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7 Natural Cold Remedies to Soothe Your Symptoms

A woman with a cold sitting on a bench in a bedroom using a tissue to blow her nose.

As the coronavirus is still very much with us, it’s definitely not the best time to have to deal with a cold or allergies. In some places, it’s still difficult to even find basic over-the-counter medications. Luckily, if you do catch a cold, there are some natural remedies that might help you.

The natural cold remedies below aren’t meant to replace medication entirely, but they might help you feel better if you can’t get your hands on any Tylenol or cough syrup at the moment. Some might even prevent you from catching a cold in the first place.

Warning: You should always consult a doctor if your cold symptoms are severe. Natural remedies are best used as a substitute if you can’t get the proper medication for some reason.

A Neti Pot for Sinuses

A neti pot allows you to rinse debris or mucus out of your nasal cavity and clear up lingering congestion. You can use it to treat a cold, nasal allergies, or other sinus problems. They’re easy to use and can provide some pretty instant relief.

There are some safety tips to keep in mind, though. When making your own solution, use only bottled water that’s been distilled or sterilized. According to MayoClinic, tap water should only be used “if it’s been passed through a filter with a pore size of 1 micron or smaller, or if it’s been boiled for several minutes and then left to cool until it’s lukewarm.”

You should also make sure to rinse the pot after every use with distilled, sterile, filtered, or previously boiled and cooled water. Leave it open to air-dry.

The Navage Nasal Care Essentials Bundle comes with a neti pot, 38 SaltPod capsules, and a countertop caddy, so you’ll have everything you need.

A Vaporizer to Open Nasal Passages

A vaporizer heats up water, turns it into steam, then releases it into the air as a warm mist. It can open passages, and the mist is soothing and calming to inhale. Breathing in moist air can help clear up congestion and eliminate stuffiness, as well as relieve irritated sinuses and soothe a sore throat. They’re great to keep in your bedroom, especially when you’re sleeping.

The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier has a full one gallon tank you can run for up to 24 hours. It diffuses 95% bacteria-free mist into the air to prevent you from having to cough during the night. It also makes it a little easier to breathe through your nose. We recommend using it with Vicks VapoPads for added relief.

A Cool Mist Humidifier to Ease Congestion

A cool-mist humidifier feels different than a warm-mist vaporizer, although it definitely still offers the same relief. Both can relieve congestion and a sore throat. Many people just prefer the cool mist because it doesn’t make their home or room feel humid.

The Homech Cool Mist Humidifier offers 360-degree coverage thanks to its rotating nozzle, which distributes the mist evenly. It holds 4 liters of water, which is enough to use the humidifier continuously for more than 60 hours. It’s also super quiet and the mist is really fine.

A Reusable Water Bottle for Hydration

Staying hydrated is so important when you’re sick, whether it’s a just cold or something more serious. Of course, you should stay hydrated all the time, whether you’re feeling under the weather or not.

When you’re sick, though, it’s easier to dehydrate. If you have a fever, it will draw all the moisture out of your body. You also lose fluids through mucus. Drinking water helps loosen the mucus in your nasal cavities and head, so you’ll feel less congested.

That’s exactly why you should have a reusable water bottle. It’s less expensive than constantly buying water bottles, not to mention much better for the environment. A Hydro Flask is a great option as they keep water cool for up to 24 hours. Plus, they’re BPA-free.

Epsom Salts for Aching Muscles

If you’re feeling unwell (and you have a tub), you might want to take a relaxing bath. Be sure to throw in a handful of Epsom salts. The science is limited on whether Epsom salts actually treat cold symptoms, but they definitely can ease the muscle aches and soreness which often accompany a cold.

Dr. Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salt is great to have on hand. The lavender essential oil is extra soothing. It also makes you feel more relaxed so you get a better night’s sleep, which is also important when you’re ill. These salts will elevate your bath and leave you feeling calmer and less achy.

Dr. Teal's Lavender Epsom Salt

For a truly relaxing bath.

Menthol Ointments for a Stuffy Nose

You know when you’re lying in bed and are so congested, you can’t breathe through your nose, but you also can’t sleep while breathing through your mouth? This is one of the worst things about having a bad cold. When this happens, try using a menthol ointment, like Vicks VapoRub.

It’s made with medicated vapors that can help relieve a cough when used on your chest or throat. It can also relieve minor aches and pains. It’s perfect for a stuffy nose. Just inhale it to relieve the congestion, so you can breathe through your nose again.

Eucalyptus Oil to Breathe Easier

Eucalyptus oil smells amazing and refreshing, but it also often used to relieve colds and coughs. You’ll often find it in other cold-relief products, like Vicks VapoRub. Try putting a few drops on your shower floor so it will rise with the steam and clear up any congestion.

You can find Eucalyptus oil lots of places online or at health food stores. Healing Solutions makes a 100% pure oil you can use in your shower or humidifier.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »
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