another very easily. The most common type of virus that causes cold in adults is the rhinovirus. 


Either by coming into direct contact with a contaminated surface or inhaling air droplets, the infection can spread. 


Here are 15 effective home remedies that can stop a runny nose and continuous sneezing. The best thing about these remedies is that these are easily available in your kitchen. 

Read More: How to differentiate between allergies and cold?

15 Home Remedies That Can Treat Cold

  1. Ginger for cold

    This spicy herb with pungent flavors has been used for centuries to treat various ailments including cold and cough.  Ginger is also effective in getting relief from sore throat almost instantaneously.

  2. Honey for cold

    Honey is a cold-fighter as the antioxidants boost up the immune system. While the antiviral and antibacterial properties fight off viral/bacterial infections. (Know here: Honey for curing sore throat)

  3. Garlic for cold

    Garlic is rich in antimicrobial properties due to an active compound known as allicin. Also, this prevents catching a cold in the first place. Hence, make sure to add some garlic cloves in your meals.

  4. Onion for cold

    The strong flavor of onion can help in soothing out cold. There’s no actual scientific evidence that can indicate the effectiveness of onion for cold. However, people have reported relief when they used onions when suffering from cold.

  5. Take chicken soup

    No matter which soup one takes when suffering from a sore throat, it doesn’t cure the underlying condition or the infection. The soup merely helps in getting relief from the associated symptoms including sore throat on a temporary basis.

  6. Echinacea for cold

    This American herb is rich in active ingredients such as flavonoids that help to alleviate inflammation and thereby cure symptoms of a cold.

  7. Vitamin C for cold

    Eating vitamin- C rich foods do not particularly cure sneezing rather it overall enhances the immunity of the body. Foods that are rich in vitamin C such as oranges, red peppers can strengthen the immune system by clearing up these free radicals.

  8. Probiotics for cold

    “Friendly” bacteria and yeast found in the body, some particular foods and supplements are probiotics. Probiotics help in supporting gut health and lower the risk of an upper respiratory infection.

  9. Gargling with saltwater for cold

    Salt is rich in anti-bacterial properties, hence gargling with salt water can cure a bacterial infection in the throat. This is one of the most ancient and easiest home remedies to treat an infection.

  10. Vapor rub for cold

    In children older than 2 years, rubbing their chest with Vapor rubs can be very effective. Before going to bed, applying some near the chest can combat congestion, reduce coughing and eventually improve sleep.

  11. Inhaling moist air for cold

    People with a runny nose also suffer from heaviness around the eyes and headache too. This occurs as dehydration makes the mucus thick and can clog the sinuses and the nasal airways. Inhaling steam by taking a hot shower or taking vapor from a bowl can open up the nose and stop it from running.

  12. Take warm baths for cold

    A warm sponge bath can reduce the fever associated with cold immensely. These can also reduce cold symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose. You can also add a few drops of essential oils in the bathwater to have a soothing effect.

  13. Drink Turmeric milk for cold

    According to Ayurveda, turmeric is a natural antibiotic that can treat throat infection, cold or chronic cough. As the active ingredient of turmeric is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties, it can also reduce swelling and pain.

  14. Drink warm fluids for cold

    Drinking fluids, especially warm ones, ensure that the mucus thins out so that it can be easily expelled. This is essential or else the mucus may become thicker and sticky that can congest the nose more. Warm drinks like warm water, tea, chicken soup help to keep the throat moist as well as help you get relief from the congestion.

  15. Eat infection-fighting foods

    A patient who is battling a cold or flu should consume immunity-boosting foods. Here is a list for your reference-

  • To soothe an upset stomach and diarrhea, take bananas and rice.
  • Bell peppers that are rich in Vitamin-C
  • Carrots that contain beta-carotene
  • Eat blueberries as these are high in natural aspirin that can lower the high temperature
  • Chilies can break up the mucus in the lungs and drain the sinuses
  • To unclog the nasal passages, consume mustard or horseradish.
  • Drink black and green tea that is high in antibiotics and anti-diarrhea effects.

How to Prevent Cold?

Here are some preventive measures that can lower the risk of catching a cold. Some of them are-

  • Wash hands frequently

With the help of soap and warm water wash hands frequently to remove harmful bacteria and viruses. Assist children in washing hands properly. If there’s no soap or water available, then use an alcohol-based sanitizer. 

  • Stay away from people who are sick

Maintain distance from people who are suffering from a head cold, flu, or a cough. 

  • Use disinfectant 

If there’s an infected person in the family, disinfect their kitchen and bathroom regularly. To kill the germs, wash bedding, towels and soft toys in hot water.

  • Stay hydrated

One of the main causes of the common cold is dehydration. Hence, drink enough water, herbal teas and other fluids continuously.

  • Reduce stress

Stress lowers the immune system and increases the risk of getting sick. Try to reduce stress by exercising regularly, meditation, breathing deeply, etc. 

  •  Get enough sleep

On a regular basis, aim to sleep for 7-9 hours every night to be fit and healthy.

  • Take immune-boosting supplements 

Take zinc, vitamin C, and probiotics, especially during cold and flu season, to keep off the infection.

Final Words

If the person is having any of the following symptoms along with cough and cold, they should consult with an ENT Specialist immediately-

  • Chills
  • Dehydration
  • Bad-smelling green or yellow phlegm
  • Fever over 102 F
  • Weakness 


For people looking for the treatment of cold, can consult with Pristyn Care ENT doctor by booking an online consultation today!


Warning- The symptoms of a cold and COVID-19 infection are similar. Hence, if you are having a dry cough along with high fever, get yourself tested, or get medical help immediately. In case you are unable to do so, start with the 14-day quarantine to be on the safer side.

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