13 Ways to Cure the Common Cold (and when to Call the Doc)

Helpful tips for getting rid of the common cold.1. Drippy Nose? Scratchy Throat?

Take two: Popping 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 10 mg of zinc at the outset may ease symptoms and even shorten your cold.

2. Breathe Easier

All stuffed up? Steam in a shower; follow with a decongestant. Sprays work better than pills, but stop after three days to avoid rebound congestion. Oral decongestants can keep you up, so don't take within several hours of bed.

3. Take Your Temp

A fever over 101° is a sign you could have the flu. Call your doc.

Related: Stop a Cold in Just 12 Hours

4. Get More C Naturally

Kiwifruit is loaded with the vitamin; one study (using golden kiwi) found it reduced the severity and duration of colds. Strawberries are another rich source.

5. If You're Hacking

Try a teaspoon of honey before bed. It may release cough-suppressing opioids.

6. Get Rest

And try an extra pillow - it helps gravity move mucus out of your sinuses.

Related: Top-rated Pillows

7. Sip Chicken Soup

In lab studies, its enzymes have had an antiviral effect, and the fluid helps wash away mucus.

8. Feeling Achy?

All painkillers - ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen - help. Choose based on side effects: If you have stomach issues, avoid ibuprofen and naproxen; if you have three or more alcoholic drinks a day, skip acetaminophen.

9. Say No to Joe

Have a mug of warm cider or herbal tea. Drinks keep you hydrated, thinning mucus and helping it move out of your system. But caffeine can irritate your throat.

Related: Cold Remedies That Really Work

10. Relax!

Stress can aggravate symptoms.

11. Still Sick?

Or getting sicker? If it's been 10 days, call your doctor. You might have a new infection.

12.. If Your Cough Gets Worse... ...or you're wheezing, let your M.D. know that, too. You could need an Rx cough syrup or an inhaler.

13. Feeling Better?

Start moving: Exercise relieves stress and may help clear any lingering congestion. Start slowly - with yoga or walking - if you're not 100% yet. But keep it up: People who work out regularly get fewer colds.

Whats your secret for curing the common cold? Let me know in the comments!

--by Daryn Eller

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