Herbal supplements, such as echinacea and goldenseal, as well as 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day can help to boost the immune system, which may help to prevent colds following exposure, explains WebMD. Handwashing and cleaning surfaces with alcohol can also help prevent the transfer of germs.
One study has shown that taking zinc supplements may help prevent colds from developing, according to CNN; however, a specific dosage amount has not been determined. Colds typically have a two- to five-day incubation period prior to symptoms developing, which means if an individual has not developed cold symptoms within this window, he most likely is not infected.
Individuals who exhibit cold symptoms following exposure may be able to shorten the duration of the virus by drinking hot water with lemon and honey, explains Prevention. Honey contains immune-boosting ingredients, and lemon is high in vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C can help to minimize the severity of cold symptoms.
Drinking extra fluids, such as water or broth, can help break up congestion following the onset of cold symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. Additional remedies that may help to minimize the severity of symptoms include chicken soup, over-the-counter decongestants and saline nasal sprays.