This time of year is filled with the sniffles and the sneezes. My boys have been coughing and hacking for the past couple months. It seems that as soon as one gets well, the cold has moved on to the next one. Pretty soon the whole family has had a cold for a month. If at all possible, I like to treat my family’s colds with natural methods. Here are a few natural remedies I have found to help soothe and cure those nasty winter colds.

Gargle with salt water – Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Gargle with this four times a day. This helps to moisten your mouth and temporarily relieves a sore throat.

Drink hot beverages – The heat and steam from hot beverages helps to soothe not only sore throats, but also nasal passages too.

Take a hot shower – Take an extra-long, hot and steamy shower. This will moisturize your nasal passages and also help you to relax.

Take a nap – Rest is the best thing for you any time your immune system is in overdrive. Not only does rest help you to recover faster, but there is less time for your symptoms to pester you, if you’re sleeping.

Eat something with garlic – Garlic is thought to boost your immune system and help fight viruses.

Drink plenty of orange juice – The vitamin C in orange juice is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to fighting colds because it too is an immune system booster.

Suck on a zinc lozenge – Zinc, when taken over the first few days of a cold, can help shorten its severity.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.