Battling a cold can slow you down and cause a host of symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion and cough. Cold medications are widely available to treat symptoms and stop a cough. But if you prefer to treat a cold and cough without drugs, there are several effective home remedies.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
There are many health benefits to increasing your fluid intake while dealing with a cold and cough. Viral infections cause the common cold, and these types of infections normally increase mucus production. Blowing your nose quickly expels mucus from the chest and nasal passageway. In turn, your body loses fluids. Drink water and juices to replace lost fluids. This will flush toxins from your body and keep your body hydrated. Orange juice encourages the expulsion of mucus, which can reduce chest congestion. And drinking hot teas or other hot liquids can soothe a scratchy throat and ease a chronic cough.
Get Enough Rest
While it's not always feasible to remain in bed when battling a cold and cough, reducing your activity and getting plenty of rest can speed your recovery. Moving around and engaging in activities such as exercise and sports may aggravate a cough and worsen a cold. Resting improves your immune system, which enables you to fight the viral infection and feel better. Plan to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. And if dealing with a bad cold or chronic cough, stay home from work or school and spend one or two days at home to regain your strength.
Along with rest and fluids, take vitamin C supplements--a proven immune system booster. Vitamin C supplements are available in capsule or liquid form. According to the Mayo Clinic, you'll need to take up to 6 grams of vitamin C a day to improve your cold symptoms. Other supplements to ease a cold and cough include echinacea and zinc. For best results, begin supplements at the first sign of a cold and take supplements as directed.