How to Treat a Head Cold

To get quick relief from head cold, steam inhalation greatly helps. Read on to learn how to treat a head cold with steam inhalation, and other effective remedies...
A head cold is a very discomforting condition, as a person suffering from head cold experiences headache, stuffy nose, mucus drainage and even sore throat at times. Many times head cold is also referred as common cold. This is a viral infection, which is quite common during the winter season. A head cold can last anywhere between 4-10 days. Sometimes a person might also have sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and mild fever due to a head cold. If you are suffering from head cold then home remedies can provide good relief and also help you recover faster. However, if your head cold doesn't get better after one week's use of home remedies, it is important to seek medical help.

Treating a Head Cold Naturally

Given below are various useful remedies, which provide relief from head cold like steam inhalation. Also, there are some remedies which help you to recover faster from the head cold, like eating a lot of vitamin C.

Steam Inhalation
This is a very effective remedy which is even recommended by doctors. If you have severe congestion that disturbs your normal breathing, then use this remedy to get relief immediately. There are various ways to do steam inhalation. I do it using tea tree oil, but mostly eucalyptus oil is recommended. Some people don't add anything, but use plain steaming water. Eucalyptus is helpful for treating cold and relieves congestion, so it makes the remedy even more powerful. To do steam inhalation, fill a pot one-third with water. Put it on a stove, and keep a lid on the pot, till the water is boiling. Let the water boil and steam a bit. Then take it off stove, and place it on a table. Now, take eucalyptus essential oil and put 8-10 drops in the pot and stir it with a spoon which has a long handle, to avoid coming in contact with the hot water. Then place a towel over your head, and inhale the medicated vapors. Do this for 5 minutes. Steam inhalation should be done 2-4 times a day, preferably in the morning and before going to bed. This will help get rid of a stuffy nose.

Salt Water Gargling
This is another effective and quick remedy. When it comes to treating a head cold and sore throat, this remedy works the best. Boil 2 glasses of water with 1 tablespoon of salt. In case you can't tolerate salty water, reduce the amount of salt to half tablespoon to make it more bearable. Then let the water come to lukewarm temperature, and gargle with it. Follow the right technique while gargling. Stand near a sink, and take a small gulp of the water, then face the ceiling and gargle with your mouth open, after gargling close your mouth, bend and spit the water in the sink. Repeat this process till all the water is finished. Use this remedy 2-3 times a day.

Get Enough Rest
By letting the body rest, the energy used by the body to fight the infection will get channelized and thus help you recover faster. This will help to boost the immune system. So, don't push yourself too much. If you can take a day off, do that and try to take as many naps as you can. Or simply be in bed and when you get bored watch some cartoons or funny movies. Laughing boosts the immune system, as it increases endorphins which makes you feel better.

Drink Hot Fluids
When troubled by a head cold, try to drink more hot fluids. Even for drinking water, you can slightly heat it up and then drink it. There are many hot liquids you can keep sipping. Some of the best are chicken soup and tea. Having chicken soup is a remedy used to treat common cold, so have a bowl of chicken soup everyday till you get better. Also, to treat head cold better, consider having hot tea. You can make a ginger-green tea or lemon-green tea. Having 2-3 cups of green tea a day is a good idea.

Increase Vitamin C Intake
To boost your immunity and heal faster, eat a lot of vitamin C. The best source of vitamin C, in my opinion, is Amla, which is Indian Gooseberry. There are also other good sources like oranges, grapefruit, green tea, etc. However, amla is the best. It is a rich source of vitamin C. So, keep having 2-3 fresh amla or dried amla. This fruit is also used to prevent common cold.

Decongestant Ointment
There are many herbal decongestant available OTC. You can buy one, and apply it on your nose and head, then cover your head and go to sleep. Decongestant ointments are available for children and adults both.

These were the various remedies to treat a head cold. Apart from following the above remedies, there are some more measures you can follow. To prevent the earache during head cold, blow your nose properly. Keep your mouth open when blowing your nose, this will prevent the pressure that gives earache. Also, try avoid traveling by flights as it worsens the head cold.
By Pragya T
Published: 3/3/2011
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