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Top homemade remedies for a cold

There are numerous over the counter medicines available to treat the common cold but for those wanting to try a more natural remedy there are plenty of options. To combat sore throats, congestion and dehydration - without spending a packet on store bought cold and flu medicines - try these top homemade remedies.

Homemade remedies

Fluids

Drinking plenty of fluids such as water, fruit juice, herbal teas and sports drinks will help relieve congestion, guard against dehydration and keep the throat moist. Aim to drink between 8 to 10 glasses of water or fluid daily.

Gargling

Gargling with tepid salt water can bring instant if only temporary relief to a sore or raw throat. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of boiling water and allow to cool to room temperature. This should be taken four times daily. One of the top homemade remedies for a sore throat is Manuka honey, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties - eat a spoonful straight from the pot or add to herbal tea or warm water.

Steam room

Inhaling steam is a useful way to combat congestion and ease a runny nose. If you don't own a humidifier simply hold your head over a bowl of boiling water, cover your head with a towel and breathe in through the nose, being careful not to get too close to the boiling water. Alternatively put the shower on its hottest setting, close the bathroom door and inhale the steam as it begins to form.

Chicken soup

Not just an old wives' tale, chicken soup can help thin mucus, keep the body hydrated and provide the body with energy at a time when appetite loss is common. And it tastes wonderful.

Other remedies

Apply a hot or cold pack to the area around congested sinuses. Use an ice pack or just a bag of frozen peas for a cold pack. To make a hot pack take a damp cloth and heat in the microwave for about a minute. Check to make sure the temperature is comfortable against the skin.

There are top homemade remedies lurking all around the house just waiting to be utilised.

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