The Common Cold Remedies Salt Water

Every person has suffered from the symptoms of the common cold at one point or another. While the common cold can be annoying, there are some things you can do when you have a cold to help relieve the symptoms. One thing you might not know is that using a salt water gargle and drinking lots of fluids can be excellent cold remedies.

Battling the Cold: Staying Hydrated

One of the most important things to remember when you have a cold is to stay hydrated. Generally, most people need eight to 10 glasses of fluid every day. Your fluid intake needs can increase when you have a cold.

You do not have to simply drink water. Juices, tea and soups all contribute to your fluid intake. Some of the many benefits of staying hydrated during the course of your cold include:

  • adds moisture to your airways
  • can help prevent infections
  • prevents dehydration
  • relieves nasal congestion
  • soothes a sore throat
  • thins your mucus secretions.

It is best to avoid drinks that contain caffeine, as they tend to dehydrate you. Milk can increase congestion instead of relieving it, and you should avoid alcoholic drinks because they also cause dehydration and can interfere with your medications.

Hot liquids also seem to help with congestion more than cold liquids, but either way, taking fluids is one of the best ways to help you feel better while you have a cold and can even help you recover more quickly.

Other ways to increase the hydration of your body and ease your symptoms include using a vaporizer or humidifier or taking a long, hot shower or bath. The moisture in the air will help your cold symptoms decrease.

Salt Water Gargle

Gargling with salt water may sound a bit strange at first, but it has long been an excellent cold remedy. Essentially, a salt water gargle can do a number of things, including:

  • relieve congestion
  • soothe an irritated throat
  • thin mucus secretions.

To make your own quick salt water gargle, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a large glass of warm water. Pour some of the water in your mouth, and gargle it in the back of your throat. Make sure to not swallow the gargle. Repeat a few times a day.

Saline Nasal Sprays

A saline nasal spray can also be effective at fighting the symptoms of the cold. With a saline nasal spray, instead of gargling with salt water, you spray a bit up your nose. Saline nasal sprays can be purchased at nearly any store. You can make your own by dissolving 1/4 teaspoon of salt into two cups of warm distilled water. Once the salt is dissolved, you can use a small bulb syringe to place several drops in each nostril.

By following this advice on how to use salt water and other fluids to treat the symptoms of the common cold, you can ease your symptoms and make that cold a little bit easier to bear.

Resources

Beck, Leslie. (2006). Chicken soup, herbs nothing to sneeze at in common-cold fight. Retrieved November 12, 2007, from the herbal-merchant.com Web site: http://www.herbal-merchant.com/node/640?PHPSESSID=dfb7387ae152d48bfb05670be92ec800.

Central Connecticut State University. (n.d.). Upper Respiratory Infection. Retrieved November 12, 2007, from the Central Connecticut State University Web site: http://www.ccsu.edu/healthservice/General Information/UpperRespiratoryInfections.htm.

Yahoo. (n.d.). Runny nose or stuffy nose? Here’s what to do. Retrieved November 12, 2007, from the Yahoo! Health Web site: http://health.yahoo.com/flu-treatment/runny-nose-or-stuffy-nose-here-s-what-to-do/mayoclinic-31F42A0F-45C4-4AF7-9CE456E880C59206.html.