The common cold affects millions of people annually, with the U.S. National Library of Medicine estimating that there are one billion colds each year in the United States. While the cold is often thought of as a winter occurrence, summer colds can take the wind out of your sails when it's warm outside. While most winter cold remedies still apply, some summer cold remedies can help you feel more comfortable and set you soon on your way to recovery.
If you live in a dry climate, the dryness of the air, coupled with a bad summer cold, can leave your throat feeling raw and sore. Placing a humidifier in your bedroom at night can help moisturize the air so you can sleep more comfortably. A cool-mist humidifier is also helpful to keep the room feelings cool, instead of warm and stuffy like a warm humidifier can. Remember to clean your humidifier with vinegar and water after each use to sanitize any germs that may linger and possibly reinfect you with the virus.
When you live in a humid climate throughout the summer, you don't want to use a humidifier in your room, but you can benefit from saline irrigation to your sinuses to help clear them out for a better night's rest. Commonly known as a "neti pot," nasal irrigation occurs through pouring warm, salted water directly into one nostril and flushing it out the other. The abrasive salt and warm water loosen mucus so it can be flushed away for fast relief from your summer cold symptoms, suggests Dr. Alexander Chiu, associate professor of otorhinolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Fluids are an important part of any cold remedy, but it's especially important to stay hydrated when you're suffering from a summer cold. The heat and dryness can deplete your body of moisture, so make sure to drink enough water, juice or sports drinks to feel better. Fluids help to thin out the mucus so that it can pass more easily though and out of your body. Make sure to avoid fluids that can exacerbate dehydration, warns MayoClinic.com, like coffee, alcohol and caffeinated sodas.
Vitamin C has long been utilized as a natural remedy for cold symptoms, and is thought to help shorten the length of the common cold. Through the summer months, you can easily get the vitamin C from the various fruits and vegetables that are in season. Choose fresh orange and grapefruit juice, eat an apple, try some fresh berries or eat a few bunches of broccoli raw with dip. A study performed by the University of Wyoming and published in a 2009 issue of "Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners" found that while vitamin C cannot cure the cold, it can reduce its duration. This is especially important in the summer months, when the last thing you want is to be bedridden.