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How to get rid of a cold fast

Updated February 21, 2017

Having a cold is annoying. Colds generally last between 1 and 2 weeks and produce a variety of symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sore throat, fever and headaches. Although there is no cure for the common cold,, there are ways to improve your symptoms.

Take echinacea and other supplements. At the first sign of a cold, make a beeline to the nearest health food store and pick up a bottle of echinacea tablets or tea. Echinacea is a plant that's proven to boost the immune system and fight colds and flu. Although safe, pregnant women and people with weed allergies ought to avoid the herb. Take the supplement every three hours or as directed. Additionally, zinc tablets, garlic supplements and chamomile tea are effective treatments. Do not take any herbal or home remedies without first consulting with your health care provider. Many herbal remedies interfere with other medications, and it's important that your health care provider is aware of what you are taking for that reason.

Get over-the-counter medication. Talk with the drug store pharmacist and consult with your health care provider. Choose medications that address your specific symptoms. Read all labelling instructions and take each medication as directed.

Drink orange juice or take vitamin C. A great way to quickly combat a cold is to boost your immune system. This helps your body fight the infection so that you can begin to feel better. Drink several glasses of orange juice throughout the day or take vitamin C. Consult a pharmacist or your health care provider for dosing instructions regarding vitamin C.

Increase your water intake. Water and fruits that contain water are perfect because they cleanse the body, which can help remove bacteria and toxins. Toxins can contribute to a cold, and the sooner they're out of your body, the more quickly you can recover.

Stay home from work. Because a cold can linger for several days, many people continue to work, go to school or participate in other activities. Mild colds rarely interfere with daily life. However, if you're dealing with a bad cold, consider taking a few days off. Too much activity can decrease your energy level and prolong the cold. Give yourself time to relax and heal.

Wash your hands. Be sure to wash your hands after wiping your nose and coughing. Good hygiene is a good way to quickly fight a cold and you're less likely to infect others.

Things You'll Need

  • Echinacea
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Orange juice
  • Water
  • Cold medicine
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About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Virginia. She has contributed content to print publications and online publications such as Sidestep.com, AOL Travel, Work.com and ABC Loan Guide. Higuera primarily works as a personal finance, travel and medical writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/journalism from Old Dominion University.