6 Summer Colds Remedies That Really Work

I recently came down with what I think was a version of the flu. Ugh. I experienced fatigue, aches, and congestion but tested negative for COVID-19. 

My doctor was out of town — and my symptoms weren’t quite severe enough to head to urgent care — so I decided to try a few well-known at-home summer cold remedies to see if any of them could help alleviate my symptoms. 

With the guidance of the Mayo Clinic, here’s what worked for me. Whether you find yourself with a cold while on vacation or you’re stuck at home with flu-like symptoms, hopefully, some of these summer cold remedies can give you some relief too. 

person with cold blowing nose

(Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, so please visit one if your symptoms are severe.)

Summer cold remedies worth trying

1. Eat chicken noodle soup 

To help with a summer cold, choose chicken soup that’s made with the chicken still on the bone (as opposed to using just the chicken meat). That’s because bone broth has numerous health benefits, including immune support, gut health, and joint support (to name a few). 

Plus, warm liquids help with congestion by loosening secretions so they’re easier to expel (i.e., get all of the gross mucus out of you!).

2. Try a saline solution

Saline nasal solutions (or a neti pot) are highly recommended for a common cold because they extract mucus to help avoid ear aches caused by congestion. 

If you have a summer cold, try a homemade salt water solution of equal parts warm water and salt. Without access to a neti pot, you can insert the solution over the sink into each of your nostrils using a dropper (if possible) or plastic cup.  

Bonus: You can also use a saline solution to gargle! 

3. Load up on fruits and veggies

While “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may not be a completely true saying, what is true is that fruits, like apples, and green vegetables, can help support your immune system. A Harvard-based study recommends five servings of fruits and vegetables a day

When you have a summer cold, it’s best to double your fuel with as many vitamin-enriched foods as you can. Ginger, honey, lemon, citrus fruits, and even a little spice can help combat your ailments. Combine them to make this yummy, anti-inflammatory tea recipe

4. Sleep like a baby 

Resting is one of your best defenses against a summer cold. Conserving energy will help you recoup strength in order to fight whatever illness you’re dealing with.

One of the most vital components of recovery, sleep is individualized and should be tailored to what works best for you. Some may prefer an ice-cold room, while others like their sleep environment to be room temperature. You may need to experiment to find works best for you to catch those extra zzz’s. 

5. Embrace the steam

Using a vaporizer, cool mist humidifier, or visiting a steam room can help alleviate congestion. So can standing in a hot shower. Turn on the hot water with the water directed away from you and take a seat. The steam should temporarily give you some relief. 

6. Prioritize hydration

When you’re sick, you should aim to double your fluid intake, and water is your best bet. 

While sports drinks may help if you’re dehydrated, keep in mind they’re high in sugar, which can impact immune function. Also, avoid coffee and alcohol while you’re sick since they’re dehydrating. 

The bottom line: Hopefully, these summer cold remedies can help alleviate your symptoms so you can get back to the beach and enjoy your much-needed vacation. But if it’s been 48 hours and your symptoms still persist or worsen, it’s always wise to visit a medical professional for care. 

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About Jenna Cerenko

Jenna is a marketing consultant with a love for writing. She studied English Literature and Communications at Florida State University and received her M.B.A from Florida International University. She currently lives in Miami with her husband, two active young children and rescue dog named Sky. Outside of spending time with family/friends and staying active, Jenna loves live music and traveling as often as possible.

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