One example of a home remedy for a cold is to inhale steam to soothe nasal congestion. Another example of a home treatment for the common cold or flu is to make a saline nasal spray, says WebMD.
To inhale steam, hold the head over a pot of boiling water, advises WebMD. Breathe in slowly and be careful to not let the steam burn the nose. Using a humidifier produces the same results. Closing the door while taking a hot shower also produces enough steam to help alleviate symptoms.
Saline nasal solutions help break up nasal congestion and remove virus particles and bacteria. To make an at-home solution, mix 3 teaspoons of iodine-free salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and place the mixture in an airtight container. Use 1 teaspoon of this mixture with 8 ounces of warm distilled water. Fill a bulb syringe with it and softly squirt the solution into the nose while holding the head over the sink, notes WebMD. Hold the opposite nostril closed and repeat on the other side.
WebMD also recommends drinking plenty of fluids to help alleviate congestion caused by a common cold. Drinking water keeps the throat hydrated. Consuming at least eight glasses of water every day is good for most people.