10 Common Cold Treatments That Actually Work


The common cold hits all of us at some point. And although it’s not usually debilitating or life-threatening, it’s quite annoying. It can lead to canceled plans, social isolation, and less productivity. So let’s talk about some common cold treatments that will actually help reduce your symptoms. 

Cold Remedies That Don’t Work

While there are many common cold treatments, not all of them have been proven effective. So let’s talk about some examples of cold remedies that have been found to be ineffective.


Antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections, not viral infections like the common cold. Taking antibiotics for a cold will not help, as they do not target the cold virus. Additionally, inappropriate use of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance, which is a growing global health concern.

Vitamin C megadoses

While vitamin C is important for a healthy immune system, high-dose vitamin C supplementation has not been proven to prevent or cure the common cold in most cases. Regular consumption of vitamin C-rich foods is recommended, but excessive doses are unlikely to provide additional benefits.

Zinc nasal sprays

Zinc has been studied for its potential to reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms. However, zinc nasal sprays have been associated with a loss of smell (anosmia) in some cases. Oral zinc supplements may be more effective in reducing the duration of a cold, but they should be taken with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Over-the-counter cough suppressants

Cough suppressants, like those with dextromethorphan, are often used to alleviate coughing associated with colds. However, the evidence supporting their effectiveness is limited. Coughing is a natural mechanism by which the body clears mucus and irritants from the airways, so suppressing a cough may not be beneficial in all cases.

Cold Remedies That Work

Spoiler: there is no cure for the common cold. But there are several natural remedies that can help alleviate symptoms and support your recovery. Let’s talk about the best options.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to stay hydrated and help loosen mucus. You can also drink herbal tea or clear broth. Just avoid excessive consumption of sugary or caffeinated beverages because they can dehydrate you.

Get plenty of rest

Adequate rest is essential for your body to heal. Make sure to get enough sleep and take it easy during the day, allowing your immune system to focus on fighting the cold virus.

Steam inhalation

Inhaling steam can help relieve nasal congestion and ease breathing. Fill a bowl with hot water, place a towel over your head, and inhale the steam for a few minutes. You can also try using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Gargle with warm saltwater

Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle with it several times a day. This can help soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation.

Use saline nasal rinses

Saline nasal rinses or sprays can help clear nasal passages and relieve congestion. They work by flushing out mucus and irritants from the nose. You can use a pre-made saline solution or make your own by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.

Eat immune-boosting foods

Eating a nutritious diet can support your immune system. Make sure your diet includes foods rich in vitamin C (like citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens), zinc (found in nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains), and antioxidants (found in colorful fruits and vegetables).

Use honey and herbal remedies

Honey has natural soothing properties and may help relieve cough and sore throat. You can mix it with warm water or herbal teas. Some herbal remedies, like echinacea, ginger, and elderberry, have been traditionally used to support the immune system during colds.

Practice good hygiene

To prevent the spread of the cold virus and support your recovery, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoid close contact with others.

An Overlooked Cold Remedy: Microdosing


The tenth and final cold remedy I want to recommend is microdosing, which is the consumption of sub-perceptual amounts of psychedelics.

But don’t let that scare you away. The amounts are so minimal, you only experience the health benefits of the plant extract and not the hallucinogenic effects that you would at much higher doses. So instead of “tripping,” these small doses heighten your creativity, productivity, and overall state of well-being.

It’s a totally safe and natural way to improve specific aspects of your health.

And if you microdose the right formula, you can ward off the effects of a cold. It’s one of the best common cold treatments out there.

So what’s the “right” formula for microdosing?

A great place to start is Soul Drops’ Reishi Tonic. Take one dropper a day and you’ll start to experience…

  • A stronger immune system so you can better avoid and get over a cold
  • Less inflammation so the common cold is not as debilitating 
  • Better sleep so you can recover faster

What’s fascinating is that Reishi Tonic has many other benefits not directly related to getting over a cold, like a better functioning nervous system, adrenal support, increased energy, and mental clarity.

But make no mistake, this is one of the most effective natural common cold treatments available. 

Common Cold Treatments: FAQs

How do I get rid of a cold fast?

There’s no cure for the common cold, but you can lessen the length of time you’re sick and reduce the symptoms. The fastest way to treat a cold is by drinking lots of water, getting lots of sleep, and eating healthy foods rich in antioxidants. 

What are the 5 stages of cold?

The five stages of a cold are 1) incubation stage (cold exposure), 2) prodromal stage (initial symptoms), 3) peak stage (most intense symptoms), 4) recovery stage (gradual lessening of symptoms), and 5) resolution stage (full healing).

How long does a cold last?

For those with a healthy functioning immune system, a cold typically lasts for 7-10 days but sometimes shorter. However, it’s important to note that everyone responds differently to the common cold so that time frame can vary widely.