8. Gargle with Salt Water
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water for a gargle that cleanses and soothes the throat. Used several times a day, this gargle breaks up phlegm and mucus and decreases inflammation in the back of the throat. Salt also has antibacterial properties that attack germs as well. Gargling and spitting help to remove gunk and irritants that have taken up residence in your mouth and throat.
7. Use Saline Nasal Sprays
Nasal sprays containing saline soothe and moisturize the nasal membranes similar to the way salt water gargles soothe the throat. Feel free to use them several times a day, as they contain no harmful chemicals. A neti pot is a device that can be filled with a warm saline solution and used to irrigate your nasal passageways. To use the pot, make sure it has been sterilized with hot water first. Then add the saline solution, stand over a sink with your head tilted, and gently pour the solution through your top nostril. The liquid will drain through your lower nostril.
6. Consider OTC Cold and Cough MedicationsRelated: 5 Illnesses Your Pets Can Spread to You
There are many cough and cold products available over-the-counter at your local drug store. Antihistamines relieve the swelling, itchiness, and runny nose of the common cold. Decongestants break up congestion causing blocked nasal passages. Antitussives prevent coughing. Expectorants break up mucus in the lungs and allow you to cough them out. Some cold products contain many different ingredients and target multiple symptoms. While this can be helpful, you may benefit from using individual cold products to target only the symptoms you currently suffer from. For instance, you may not want to take a cold product containing decongestants at bedtime, as they can keep you awake.