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Healthy Habits: How-Tos

5 Home Remedies for Common Cold Symptoms

Beat the cold and feel better fast with these natural home remedies.

Drinking any hot liquid will soothe a scratchy, irritated throat. But green tea is especially beneficial because it’s loaded with chemical compounds called EGCG, which stop the cold virus from replicating, according to a Canadian study. If you drink green tea at the first sign of a cold -- which is usually a sore throat -- you may be able to halt the progress, says study author James M. Weber. To brew a cup with the most EGCGs, boil water and let the tea bag steep in it for 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey (more on that in a minute).

Home Remedy for a Stuffy Nose: Hot Shower
Your nose feels stuffy during a cold because you’re producing more mucus than normal, and it’s unusually thick. Breathing steam from a hot shower will help on both fronts. If you can’t hit the shower, boil water and put it into a large bowl. When it cools, put a towel over your head and breathe in the steam.

Coughs typically linger at night, keeping you awake. Catch some z's by taking a teaspoon of buckwheat honey before bed. A Pennsylvania State University study found that kids who swallowed a spoonful of honey at night slept better and coughed less than kids who took an over-the-counter cough suppressant. "Darker-colored honeys, like buckwheat, are loaded with antioxidants and soothe irritated mucous membranes that cause the urge to cough," says study author Ian Paul.

Home Remedy for Fatigue: Mint
Well, sleep itself is great medicine. But if you can’t fit in extra snooze time during a cold, a minty scent could help you stay alert, according to a study at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W.Va. Chew a piece of sugar-free peppermint gum, brew a cup of peppermint tea or use a lotion with the fragrance.

Home Remedy for Runny Noses: Chicken Soup

Score one for mom: A study at the University of Nebraska found that chicken soup helped stop the movement of neutrophils, white blood cells that stimulate the release of mucus and cause runny noses. You don’t need to a special recipe; any chicken soup -- homemade or not -- will work.

What are your favorite home remedies for beating colds? Share them below or tweet us @Completely_You

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