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Photo: TheOhioStateUniversity.com

As soon as cold symptoms hit, you want to get rid of them quickly. It’s hard to focus on the things you love to do when your nose feels stuffy and runny, you can’t stop sneezing, and your throat feels scratchy.

Maybe you’ve heard your doctor, family member, or friend say that there is no cure for the common cold. Unfortunately, they’re correct. Over 200 viruses can cause the common cold, but it’s most commonly caused by a group of viruses known as rhinoviruses.1

To date, there are no antiviral medications that can fight the viruses that cause the common cold. Also, you can’t treat the common cold with antibiotics as these are only used to treat infections caused by bacteria, Vicks explained.

1. Honey

Honey has antimicrobial properties, which may allow it to fight some bacteria and viruses. One study found that honey was effective in relieving coughing as a symptom of a cold in children over the age of 1 year. Children younger than 1 year should not have honey due to the risk of infant botulism.

People can try stirring some honey into hot water to soothe a sore throat or cough. Adding lemon provides extra flavor and vitamin C. People can find honey in grocery stores, local markets, and online according to Medicalnewstoday.

2. Garlic

Garlic may help fight off a common cold because it has antibacterial and antiviral properties. One study found that people who took a daily garlic supplement for 3 months had fewer colds than those in a placebo group.

Garlic has long been a home remedy for colds and the flu. People can eat raw garlic, incorporate cooked garlic into meals, or take a supplement. Unless a person has a garlic allergy, it is usually safe to use. Fresh garlic is readily available in supermarkets. People who do not like the taste can purchase garlic supplements online.

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Photo: Goodhousekeeping.com

3. Drink warm liquids.

Fluids are great, but warm drinks are soothing and make you comfortable when you have a cold. Medicated hot drinks offer relief for your cough and sore-throat symptoms by soothing the inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. For relief of cold symptoms like nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, and more, dissolve a packet of Vicks FluTherapy Severe Day-time into a glass of 8 oz. hot water, stir, and sip while hot, within 10-15 minutes, said Vicks.

4. Chicken soup

Chicken soup may not be a cure-all, but it’s a great choice when you’re sick. Enjoying a bowl of chicken soup with vegetables, prepared from scratch or warmed from a can, can slow the movement of neutrophils in your body. Neutrophils are a common type of white blood cell. They help protect your body from infection. When they’re moving slowly, they stay more concentrated in the areas of your body that require the most healing.

The study found that chicken soup was effective for reducing the symptoms of upper respiratory infections in particular. Low-sodium soup also carries great nutritional value and helps keep you hydrated. It’s a good choice, no matter how you’re feeling, Healthline indicated.

5. Probiotics

Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria and yeast that are found in your body, some foods, and supplements. They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy, and probiotics may reduce your chance of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection.

For a delicious and nutritious source of helpful bacteria, include probiotic yogurt in your diet. Besides its potential benefits for your immune system, yogurt is a healthy snack that provides plenty of protein and calcium. Look for products that list live bacteria on the label.

6. Berries

Berries contain polyphenols, which have antiviral properties and may help fight flu viruses.

Research has shown that elderberries can reduce symptoms of the flu and that a cranberry beverage could help support immune function. In some in vitro studies, berry extracts demonstrated the potential to help fight off inflenza.

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are also good sources of vitamin C, which can help support the immune system.

7. Reducing stress and sleeping well

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Photo: Smoothradio.com

Stress or poor sleep may increase the risk of getting a cold or the flu. One study suggests that lowering stress levels through mindfulness meditation practices or exercise reduces the risk of getting one of these illnesses.

People who participated in a mindfulness meditation or exercise program lost fewer work days due to illness than people in the control group. A small study in 2015 also found that people who slept for fewer hours were more susceptible to colds.

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