13 Best Home Remedies To Treat Summer Cold

Save that trip to the doctor and manage your summer cold with simple ingredients at home.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Millie Lytle, ND, MPH
Written by Kushneet Kukreja, MS (Biotechnology)
Edited by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Fact-checked by Dipti Sharma, MA (English)  • 

While it may sound odd, a cold during summer is more common than you think. Many people catch a cold during the summer months and suffer from the symptoms and the hot weather. No ice creams, no cool drinks, and no vacations to colder regions make the hot summer months worse.
A cold can become a bane during summer. So, what can you do when you contract the common cold in the hot summer months? How to cure a summer cold? Is going to the doctor and shelling out money the only option?

Well, no! Certain home remedies to treat summer cold can help. These are better, inexpensive, and highly effective. So, what are you waiting for? Sit back and read on.

Summer Cold Causes

Unlike the winter cold that is caused by the rhinovirus, summer colds are often caused by another group of viruses known as the enteroviruses. The infection spreads when you come in contact with an infected person or object, or when you consume water that has the virus in it (1).

Summer Cold Symptoms

Everyone experiences a wide range of symptoms during a summer cold. The most common ones are:

  • Sneezing
  • A stuffy, runny nose
  • A scratchy and sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Congestion

If you experience high fever and rashes, consult a doctor immediately (1, 2).

Find below the remedies to get rid of summer cold with natural ingredients found at home.

How Do You Get Rid Of A Summer Cold?

  1. Saline Spray
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Vitamin C
  4. Ginger
  5. Echinacea
  6. Turmeric
  7. Herbal Tea
  8. Essential Oils
  9. Garlic
  10. Honey
  11. Red Onion
  12. Milk
  13. Cinnamon

Home Remedies For Summer Cold

1. Saline Spray

Saline spray remedy for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • A cup of water
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • A saline spray bottle
What You Have To Do
  1. Heat the water until it is warm enough for you to bear.
  2. Put the salt and baking soda into the spray bottle, add the warm water, and mix well.
  3. Carefully spray this into your nostrils, one at a time, to rinse your nasal passages.
  4. Rinse the bottle and let it air dry.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once or twice a day.

Why This Works

Saline water acts as a nasal decongestant and clears up the crusty and/or built-up mucus from your nostrils (3).

Caution

Do not substitute sea salt with table salt as the latter contains additives and can cause further irritation in your nose.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Gargle with the saltwater solution or have lozenges to soothe your sore throat.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar remedy for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • A glass of water
What You Have To Do

Mix the vinegar and water and drink this mixture. You can add some honey for taste to this concoction.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink 1-2 glasses of ACV water every day until the cold clears up.

Why This Works

ACV creates an alkaline environment in the body, and this helps to kill the viruses and bacteria easily and quickly (4).

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Vitamin C tablets

What You Have To Do

Take this supplement every day.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume as advised on the box.

Why This Works

Vitamin C enhances the body’s immune response to the viral infection. As a result, the virus will be quickly eliminated from the body (5).

4. Ginger

Ginger tea for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1/2 inch ginger root
  • A cup of hot water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Brew some hot ginger tea by chopping the ginger and soaking it in hot water for a few minutes.
  2. Strain, add honey, and drink this tea.
How Often You Should Do This

Have 2-3 cups of ginger tea in a day.

Why This Works

Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties (6). It will reduce the inflammation in your nasal passages and lessen the excessive mucus that is being produced. The warmth of the tea will also soothe your nasal passages.

5. Echinacea

Echinacea for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need

Echinacea capsules or tincture

What You Have To Do

Ingest the herbal supplement as directed on the bottle.

How Often You Should Do This

Take about 900 mg of the herb divided into 2-3 doses over the day.

Why This Works

Commonly known as the purple coneflower, Echinacea increases the number of white blood cells in the body. This is beneficial for treating infections such as colds, flu, etc. as the WBCs are responsible for fighting the infection causing microorganisms (7).

6. Turmeric

Turmeric for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • A glass of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the turmeric and salt to the water and mix well.
  2. Gargle with this mix.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat every 3-4 hours.

Why This Works

Turmeric is the go-to herb in Indian households when it comes to treating any infection. And rightly so, because this herb acts as an excellent antimicrobial agent. It also reduces inflammation and aids quick recovery from the illness (8).

