The Top Natural Remedies To Cure The Common Cold

Jan 10, 2019

Dr. Ben Connolly, ND

Dr. Ben Connolly, ND


The common cold, or what we should more accurately call a viral infection, affects us every single year. For some of us, it can go on for weeks with all the lovely symptoms our immune system generates such as a runny nose, congestion, sinus headaches, sore throats, swollen and tender lymph nodes, fevers, muscle aches, and joint pain, just to name a few.


Once you become sick there is no way to instantly become well. However, there are many things you can do to decrease the duration (how long) you are sick.

1. Zinc

Zinc is an evidence-based treatment for decreasing the duration of your cold. Research shows that if you start taking zinc as soon as you start to feel ill it can decrease the duration of your cold. You can find zinc in zinc lozenges or as a supplement such as zinc citrate.

2. Avoid sugar

Sugar has been shown to decrease your immune systems functioning. For example, if you have a can of soda, the amount of sugar in that drink has been shown to slow the movement of white blood cells (your immune system fighting cells) for up to 3 hours. Which means if you drink soda regularly or consume other high sugar foods or drinks then you are ultimately decreasing your bodies ability to mount an immune response.

3. Get enough sleep

Our immune system is most active when we are sleeping, which is why getting enough sleep when you’re starting to feel under the weather is very important. Also, if you think about how you feel when you’re sick, you know that you require extra sleep. Avoid burning the candle at both ends and head to bed early with a book. You’ll be asleep before you know it and feeling better in no time.

4. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol also has a negative effect on our immune systems. It also has a negative effect on our sleep cycles which means you’re not getting the quality of sleep you need if you’re fighting a virus. Ditch the alcohol and instead switch to a nice warm herbal tea.

5. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is very important when you’re ill. The reason for this is that when you have a viral infection one of the most common symptoms is a runny nose. A fun fact, the fluid that is dripping out of your nasal is actually plasma from your bloodstream, which means you are actually losing fluids directly from your bloodstream through your nose. Hence why you can start to feel very dry all over as a cold lingers.

6. Honey

Honey definitely won’t cure a common cold right away, however, research shows that honey is highly effective at relieving some of the symptoms, particularly the sore throat. Using warm water with a tbsp of pure honey can help calm down that raw throat you’re suffering from. Try adding a wedge of lemon in it as well.

7. Probiotics

Probiotics are very helpful for your immune system. Ideally, probiotics are taken daily during the cold and flu season, especially for children. A study was conducted on preschool children, half the group took probiotics while the other half did not. the group which took probiotics on a daily basis had significantly less missed days of school due to colds and flu as well as a decreased duration of symptoms such as a runny nose. Ideally, take your probiotic before heading to bed in the evening.



Cornerstone Naturopathic Team

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