A 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt can be mixed with 8 ounces of warm water and gargled, by taking a sip and tilting the head back while bubbling the water in the upper throat, to relieve a sore throat, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is a recommended practice for soothing a sore throat related to cold symptoms. It should be noted that children less than the age of 6 are most likely unable to gargle saltwater correctly.
While there is no cure for the common cold, there are quite a few simple methods of treatment that can help to alleviate symptoms of the cold, according to the Mayo Clinic. Of course, the patient suffering with a cold should get plenty of rest and stay hydrated with fluids. Clear broths, water, juice and lemon water with honey can help to loosen congestion and mucus drainage. Obviously, avoiding fluids that can worsen dehydration, such as alcohol or sodas, is a good idea. Since a stuffy nose is a common symptom of the common cold, saline nose drops and sprays can be used to loosen mucus and relieve congestion. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (for children and adults 6 months of age and older) can be used to treat pain associated with a cold. Using a humidifier can help to add moisture to the air, aiding with congestion. Finally, over-the-counter cold medicines can be used as well.