10 Home Remedies for Colds



Salt isn't just for the table.
Salt isn't just for the table.
Inti St. Clair/Photodisc/Getty Images

The inflammation and swelling in the nose during a cold is caused by molecules called cytokines, or lymphokines, which are made by the body as it fights the infection. Research has shown that washing away these molecules can reduce swelling. You can make your own saline drops or spray by adding 1/4 teaspoon salt to 8 ounces water. Fill a clean nasal-spray bottle or dropper with the salt water and spray or drop into each nostril three or four times. Repeat five to six times daily.

You can also make a saltwater gargle for your sore throat with the same ratio of salt to water. Salt is an astringent and helps relieve a painful throat.