The Common Cold Remedies

If you’ve ever had a cold, you’ve likely had a number of people provide you with countless cold remedies. Some swear that the only way to cure a cold is to avoid food. Others believe eating bowls of piping hot chicken soup provides your body with the fuel it needs to fight a cold. With so many different cold remedies practiced by so many people, how do you know which one is right for you and how do you know which ones will actually work?

While some remedies are totally bogus, including the one that tells you to avoid food, others actually work. If you find yourself suffering from a cold, you might benefit from certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications, including OTC decongestants and OTC pain relievers. OTC medications can help alleviate your symptoms, but unfortunately they won’t reduce the duration of your cold.

In this section, we’ll provide you with information on the cold remedies that actually work. We’ll tell you why these remedies are effective and will tell you how you can reap the benefits of these cold remedies.

Salt Water and Other Fluids

Keeping your body hydrated can help loosen the congestion that often accompanies a cold. Be sure to drink plenty of water and juice. You can also sip clear broth. You should, however, avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, all of which can cause dehydration.

In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, you can try gargling with half a teaspoon of salt mixed with 8 ounces of warm water. This can help relieve a sore throat.

Salt water and other fluids can help you cope with the symptoms of the common cold.

Saline Nasal Spray

Over-the-counter nasal sprays that contain saline can help fight congestion. When shopping for a nasal spray, make sure you buy a saline nasal spray and not a nasal decongestant, which can make your congestion worse when you stop using the product. Saline nasal sprays don’t produce this undesirable side effect.

Chicken Noodle Soup

If you think your mother’s chicken soup cold remedy was for the birds, think again: Scientists have discovered that chicken soup actually does help alleviate cold symptoms. Chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory as well as a decongestant.

Don’t think that you have to spend hours chopping in the kitchen to reap the benefits of chicken soup. Researchers have found that many of the canned chicken soups worked just as well as homemade chicken soup.

Chicken Soup Recipes

If you have a sick friend or loved one, why not cook up a pot of chicken soup? Our chicken soup recipes are a breeze to prepare and will earn you plenty of brownie points!


The viruses that cause colds thrive in dry environments. In addition, dry air can contribute to sore throats and congestion. To keep the air in your home moist and virus-free, add a humidifier.


Mayo Clinic Staff (February 23, 2006). Cold remedies: What works, what doesn’t, what can’t hurt. Retrieved October 25, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: