3.23.2009

Simple, Natural, Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

Despite what you may think, sickness is good for the immune system. The occasional cold or flu must run its course fully so that the body can properly fight and become immune to it, whether viral or bacterial. Did you know that most, if not all, over-the-counter "medicines" for cold and flu are merely symptom suppressors and actually work against your immune system?

The solution? Nourish your body nutritionally so that the immune system can do it's job. Here are some of my favorite, simple home remedies that have worked for my family to shorten the duration of colds, coughs, sore throats, and flu:

* Herbal chest rub (in place of decongestant): olive oil mixed with a few drops of euchalyptus oil and peppermint oil, just like Vicks, only without the toxic petroleum base.

*Wet cotton socks on the feet covered with wool socks. This is supposed to help draw moisture from the head downward, and it always works for my kids if their noses are stuffy.

*Amla powder (can be purchased cheaply in Indian food stores) mixed with juiced carrots and a little raw cream. A good vitamin tonic.

*NO WHITE SUGAR OR GRAINS and minimized dairy when congested (as dairy is mucus-forming)

*Licorice root tea for sore throats/cough

*Broncofoot herbal elixer works wonder for coughs (I got this from my naturopath)

*Kombucha is what I swear by to help me through a bug. Full of antioxidents, probiotics, and vitamins, this is hydrating, nourishing, and energizing.

*Plenty of water (I drink Kangan restructured water which is alkalizing and has a high ORP, so that helps keep bugs at bay because most cannot thrive in an alkaline environment)

*Coconut oil "candy" (raw honey, raw nut butter, coconut oil) for the kids to eat. Coconut oil is high in antibacterial and antifungal medium-chain fatty acids, the same fatty acids found in breast milk! The raw honey also has many benefits and has been used for centuries to cure sore throats and coughs.

*Salt water gargle for sore throats.

*My failproof "so you can rest medicine" is to consume one clove of raw garlic. Yes, it's kind of intense, but you can almost feel head congestion begin to flee when you eat it.

*A delicious, nourishing meal that's also medicinal is ginger-coconut chicken soup. Start with 2 quarts of chicken broth (homemade is best). Add 1 can of coconut milk, 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes or cayenne, and 1 TBS chopped ginger.

What remedies have worked for you?

Related posts:

Read Kelly the Kitchen Kop's guide to natural remedies.

Go here for 5 Tips for Fighting the Winter Bugs

28 comments:

Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home said...

Thanks for these tips. I'm excited about learning ways to help ease symptoms without nasty chemicals.

Sarah said...

These are great tips and "recipes" for remedies, especially the child friendly ones! I'll be bookmarking this post for the next time we're sick!

Thank you!

Best,
Sarah

Mimi said...

I am printing this out!

Alyss said...

Great post! I succussfully (knock on wood) fended off the death plague feverish death that went around a couple weeks ago - including both the men in my house. I did it by gargling Dr. Shultze's super tonic. It's vinegar infused with garlic, ginger, onion, chiles and horseradish. He sells it on his website for like 20 bucks for a little bottle, I make it for pennies plus the steeping time (a month or 6 weeks).
Kombucha and chicken broth played a big part in my battle plan as well though. Great post, as always :)

layne (herman) said...

One thing a friend shared with me for sore and coughy throats is to put an ice pack on your neck. Apparently this draws blood to your throat and helps.

I have done it with a coughy throat and have found it helpful.

http://papaherman.wordpress.com/

Susan Sophia said...

I recently have started researching herbal remedies and have friend here that is really into. We've just gotten over a bought of chest and head cold with GREAT and AMAZING success with no over the counter meds and no doctor visits. I plan on blogging about it soon. (when I find the time to sit for bit). :)

Pampered Mom said...

Don't forget Elderberry Syrup - Rosemary Gladstar has a super easy recipe in her book "Family Herbal". We also use things like rosehip tea (high in Vit C) and Elecampane Root infusion (for lung and chest congestion).

Oh, and larger than normal doses of CLO - Vit D is key for recovery!

Jennifer said...

What great tips for when you get a nasty bug! I do understand that it is healthy to actually get sick, but I haven't been sick all winter and neither has my husband. I have to attribute it to the vitamin D that we are taking along with drinking kefir and kombucha daily. Our two children have had very mild colds, but they do not take the Vitamin D.

Carrie @ OrganicThrifty said...

Everybody, thank you for the great tips and comments, I concur with EVERY single one of them. And yes, after I wrote this post (it was a draft for several weeks) we ended up getting some elderberry syrup for my daughter's caugh (after the ND muscle-tested for its effectiveness for her) and bam, it worked like a charm in 2 days!!!! It's amazing how many different things work for healing!!!

Carrie @ OrganicThrifty said...

Alyss,

Will you post your recipe for your concuction? Our local co-op sells something similar for about $5 per bottle, but again, that's still probably about a 1000% markup!!!

:)
Carrie

Anonymous said...

I swear by mullein. I take a squirt of the tincture in a little water every few hours when feeling unwell. If I start soon enough, I can head off a bug entirely. However, I've also known it to get through things that would have resulted in an antibiotic from a regular Dr. Apparently it has all kinds of antibiotic, anti-viral & anti-fungal properties.

Anonymous said...

Grapefruit seed extract is the miracle cure in this house!

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Rich from Natural Wart Removal said...

Such a wonderful and helpful tips... Thanks for this....

pediatric emr said...

Great post! I still believe in the effect of the "Simple, Natural, Home Remedies for Cold and Flu" my mom still use that to me. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post. Looking forward for your next post.

-mel-

Acne Treatment said...

Grapes act as an expectorant. Grapes tone up the lungs and acts as an expectorant, giving relief from simple cold and cough in a couple of days. A cup of grape juice mixed with honey gives good relief from cough.

vivaherbal said...

There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that taking large doses of supplements will prevent or reduce risks of colds or flu.
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Abigail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doctor help online said...

Thanks for the advice shared. I agree with your point here. Any flu will complete its course in the body to become immune to it later. Some herbal treatment can help to reduce the pain and suffering the flu may cause.

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Stuart said...

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The blog is very nice by having the prevention of Cold along with some other related info which may helpful, Thanks for sharing out.

baby doctor poughkeepsie ny said...

Arming our body with the right nutrients seems like the first thing we should do to avoid cold and flu. Nice post.

Aradhana Sharma said...

Awesome tips, If you are experiencing any symptoms of cold and flu immediately consult a doctor online. Because it might lead to dangerous disease if you ignore.

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