courtesy of

by: Laura Wetherbee

Cold season is in full effect and students should take these steps to beat and prevent colds and remain healthy through the fall semester at Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC).

According to, gargling with salt water is an effective home treatment for the common cold.  It alleviates throat pain, loosens irritating mucus, and can actually help prevent colds.

A study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found people that gargled warm salt water three times a day were less likely to get sick during cold season.

To get started gargling, all one needs to do is dissolve half a teaspoon of salt water in a glass full of water, gargle, then spit it out.

Another popular home remedy is honey. A 2007 Penn State University study found that 1-2 teaspoons of honey is not only effective in treating nocturnal coughs, but it is actually more effective than some cough suppressants. states that the best way to get rid of nasal congestion is to use saline nasal spray or other similar irrigation techniques, because it reduces the severity of congestion and also reduces infection.

While you can buy many nasal sprays over-the-counter, one can also make their own. explains how to make a homemade nasal spray by mixing a quarter teaspoon salt, a quarter teaspoon baking soda, and 8 ounces of warm water.  This can be sprayed into the nose via a bulb syringe or a tool, like the popular neti pot, to clear your nasal passageway.

According to, vitamin C has been studied for many years as a possible treatment for colds, or as a way to prevent colds, but findings have been inconsistent.  It has been shown that increased doses of vitamin C does not prevent colds, however, in some cases it made cold symptoms improve.

Students who are already experiencing cold symptoms can turn to vitamin C to help improve their symptoms.  Some easy ways to get some vitamin C include drinking orange juice or using Emergen-C tablets found at local drug stores.

Follow these tips to prevent or beat any colds this season and get through the semester happy and healthy.