7. Herbal Tea

Herbal tea for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Roast all the dry herbs together.
  2. Boil the water and add one and a half tablespoons of the roasted herb mixture to it.
  3. Heat it on a low flame for a few minutes.
  4. Let the mixture come to a boil. Strain the decoction prepared.
  5. Add the honey to it and mix well. Drink while it is warm.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink warm herbal tea twice a day.

Why This Works

Herbal spice tea works as an effective home remedy for summer cold. These herbs act as decongestants and give relief from the summer cold symptoms. They also possess antimicrobial properties and can eliminate the infection-causing virus from the body (9, 10, 11, 12).

Lily, a YouTuber shared her mom’s recipe for a herbal tea made of ginger, tangerine peels, and brown sugar, which she consumed when she was experiencing cold symptoms. She said, “I drank it and honestly I felt 100 times better after drinking this tea (i).”

8. Essential Oils

Essential oils for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • A few drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • A bowl of hot water
  • A towel
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the essential oil to the hot water.
  2. Cover your head and neck with a towel and inhale the steam from the water bowl. The towel is to prevent the steam from escaping into the surroundings and help it enter your nostrils.
  3. Inhale the steam for 7-8 minutes.

Alternatively, you can also use cyprus essential oil, tea tree essential oil, peppermint oil, or thyme essential oil for the steam inhalation.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once or twice a day until you get relief from the summer cold.

Why This Works

The antiviral properties of eucalyptus essential oil make it a wonderful remedy for treating cold. It also stimulates the immune system and alleviates inflammation in the nasal passages (13, 14).

9. Garlic

Garlic for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
What You Have To Do

Blend all the ingredients and drink the liquid.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this concoction every day until the symptoms of cold subside.

Why This Works

Garlic is an antibacterial and antiviral ingredient used in many home treatment recipes. It helps boost your immune system and flushes out toxins from your body (15).

10. Honey

Honey for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or ginger juice
What You Have To Do

Mix the two and drink the mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this syrup 2-3 times in a day.

Why This Works

Honey is antimicrobial in nature and contains compounds that kill the bacteria and virus that cause cold. It also has anti-inflammatory properties (16).

11. Red Onion

Red onion for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 2-3 red onions
  • 1/4 cup honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Cut the onions horizontally.
  2. Place a slice and pour some honey on it. Place another slice on top of this and pour some honey again. Repeat this until all the slices are layered on top of each other.
  3. Cover the bowl and keep it aside for 10-12 hours.
  4. Drink a tablespoon of the thick syrup that is present in the bowl.

Keep the bowl covered and store in a cool place. The same syrup can be consumed for 2-3 days.

How Often You Should Do This

Ingest the syrup twice a day.

Why This Works

The syrup made of red onions works great to treat your summer cold because onions possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (17).

protip_icon Fun Fact
Ancient Egyptians used onions for food, mummification, and treating cold symptoms.

12. Milk

Milk for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • A glass of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
What You Have To Do
  1. Boil the milk and add turmeric and ginger powder to it. Mix well.
  2. Drink this warm milk.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink this twice a day.

Why This Works

If you combine milk with turmeric and ginger, it can help you get rid of the symptoms of cold like headache, runny nose, watery eyes, etc. The combination works as a decongestant that also possesses antimicrobial properties.(18)

13. Cinnamon

Cinnamon for summer cold
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 cloves
  • A glass of boiling water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the cinnamon and cloves to the water and let it boil for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Strain the liquid and drink a tablespoon of this.
How Often You Should Do This

Have this syrup 2-3 times in a day.

Why This Works

Like the other herbs mentioned in the remedies above, cinnamon also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that relieve cold and its symptoms (9).

Apart from following these remedies, you also must refrain from certain practices to accelerate recovery. Learn more in the next section.

What To Avoid When You Have A Summer Cold

Catching a summer cold is no fun! While you are down with a cold, you must avoid a few things to help your body recover faster.

  • Steer clear of drinks high in caffeine as they can dehydrate you (19).
  • Avoid sugary or processed foods as they can weaken your immune system (20).
  • Stay out of air-conditioned environments as they can exacerbate respiratory symptoms.
  • Limit physical activity until you have recovered. Avoid heavy workouts or summer sports! While the sun can be tempting, don’t overexert yourself in the heat.

Prioritize rest, stay hydrated with lukewarm fluids, and let your body heal. Opt for natural remedies and consult a doctor if your symptoms persist.

