10 easy home remedies to help kick sick to the curb

By Gwen Verchota, Care Delivery Manager at virtuwell

Time saver 3 min read

You know the feeling. That little scratch in your throat, a runny nose… you're getting sick.

The question is, what do you do? When you’re trying to beat a cold or virus, you want to run from reality, but it’s hard to hide from these annoying symptoms.

So here’s 10 ways to help your body get some relief while it works to get better, and start feeling like yourself again.

1. Rest

As always, your body needs time and energy to fight off what’s ailing you. Give yourself permission to shut off for a little while – it does the body good. When it comes to your immune system, rest is best.

2. Drink up

Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. Even better, aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces. It will help thin mucus, soothe the throat, flush the bad stuff, and help your body fight the virus. Tired of drinking straight water? Add a bit of honey and a squeeze of lemon to a steaming mug of warm water.

3. Try a Neti Pot

Don’t be intimidated by this tiny little teapot. Fill it with lukewarm sterile water (distilled is good, but avoid tap water) and a pinch of salt to make saline. Then, keeping eye contact with yourself in the mirror, tip the nozzle into one nostril and let the saline drip through and out your other nostril. If you do it right, it won’t choke you or sting. Repeat the process with the other nostril. It’ll thin your mucus and clear your nasal passages. Ahhhh, relief.

4. Heat up rice packs

The pressure and warmth from rice packs can provide some pain relief for sore faces and sinuses. Wrap one around wherever you have an ache or pain. The heat brings extra blood flow to the area, drawing in more cells to fight the virus.

5. Add humidity to the air

Let your humidifier run freely. Of course make sure you have a clean filter — you don’t want to accidentally launch mold into the air. The moisture in the air will help you breathe more easily.

6. Order in chicken noodle soup

Snuggle up on the couch and order home-style chicken noodle soup. The salty broth soothes a sore throat, the heat steams your nasal passages, and it just generally feels like a hug.

7. Get your senses involved

Diffusing eucalyptus essential oil can help open nasal packages — it seems to help ease the pain and pressure that comes from being all stuffed up. Hot herbal teas have similar benefits to soup, relieving your throat soreness and stuffed nasal passages.

8. Get steamy…

Take a hot bath (throw in Epsom salt for extra TLC), hot shower, or fill a deep bowl with hot water and hold your face over the steam to loosen up congestion and encourage it to get a move on. This will relieve pressure and help any headaches you may be experiencing.

9. …Or get spicy

If your taste buds have the tolerance, eating spicy food can also help get mucus moving. Steaming bowls of pho (don’t forget to add spicy peppers, such as jalapeño), hot and sour soup, curries, or chili can provide a little comfort and zing.

10. Take the right over-the-counter medications

With all the symptoms associated with crud, you’re looking to reduce any discomfort and move out any congestion. Even for colds and viral sinus infections, there’s comfort in having the right diagnosis to tell you it’s not more serious. From there, you can attack your symptoms with the right mix of medications until you’re feeling 100% again.

If home remedies aren’t doing the trick, get a diagnosis and treatment from our nurse practitioners. Start your visit anytime


Gwen Verchota

Care Delivery Manager at virtuwell

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