What are some nonmedical ways to help treat my cold symptoms?
Cold symptoms can be quite uncomfortable. While there are many cold medications on the market, here are a few nonmedical treatments you can try:
- A humidifier. This increases moisture levels in the air (humidity). Humidifiers can help ease cold symptoms, such as dry sinuses, congestion and cracked lips. Some produce a cool mist. Others, called vaporizers, create hot steam that cools before it leaves the machine. Don’t use a vaporizer on small children, as it can cause burns. Read the booklet that comes with each machine before you try it. Inhaling steam from boiled water also soothes cold symptoms. (36)
- Hot drinks. Try ginger tea, hot apple cider and hot tea with honey and lemon. Spicy foods that contain hot peppers or horseradish may help clear sinuses.
- Nasal strips. These help open nasal passages and ease congestion. Place one across the lower part of your nose to pull the nostrils open. (37)
- Nasal saline irrigation. This is a treatment that uses salt and water to flush out nasal passages. A popular choice, called the Neti pot, helps reduce congestion and facial pain. (38)