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While you might not be able to completely prevent catching a common cold, today we’ll tell you how to get rid of a cold quickly. If your child has a fever on top of a cold, be sure to read our post about how to break a baby’s fever.

Many people prefer home remedies because these natural cures have been used to treat colds for centuries. Plus, there are many benefits to using natural remedies, when possible, that might surprise you.

How to Get Rid of a Cold Quickly

If you want to learn how to get rid of a cold quickly naturally – this is for you!

how to get rid of a cold quickly

1. Drink Honey and Lemon Water

If you want to clear up some of the nasal congestion and cough, try hot water with lemon & honey.

Why this works: Both ingredients are soothing for cold symptoms. The lemon juice helps with the congestion while honey soothes the throat. 

How To Make It: Add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice & 2 Tablespoons of honey into a cup of hot water. You can add more lemon juice or honey, depending on how sweet you want your drink.

2. Use Shower Steamers

Eucalyptus oil is used in many chest rubs and other over-the-counter cold treatments. For a quick sinus/congestion buster, I like to use the Young Living Shower Steamer (you can join Young Living here).

It’s so simple: just place 1 shower steamer onto the shower floor or shelf where it gets wet but does not obstruct the main water stream. Breathe in the fragrant steam for an amazing, spa-like experience.

You can use your Young Living Oils in a diffuser, too. Eucalyptus and Peppermint oil are great for relieving congestion.

3. Gargle with Salt Water

I’m going to be honest I really dislike gargling with salt water for a sore throat. However, there is a reason this trick has been passed down for generations… it works to get rid of a cold quickly.

The saltwater softens the throat and helps to dry out drainage/phlegm that may cause a sore throat. Plus, it’s so simple.

How to Make it: Mix ½ teaspoon of sea salt with WARM water. Gargle for 20 seconds and then spit out the liquid. This can be done up to two to three times daily to soothe a sore throat.

Tip: You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to the saltwater.

Note: Gargling can be hard for children, as they often swallow what they are gargling, so I don’t recommend this as a remedy for children until they are at least ten years of age.

4. Drink Broth

Hot broth may not be the cure for the common cold, but it is one of the sore throat pain relievers that many people turn to – usually in the form of Chicken Soup.

Hot liquids can be very soothing to a sore throat. On top of that, the steam from hot liquids like soup and tea can help stuffy noses. Plus, drinking broth is a great way to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated will go a long way towards shortening the length of any cold or illness.

Related Article: 25 Soups You’ll Love

5. Use Elderberry Syrup

We have been using this Elderberry syrup for years. It provides extra vitamins and real elderberry extract when your child needs it most.

Elderberries, also called Sambucas, have been used for centuries. The small purple-black berries have a tart taste are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and flavonoids, which help support the immune system.

Elderberries are also used in many over-the-counter cold remedies because of its ability to relax the throat muscles that spasm and lead to coughing. 

6. Eat Garlic and Tummeric

Usually, it’s Vitamin C that gets all the buzz when you show cold or flu symptoms. At the first sign of a cold, people always tell you to drink Orange Juice to stop cold viruses in its tracks.

While Vitamin C can help shorten the length of a cold if you want to know how to get rid of a cold quickly, add garlic to the mix! It has been known to work wonders, too!

Garlic is a potent anti-inflammatory and helps to tame irritation in your nose, throat, and upper respiratory tracts. The small little herb has antiviral and antioxidant properties.

How to get rid of a child’s cold quickly with these foods (get rid of an adult’s colds quickly with these foods, too!)

  • Make foods rich in garlic or turmeric (like this Lemon Skillet Tumeric or garlic chicken.)
  • Cut a garlic bulb in half and just inhale the garlic fumes- you’ll also be breathing in antiviral particles that will be giving you relief from your symptoms.

7. Use a Personal Steam Inhaler

A personal steam inhaler provides a warm mist of steam for temporary relief from allergies, congestion, and coughs in a 5-15 minute treatment. It just heats the water in the machine and when it’s boiling, the steam from the water rises.

Our favorite one is this Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler. I use it with all of our kids when they start to show symptoms of a cold. It helps clear their nasal passages. My husband and I use it, as well.

When you put your face on the padded face mask, where the steam is let out, the soothing steam targets the nose, mouth, and throat to naturally and effectively help alleviate sinus congestion, dryness, coughs, parched throats, chest congestion, and nasal or throat irritation.

A personal steam inhaler provides temporary relief from coughing and congestion, so you get a rest from coughing fits and can breathe more freely.

The Quickest Way to Get Rid of a Cold…

The best way to get rid of a cold also happens to be the quickest way to get rid of a cold: REST and HYDRATION.

These are the most simple, basic, and powerful ways to help yourself feel better faster.

Hydrating yourself is one of the best ways to get rid of a cold. Water, juice, clear broth, and hot lemon & honey help to loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Drinking 8 cups of water a day is going to help your immune system stop cold symptoms.

Rest, of course, gives your body the time to heal. There is a reason that people say you need to “sleep off a cold.” Sleeping (even more than usual) helps your body build up its immune system, which allows it to fight off your cold.

The Important Thing to Remember About How to Get Rid of a Cold Quickly

The important thing to remember is that there is no proven way to prevent getting a cold and there isn’t a cure for the common cold, but if you can learn how to get rid of a cold quickly using the natural remedies above, you will certainly have relief sooner.

Colds typically last 7-10 days, but you can treat the symptoms of the cold or flu to shorten the duration and be on the lower end of that range.

If you want to learn more about these or other types of treatments, be sure to let us know in the comments section at the bottom of this post.  What type of cold remedy do you use? Share your thoughts with us down below!

More Ideas To Help You or Your Child Feel Better:

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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