There is no cure for the common cold, however, there are some things that some cold sufferers recommend to help with the symptoms.

1. Cold Symptom: Congestion, tight chest
What you can do: Increase your fluids, especially electrolytes if you are not eating very much. Warm, not hot tea, with some honey can be soothing to the throat, and increased fluids can help loosen the congestion and thin the secretions and mucous so that it can be coughed up. Stay away from alcohol, coffee, or caffeinated sodas which can be dehydrating.

2. Stuffy nose and head: The steam from a hot shower can help to loosen up congestion. Some patients advocate boiling water, then adding about 15 drops of eucalyptus oil to the water, and covering the head with a towel to make a “tent” and then breathing in the steam. Just be careful not to get too close to the boiling water and check with your doctor to make sure that any remedy you try won’t interfere with any other medications or conditions that you have.

3. Warm Soup or Broth: another remedy that can be helpful in the area of increasing fluids, while loosing secretions. There have been some studies which say that chicken soup may have some anti-inflammatory properties as well which may help the body’s immune system.

4. Warm Salt Water: mixing 1/2 teaspoon to a glass of warm water can help a sore throat feel better.

5. Cold viruses tend to like dry air, so adding a humidifier can help, but be careful to change the water daily to avoid having a problem with bacteria and mold.

6. Honey: In a 2007 study done on children ages 2 and up, honey seems to reduce coughing during the night as well as dextromehorphan which is an over the counter cough suppressant. The doseage given was 2 teaspoons for the children in the study. Never, ever give honey to children younger than age 1, and as always, check with your physician before using any remedies.

Things that could help: Although scientists are still debating whether the following popular cold remedies can help, many cold suffers say that they’ve found that the following either lessen the frequency, intensity or duration of their colds:

A: Vitamin C – recommended dosages may vary. Too much vitamin C can cause nausea and diarrhea. Taking more than 200 mg per day may help the immune system respond to a cold, and some naturopaths advise taking a dose of around 1000 mg per day. Bottom line, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first before adding any supplements to your regimen.

B: Echinacea: Some studies report a benefit from taking echinacea, others disagree. Those who take echinacea say that it again helps reduce the severity or duration of a cold, but that it should be taken at the onset of symptoms to have the maximum effect.