Natural home remedies for the common cold include consumption of chicken soup, an increased intake of liquids, use of saline nasal drops, and rest, according to Mayo Clinic. Gargling salt water can also relieve a sore and scratchy throat.
Vitamin C supplements and zinc can shorten the duration of a cold when taken early during the onset of symptoms, explains Mayo Clinic. Some experts claim that echinacea can also shorten the duration of a cold, and research of its efficacy is ongoing.
The common cold is a viral infection from which most people recover in one or two weeks. Symptoms appear one to three days after exposure to a cold-causing virus and include a low-grade fever, watery eyes, congestion, cough and sneezing, states Mayo Clinic. Some people also experience a runny or stuffy nose, an itchy or sore throat, body aches and a headache.
Medical attention is indicated for adults with a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, severe sinus pain, severely swollen glands, a fever accompanied by sweating or chills, and a cough with colored phlegm, according to Mayo Clinic. Children who experience repeated fevers above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, neck stiffness, ear pain, difficulty breathing and severe headaches require immediate medical attention.