Infographic: Top Natural Ways To Soothe A Summer Cold At Home

As the temperature rises, so does the risk of catching a summer cold. Luckily, there are natural remedies you can use to alleviate your symptoms in the comfort of your own home. Check out the infographic below to learn some of the best ways to ease your summer cold and get back to enjoying the season.

top natural ways to soothe a summer cold at home (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

The summer cold is caused by enteroviruses in warmer months unlike the common cold caused by rhinoviruses. However, the symptoms are similar for both conditions, including sneezing, coughing, a runny or stuffy nose, scratchy and sore throat, and congestion. Unless you have emergency symptoms such as a fever or rashes (in the case of which you need to seek medical attention right away) herbal remedies for summer cold include saline spray, increased vitamin C intake, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, essential oils, cinnamon, milk, herbal teas, garlic, and ginger. Viral colds are self-limiting and should go away on their own, but these remedies can hasten the recovery process and alleviate some of the symptoms.

So, there we have it! This article includes the best home remedies for summer cold. Get the herbs out of the kitchen pantry and kick the cold out. Enjoy summer to the fullest!

If you know of other such home remedies, do share them with us in the comments box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tips & Precautions

• Chicken soup has nutrients and vitamins to treat cold. It also serves as an antioxidant to accelerate the healing process. Make a thick soup of vegetables and chicken. Drink it at least twice a day to combat cold.
• Pepper contains capsaicin, which gives relief from congestion. Sprinkle some pepper on your food and let it clear up your sinuses.
• Wash your hands before you eat or drink anything.
• Try not to touch your face, especially around the nose, mouth, and eyes, as much as possible when you are in a public area that may be contaminated with various viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
• Ensure adequate hydration to speed up recovery and ease symptoms. Stay away from caffeine and energy drinks.
• Consume foods rich in vitamin C as it boosts your immunity and helps the body fight the infection faster.

How long does a summer cold last?

On an average, a cold lasts between 7-10 days.

Is it good to sweat when you have a cold?

This is a common myth and holds no logical explanation. People usually say that you can sweat out a cold or a fever, but medicine says otherwise. It does not make any difference.

Why do summer colds last so long?

This is based on several factors, including age, health, and genetics. However, your cold is likely to clear up faster if you take better care of yourself and employ cold-care remedies. But do make an appointment with your doctor if your cold lasts more than two weeks.

Is sunlight good for a cold?

Yes, adequate sunlight exposure can help you fight cold and flu. Getting more sun can help prevent flu infections (21).

Is summer cold contagious?

Yes. It spreads through tiny droplets in the air emitted from a person’s nose and mouth when they cough, sneeze, or talk.

Key Takeaways

  • Enterovirus is responsible for causing colds during the summer season
  • Simple cold treatment solutions include saline spray, ginger, apple cider vinegar, honey, and turmeric.
  • You can also drink herbal tea twice a day to eliminate the infection-causing cold.

Learn 5 simple and effective home remedies to help you fight summer colds! Watch the video given below and get relief from your symptoms and feel better fast!

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Catching a Cold When It’s Warm
    What’s the Deal with Summertime Sniffles?
    https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2012/06/catching-cold-when-its-warm
  2. Cold, Flu, or Allergy?
    Know the Difference for Best Treatment
    https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/10/cold-flu-or-allergy
  3. Saline irrigation spells relief for sinusitis sufferers
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183918/
  4. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/
  5. Vitamin C Is an Essential Factor on the Anti-viral Immune Responses through the Production of Interferon-α/β at the Initial Stage of Influenza A Virus (H3N2) Infection
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659258/
  6. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
  7. Applications of the Phytomedicine Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) in Infectious Diseases
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3205674/
  8. Turmeric, the Golden Spice
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/
  9. Indian Spices for Healthy Heart – An Overview
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3083808/
  10. Investigating Therapeutic Potential of Trigonella foenum-graecum L. as Our Defense Mechanism against Several Human Diseases
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4739449/
  11. Cuminum cyminum and Carum carvi: An update
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210012/
  12. Foeniculum vulgare Mill: A Review of Its Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Contemporary Application, and Toxicology
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137549/
  13. Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11338678/
  14. Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20359267/
  15. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11697022/
  16. Anti-influenza viral effects of honey in vitro: potent high activity of manuka honey
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24880005/
  17. Onions—A global benefit to health
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.1222
  18. Antibacterial and antiviral effects of milk proteins and derivatives thereof
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12769735/
  19. Coffee with High but Not Low Caffeine Content Augments Fluid and Electrolyte Excretion at Rest
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2017.00040/
  20. Diet and Immune Function
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723551/
  21. Sunlight and protection against influenza
    https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w24340/w24340.pdf
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