Effective home remedies to clear a head cold

Don't let a head cold stand in the way of your day. Stock your pantry with these home remedies to feel better — fast.

Effective home remedies to clear a head cold

There's nothing as miserable as a head cold, and nothing soothes the misery better than a dose of "Jewish penicillin," otherwise known as chicken soup. As early as the 12th century, Jewish physician Moshe ben Maimonides touted the benefits of chicken soup for a cold. Since then, generations of mothers have followed his advice. Turns out they were right. Researchers found that chicken soup contains "a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity," including an anti-inflammatory mechanism that may ease upper respiratory tract infections.

Home remedies that soothe head colds

  • Aim an infrared lamp at your sinuses. In the past, people sometimes placed hot or warm, moist compresses with healing earth, mashed potatoes or flaxseeds on the sinuses — an effective and economical remedy. Or simply warm a wet cloth in the microwave (not too hot!) and drape it across your face for 10 minutes at a time.
  • To relieve nasal congestion, pour boiling water into a bowl, cover your head and the bowl with a towel, and inhale. For a little extra congestion-busting power, add six drops of eucalyptus oil or chamomile to the water.
  • Spice it up. Foods that contain chili peppers, hot mustard or horseradish can remedy congestion. As a rule of thumb, if it makes your eyes water, it'll make your nose run.
  • Try a nasal rinse. Irrigate your nose with a saltwater solution (from any pharmacy) to soothe stressed nasal mucous membranes.
  • To make your own nasal rinse, dissolve five millilitres (one teaspoon) of salt in 500 millilitres (two cups) of water. Use a nasal dropper to drop it in your nostrils and then blow your nose gently.

Homemade nasal rinse

Put 10 millilitres (two teaspoons) of common horsetail (available at health food stores) in about 750 millilitres (three cups) of water, bring to a boil, strain and cool. Put a little tincture in your cupped hand. Hold one nostril closed and inhale the tincture with the other. After two seconds let it run back out. Repeat process with the other nostril. Use the nasal rinse three times a day.Keep these tips in mind next time you have a head cold.

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