Cold and flu remedies help you prepare for the inevitable. When a cold or the flu hits hard in your home, you don’t always have the chance to run to the store. Plus, if you live in the country like we do, it still may be quite a drive to the nearest store.
Having the ingredients on hand to help you make cold and flu remedies, makes life easier. You can drink the herbs in a tea (squirt the tinctures in water), or use essential oils in a diffuser, humidifier or vaporizer, or a potpourri crockpot. Adding raw honey and lemon to your hot beverages, of course, always add an extra boost of healing nourishment.
Some of the herbs you can also purchase at your local drug store in tea form, such as the echinacea, lemon, peppermint, or chamomile, or order them online on Amazon. Zinc, and other supplements, of course, can be found quite readily in the supplement section. All work quite well to bring relief and you can probably even skip the doctor’s office! And yes, you may even find you don’t need a flu shot.
General Cold and Flu Remedies
Homemade elderberry syrup
Elderberry remains our first go-to for cold and flu, so I always keep it on hand. Making your own homemade syrup is the best antivirus natural remedy to stop any bug in its tracks.
Thieves oil contains usually four different essential oils: rosemary, lemon, clove, and eucalyptus. Thieves oil is probably the strongest essential antiviral I know of, consequently, I use it in my homemade all-purpose spray for kitchen and bathroom counters. You can purchase it on Amazon, through Young Living, or make your own thieves oil. Either way, you can use it to wipe down the counters and bathroom, diffuse it in the air, make your own hand sanitizer.
Lavender just plain soothes your body and may even help a child rest despite a stuffy nose. You can diffuse it, or rub a bit directly on the skin, using a couple tablespoons of coconut oil with several drops of essential oil.
One of the simplest ways to fight a cold bug is to take zinc. Often times, we may run low on zinc and just a 25mg tablet a few times a day may stop the cold. Taking zinc when cold symptoms first appear will bring the best results.
Adding a slice or squeeze of lemon to a cup of hot water and honey, provides a nice antibacterial punch to your body. Lemon adds vitamin C, which has been known in high doses to fight back cold and flu. In addition, you can also use lemon essential oil for additional benefits.
Raw honey, generally unfiltered, remains the best medicine. Honey is antibacterial and antifungal, so it helps prevent infection from setting in. Plus, it just plain tastes great! Remember though: children under 2 should not eat raw honey.
Echinacea is a known immune booster herb, which is found readily in grocery stores in tea form. You can make a cup of tea, or take a few drops of echinacea tincture to help provide relief.
Tea tree oil, also known as melaluca, helps clear up any bacterial infections as a result of cold and flu. The smell of tea tree is a bit funky, but when added to a more fragrant oil, such as lemon, is barely detectable.
If you haven’t seen the webinar on how vitamin C and vitamin D can literally keep you from getting sick, you may not understand the importance of this. High doses of vitamin C given regularly can really alter the course of a cold. Taking at least 1,000mg 3 times a day should stop it. However, if it still doesn’t seem to work, increase it. Don’t be afraid to increase your dose to 8,000 mg a day for an adult. I personally give my 12-year-old special needs son 2-3,000mg a day without illness.
Ginger relieves gastric upset. You can cut slices of ginger to add to make a tea, or chop it up and add it to honey. Or you can use ginger essential oil. Adding ground ginger to teas, shakes or honey also works well.
An herb well-known for bringing calm. Chamomile also settles indigestion and nausea, as well as inflammation. This can be used as a tea with a touch of stevia for a nice sweet tea. It works well with children. You can also purchase chamomile essential oil for a nice roll-on.
Garlic is an antibacterial and antiviral which can be added to your bone broth or chicken soup. Garlic will help fight infection before it sets in. Chop it up fresh, or buy a jar of chopped garlic and stick it in the refrigerator.
Yep, don’t forget this one. There have been studies done on the effectiveness of chicken soup. Make it a good old-fashioned bone broth and you nourish the body and the gut.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains many well-known natural benefits. For cold and flu, it is antiviral and can help settle a stomach. Add some to your teas, honey or honey lemon concoctions for an extra boost in fighting a cold. We add this to our cold and flu tea to help break up congestion.
For congestion and runny noses
Nettle leaf made into tea is a natural mild antihistamine, among many other natural benefits. When used liberally during a cold or bug, it re-hydrates and nourishes the patient. You can purchase it in bags on Amazon.
Rose hips are the fruit from a rose bush that form in the fall. They are small little red fruit that contain high doses of vitamin C. Adding rose hips to your tea will help you get your daily dose of antioxidant. You can also purchase bags of it on Amazon.
Peppermint tea makes a wonderful natural remedy to help clear congestion. Plus, you can use peppermint essential oil topically (with a bit of carrier oil) on the chest and airways. Or, you can use the essential oil internally in a bit of honey. Peppermint tea is readily available in grocery stores and online.
Eucalyptus oil remains a great antibacterial and because of its minty aroma, it helps to clear airways when used in a diffuser. You can also apply it topically by adding it to 2-3 tablespoons of carrier oil, or place it in a roller bottle.
Rosemary generally used as an essential oil or an herb for cooking, helps in sinus congestion. It is an antioxidant and generally brings relief for the common cold. Use rosemary oil in a diffuser along with peppermint and eucalyptus to help break up congestion.
You can purchase a nettie pot just about anywhere nowadays. I recently saw some at Dollar Tree. To use, add 1/4 tsp of baking soda and sea salt to the pot, then fill with warm water. Pour the solution through one nostril over a sink and then blow your nose. This is not for the faint of heart, but it DOES work quite well.
I use whatever I have on hand for cold and flu natural remedies. Finally, here is another article, with tons of herbal information for colds and flu. Then, here is our own family cold and flu tea, which is a favorite when winter colds hit our home.