Few things will ruin an otherwise great weekend more effectively than getting a pesky cold. No methods are guaranteed to get rid of cold symptoms in as little as 12 hours' time, because conditions vary greatly from person to person; however, there are several actions a person can take to speed along the healing process and feel better twice as fast.
Guidelines to Follow
Realize that a cold is not something to fight off, but a reaction your body is having to invading bacteria. Reinforcing your body's natural healing process will be far more beneficial than forcing external methods to work.
Eat sparsely. The digestive process required to process much of the food humans eat accounts for a significant drain on the body's available resources--resources that cannot then be used to fight off the invading bacteria.
Avoid fatty, starchy, or protein-rich foods, which are more difficult to digest. Raw fruits and vegetables are preferred. Don't worry about skipping a meal or two, your body's healing process needs fuel from rest more than it needs fuel from food.
Rest as much as possible. Physical and mental activity strains the body, making recovery much more difficult. The less energy you expend within the first twelve hours of getting a cold, the more energy your body will have to fight it off early.
Drink hot liquids. Not just warm but hot, nearly boiling. As hot as you can stand to swallow. Piping hot water will not only flush your body better than cooler water, but will actually aid in killing bacteria in the throat, which are trying to multiply as much as possible.
Reduce symptoms. You can't very well sleep it off with a stuffy, plugged-up nose, and being forced to breathe through the mouth causes other problems for your body. Try lozenges, cough syrups, or other types of medications to relieve symptoms immediately, but only as means to your desired end: getting your body the rest it badly needs.
Consider vitamins and supplements, but don't go overboard and load your body with all sorts of extra vitamins, minerals, and supplements; after all, it has to process these, and what doesn't help will hurt because of the extra energy required to do so. Although some research has shown correlation between vitamin C, echinacea, and other supplements and cold symptom relief, most supplements won't speed the healing process.
Don't underestimate the power of your own mind to cure a cold. According to David Cohen, deciding to defeat a sickness from the inside out and taking the necessary steps can give your body considerable ability to overcome what ails you.
Mix hot water with soup or tea if preferred.
Even if you are very busy, do your best to fit in time for rest. Cancel appointments and readjust your schedule if needed.