Healthy Lifestyle Tips
One study found that a daily saltwater nasal rinse may be beneficial for children with colds.82 The children who used saline nasal rinses (six times per day initially and three times per day during the rest of the 12-week study) had fewer nasal and throat symptoms, they were healthier, and fewer of them used medications to manage their symptoms than the children who did not use the rinses. They were also less likely to have been sick again, and they missed less school. The nasal rinse was a standard 0.9% saline (sodium chloride) solution with trace elements and minerals in concentrations similar to those in seawater. Neti pots (small pots for nasal rinsing) and mineral salts to use with them are now widely available. Lifestyle habits that may support the immune system and speed recovery include the following:
- Drink plenty of fluids in order to maintain water balance and to thin secretions.
- Eat raw garlic, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Crush a clove or two and add to foods like soups and grains just before serving.
- Gargling with plain water three times a day removes mucus and keeps bacteria and viruses from sticking around.
- A warm, humid environment created by a humidifier may provide some comfort while riding out a cold.