What Are the Best Home Remedies for an Upper Respiratory Infection?



Home remedies for an upper respiratory infection

Upper respiratory infections have no cure. Antibiotics have no effect on them. Antibiotics will help stop a bacterial infection. They will not treat your URI, which is a viral infection.

Treatment for an upper respiratory infection is usually just a matter of easing your symptoms. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and simply wait it out.

Some home remedies to help the cold pass through your body a little faster are:

Saline nasal sprays

Saline nasal sprays are safe for everyone, including children. They can be purchased at your pharmacy and may relieve your stuffy nose symptoms.

Do not confuse saline nasal sprays with nasal decongestant sprays. These can actually make your URI worse.


Humidifiers also work well for stuffy nose symptoms produced by URIs. A cool mist humidifier in your bedroom can normalize your breathing.

Talk to your doctor before you use one. Excessive humidity in the air can actually worsen allergies in some people.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines

Many people regularly take OTC medicines like acetaminophen during cold and flu season.

Be careful. A side effect of acetaminophen is that it can cause liver damage if overused. Do not give acetaminophen to a child under the age of 6 unless your doctor advises it.


Your child will probably avoid eating when they have an upper respiratory infection. This might cause you some understandable anxiety, but you shouldn’t worry.

Doctors typically advise against forcing your child to eat when they have a URI. Let them eat when they’re hungry and reintroduce solid food gradually.


You or your child may be more inclined to drink than eat when you have a cold. This is a healthy impulse. Don’t ignore it.

Consider popsicles, warm soups, and broth in addition to increasing your water intake. All of these can be comforting when you have an upper respiratory infection.


Honey is highly recommended as a remedy for coughs and some other symptoms associated with URIs. Both children and adults benefit from mixing honey with boiling water to treat their acute coughs.

Do not give honey to an infant under the age of 1. Your baby should not consume honey at all.


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