12 Natural Cold Remedies & Tips for Flu Season
Now that we are in the midst of the cold and flu season I thought I’d share some natural cold remedies to help you avoid getting ill. And if the flu or cold has already caught you, don’t fear, there are many natural ways to lessen the duration of your cold or flu and lessen those pesky symptoms. What you might find surprising is that you might have many of these natural cold remedies right in your own kitchen! No running to the store in the middle of the night to buy a bottle of cherry-flavored medication (which is full of chemicals and dyes).
I’m going to list several natural cold remedies. You pick what works best for you. Try out a few. I use all of these in my own home.
12 Natural Cold Remedies
- Elderberry Syrup. I wrote about this a couple months ago when the kids first started school. This is my favorite for prevention. We are almost 2 months in to the school year and my kids have not had a single sniffle or cough!
- Vitamin D is a wonderful too for prevention too. Boosting vitamin D levels can help prevent illness in the first place, and taking several thousand IU a day while sick can help speed up recovery. I’m in Washington State where we don’t see too much sunshine, so vitamin D is a must over here.
- Rest. I know this can be a hard one for busy adults, but most of our bodies healing comes while we are a rest and when we are sleeping so make sure at the first signs of illness, to start resting. Get the kids into bed a 1/2 hour earlier.
- Hydrate! I can’t stress this enough. Drink lots of fluid. Water is the best. Water helps remove waste and flush toxins out of our body and this is especially important when we are sick. Not only does water help regulate our body temperate which is helpful when we have a fever, water actually empowers the body’s natural healing process. So put down the sodas and juice and drink some water!
- Stay away from Junk. This means limit or remove all processed food from your diet while sick, which includes anything in a box, white breads, pastas, sugars and grains. These all slow down our body’s healing process which will keep us sick for longer. Take out these foods and stick with whole foods.
- Vitamin C is probably the most important of all the antioxidant nutrients. When you feel a cold coming on a higher dose than usual can help in your body’s response to fight infection. Also it is known to have antiviral and anticancer effects.
- Oil of Oregano is an excellent early defense mechanism when you feel a cold or sore throat coming on. Simply take 3 drops of the oil once per day (you can mix it into a glass of orange juice) and you should notice results within a few hours. Repeat this once per day for up to 5 days until the symptoms are gone. This one works like a charm for me, but it can be hard to get the kids to do this one.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Cold viruses tend to put our bodies into an overly acidic state, which makes it that much more difficult for our immunity to fight those sickies. But taking apple cider vinegar, a powerful alkalizing food, will help not only kill a cold but also lessen or completely take away its miserable symptoms. Mixing a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with warm water, honey, and lemon, and drinking the concoction a few times a day will help speed up recovery. My kids take this very well. I add in some Vanilla Stevia and it tastes like apple pie.
- Neti-pot. This is one of my favorite. If you have a sinus infection or stuffed up nose this really helps clear that junk out. Mix 8oz. of spring water or distilled water (room temperate is best) with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Poor in your neti-pot and use. Also if you use this daily, I like to use it first thing in the morning, it will help prevent sinus infections from starting.
- Garlic. A powerhouse natural antibiotic, anti fungal, and antibacterial, garlic can tackle almost any illness. For the most potent effect, finely mince 1-2 cloves and mix with a tablespoon or two of raw honey and take it that way. If you chew it, that action will help break down the enzymes in the garlic which will be more readily available. Note: Pregnant women should not take more than 1 clove of garlic medicinally per day. * I successfully healed my strep-throat last year using this method. I used the above method but doubled the recipes and added cayenne pepper and took 1/2 tsp every 1/2 hour (except while sleeping) for 2 days, then 3 x a day until it symptoms disappeared. My Strep throat was gone in 5 days!
- Eucalyptus oil is one of my favorite natural cold remedies. It is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and it is a natural expectorant. When my kids show signs of coughs I put a few drops right onto their feet and rub it in. It works like a charm every time. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil etc.
- Echinacea. Supplementing with echinacea herb not only reduces your chances of developing a cold by more than 50 percent, but can also shorten the duration of cold symptoms by several days. Because it stimulates the immune system and promotes the activation of T-cells, echinacea is an excellent cold remedy, especially when combined with other natural cold remedies I listed.
I hope these natural cold remedies come in handy next time you are facing a cold or flu virus. Remember try different ones to see which works for you. What are your go-to natural cold remedies?