U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson

And how they help you

Cold and flu season is here, and no one enjoys it. It’s during this time of the year when our immune systems are weaker, making it more likely to catch a cold from someone else. Colds are inevitable, no matter the precautions you may take.

However, there are plenty of natural cold remedies you can use to treat the common cold. These remedies can be made from supplies you most likely already own. Try these five remedies, and we guarantee they will actually work.

For nasal congestion: Use chicken broth

If you’re experiencing severe nasal congestion with your cold, the best natural remedy is chicken broth. You can buy chicken soup made from real chicken broth, which improves the function of the nasal cilia, protecting you from invading pathogens. In addition, chicken broth reduces your cold symptoms, so you are able to somewhat function throughout the day.

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However, you don’t just have to use chicken broth. All you need is a broth-based soup, whether it’s beef broth, vegetable broth, or even fish broth. Any of these broths will do the trick to clear up your sinuses and help you be able to breathe again. That’s what we want, right?

Strengthen your immune system with garlic

You wouldn’t think garlic would help your immune system, but it actually works. Garlic improves your immune function, but it also helps reduce the frequency of common colds. It might help you stop getting sick all the time. Doesn’t that sound perfect?

To use garlic as a remedy, crush and dice an entire clove of garlic and simmer it into a mug of bone broth. Then, add the broth to your cooking recipes.

In addition, you may also eat black garlic (aged garlic), which is even more potent.

Eat spicy food

If you have a stuffy nose, the best thing to do is eat spicy food, particularly food that contains capsaicin. The chili pepper component produces a burning sensation, but also ultimately reduces your nasal inflammation.

When your nasal blood vessels are inflamed, the walls constrict. This causes you to have trouble breathing.

Spices, on the other hand, relieve this inflammation, break up the mucus, and clean out your sinus passages. We recommend eating chili peppers, wasabi, or horseradish. Those spices will do the trick. Other non-spicy foods you can try to eat are citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, and grapefruits), ice pops, bananas, and toast.

For a sore throat: Use honey

If you have a stuffy, congested nose, the worse thing to also have is a sore throat. Luckily, you can soothe the pain with honey. The sweet food substance has potent antibacterial effects. This is mostly because of its high content of antimicrobial compounds.

Honey can also stimulate the immune system.

If you feel sick or have a sore throat, honey can suppress the coughing. You can sip warm tea with honey and lemon. You can also mix about half a teaspoon of honey with a warm glass of milk or water to have a hydrating, cough-soothing, and antibacterial drink.

Reduce congestion with steam

Mucus builds up in our nasal passages and lungs, making it difficult to breathe. This also causes congestion. If you want to reduce the congestion, use a cool-mist vaporizer. However, the best way to clear up your nostrils is to take a long, hot shower. Close all of the windows and doors to block the steam in the bathroom.

Allow the steam to loosen up your nasal passages.

In addition, you may also place a warm compress on your face. You can also prop your head with pillows before going to bed. This allows the congestion to drain from your nose as you sleep.

A deeper dive – Related reading from the 101:

Five simple things you do every day that could be causing you to get sick.

If you suffer from severe toothaches, try these home remedies to soothe the pain.