Common Cold & Flu — Symptoms & Home Remedies

Common Cold & Flu Home Remedies

Brief Insight Common Cold:

Irritating, nasty, draining and what not.

Huh! A cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. This disease primarily affects the nose and head area. The most common strain is the — Rhinovirus.


Common symptoms may include body pain, sore throat, mild or heavy coughing, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, fever accompanied with headache.

It also sometimes affects the ‘Sinuses’ and ‘Larynx’. If left untreated, it culminates into life threatening ‘Pneumonia’ or ‘Tuberculosis.’

Who gets affected:

Cold generally begins with chills, headache, sneezing followed by a runny nose , sore throat and cough

Although, they usually resolve on their own anywhere between seven to ten days, but some can last for up to two or three weeks.

It affects anyone. Also, people who have a compromised immune system are prone o get easily affected due to frequent weather changes or allergies from dust, pollen and mites.


We have heard it right!

It is highly communicable.

That means — A person can easily contract cold when a sick person sneezes, coughs, or blows their nose near you. These nasty viruses spread through air droplets and are very prone to affect during the winter or rainy seasons.

With over 200 viruses that can trigger the symptoms — our bodies can never actually completely build up resistance to all of them.

For, tiny toddlers and some adult too, any change in the weather or any kind of allergy triggers it instantly.

So, what do we do? How do we treat it from affecting us again and again?

Check the remedies section

Cold Bacteria


Phases of Cold:

Phase 1: Incubation (Days 1-3)

Unfortunately, we all catch some or another virus. Distressing, and profoundly irritating — yet largely unavoidable.

What happens is the germs sneak inside your nasal passages, respiratory upper airway and nose and will stick themselves there. So, now you are highly contagious.

Phase 2: Early Signs (Days 3-4)

Now, your body starts showing up those nasty symptoms of cold. Fever, dizziness, headache, feeling ticklish in the throat, sore throat, fatigue. (You are still of course contagious darling!)

Here, you should begin to treat your symptoms, so that it doesn’t worsen for you.

Phase 3: The Real Deal (Days 3-6)

Lazy due to cold

The congestion shoots up! Coughing might increase too. For some people — it would be a runny and stuffed nose that makes it very difficult to breathe or sleep in general.

You may feel under the weather these days and lethargy would be your best friend. In most cases, fever shows up accompanied with body ache too.

Phase 4: Leave me for Good! (Days 6-8)

After the viruses are done with you, they leave you for good.

Aha! What a relief!

You can breathe easily, no congestion, energy levels shoot up, no stuffed feeling.

In case your symptoms stretch longer than that or get worse — it is possible that you might have contracted a bacterial infection.




Yes, commonly found in households. This works like magic for the common cold.

You can put slices of raw ginger in water and boil it. Strain this water and sip it slowly. This will help soothe your sore throat and also make your ache disappear.



Honey is known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Having honey with lemon heals sore throat pain. It soothes your irritated throat and induces sleep which is difficult to get during one of those cold days. Take 1-2 teaspoon full honey before bedtime and relax.

Please consult your doctor before giving honey to an infant (babies below 1 year old). ‘Clostridium botulinum’ bacteria can contaminate honey and this can cause ‘Infant Botulism.’



Gargling moistens your itchy throat and gives you some relief from pain. You can put half teaspoon of salt in 1 cup warm water and use it four to five times a day.

If inflammation persists, use turmeric with salt to gargle. This will calm the scratchy throat.


Garlic — these super pods help fight the cold causing viruses or bacteria. With regular consumption, it will strengthen your immune. As Garlic contains chemical compound allicin, it will help improve your condition.


Add crushed garlic to your diet and reduce the severity of cold and cough symptoms.

The ‘C’ vitamin

The ‘C’ vitamin

Lemons,Gooseberry (Amla) Oranges, Grapefruit, Kiwis, Grapes. Make them your best friends.

Yes, vitamin C plays a crucial role in your body and has many significant health benefits. Apart from the regular green vegetables, lemons, oranges,Gooseberry (Indian Amla) a good source of vitamin C. You can add lemon to warm water and a pinch of black pepper and little honey to  reduce phlegm and soothe your irritated throat. Drinking hot or cold lemonade may also help. Intake of Vitamin C reduces symptoms of cold and builds up immune against infections.

So, get enough of it!

Licorice (Mulethi)

Licorice (Mulethi)

Viruses are pretty active and they are almost everywhere. This is one sweet cure for this problem. This useful herb helps relieve dry stops the production of free radicals and also due to many antiviral components, it helps fight off these viruses —  reducing inflammation and boosting overall health and immunity. It is also widely used for preparation of cough suppressants as it contains chemical namely glycyrrhetinic acid.



Probiotics are rich in protein and calcium and they help keep our gut system healthy and robust. Regular consumption of probiotics may reduce your chance of getting sick or catching an infection. You can add it to your favorite fruits or add it to any snack to make it tastier and healthier. Read labels for probiotic yogurt and include in in your regular diet.

Hot showers

Hot showers

Steamy showers! — yes,it does induce comfort, makes the body relaxed.

Hot showers loosen up the phlegm and cough and therefore reduce the symptoms of cold and flu. You can also add Epsom salt to the water can find relief from body aches and congestion.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Yes, the fragrance of these oils is therapeutic can definitely calm your senses and ease the symptoms of cold. Just use few drops while showering and see the results.

If possible, try 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oils onto a piece of washcloth and place it near your shower — but not directly under the water (it’s not safe as it is eruptive in nature). Once you follow this process vapors will be released that will help you breathe properly.

Few essential oils are Bergamot, Eucalyptus,Rosemary, Tea tree, Orange, Thyme, Lavender to create that calming effect on your mind and body.



If you can use a humidifier this will help you immensely.  It will help your breathing process and also give you relief from congestion and inflammation but please keep in mind that the water needs to be changed regularly so that no fungi or mold takes a seat inside. If this crucial step is skipped, it can cause further damage to your health.

So, get the best suited humidifier for your room and breathe easy.

Neti pot

Neti pot

Neti pot helps thin mucus and ease pressure. It also helps relieve facila pain symptoms and congestion and people  chronic cold and sinus problems. It is designed to rinse off mucus from your nasal cavity.

Additional tips: Meditate for quicker results.

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