Published on May 4th, 2015 | by Lynn Fang
3 Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
Spring and summer colds are no fun, and you don’t have to turn immediately to over-the-counter-drugs to get better. Try these home remedies for cold and flu to feel better naturally.
Some nasty viruses have been making their rounds through the country. The standard protocol of taking over-the-counter medicine to relieve sore throat, cough, runny nose, and sinus pressure can certainly work, but they will leave you feeling just as fog-brained, and while it’s great that they focus on reducing your symptoms, they do nothing to support your immune system, they key to true recovery.
You probably have a few things hanging around in your kitchen right now that could help reduce your viral suffering. Common pantry residents like lemon, ginger, and honey are powerful yet gentle natural remedies for cold and flu.
Introducing additional herbs like echinacea and elderberry into your medicine pantry can help you recover more quickly and keep you armed and ready to prevent the next viral offense from taking hold on you and your family.
3 Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
1. Lemon, Ginger, and Honey Jelly
Lemons are high in vitamin C, one of the most powerful antioxidants available, and vital to healthy immune function. Ginger has a multitude of health benefits – it also contains powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, antiviral and antibacterial agents, stimulates circulation, and helps to cleanse and relieve any issues in the gastrointestinal tract.
Related: How to Grow Ginger (+ Tips for Use)
Honey also provides antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and antiviral and antibacterial properties, and is well known for its ability to soothe sore throats. Raw honey is also a good choice as it contains more abundant enzymes, phytonutrients, and antiviral agents due to being unheated and unfiltered. Lemon, ginger, and honey can be combined into a simple jelly to soothe sore throats, coughs, and boost immune function. Simply scoop a few spoonfuls into hot water and enjoy a tasty medicine.
- 2-3 lemons, sliced
- 1-2″ ginger
- Place a layer of lemons into a mason jar and top with a layer of grated or sliced ginger. Continue to alternate the layers of lemon and ginger until you reach the top of the mason jar.
- Pour honey over the mixture and let it sink down into the open spaces. Keep it in the refrigerator, and after a few days, it will turn into a jelly consistency.
- When you want to use it, scoop a few spoonfuls into hot water or tea.
The leaves, stems, flowers, and roots of echinacea can be used to make extracts, powders, tinctures, and teas. There are nine flowering species in the US and Canada, of which three are most commonly used as immune boosters: E. purpurea, E. pallida, and E. augustifolia. Echinacea has been used as an immunity enhancer for the past 100 years, and was widely used as medicine by American Indians.
In my personal experience, I drink Echinacea tea made by Traditional Medicinals at the first sign of sickness, and it is typically able to prevent sickness from taking hold. When I am in the throes of a severe cold, Echinacea tea helps soothe my symptoms and helps me to recover more quickly.
Many others use tinctures and extracts for immune support. Echinacea has grown tremendously in popularity in the last few years and should be fairly easy to find at your local natural foods store or herbal store. There are no side effects to taking Echinacea unless you have an allergy to daisies.
3. Black Elderberry
Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been a folk remedy for centuries across the globe, and in modern medicine it is documented to boost immune activity and fight the flu virus. It was even used to treat the flu pandemic in Panama in 1995.
The leaves and branches are poisonous – it is the flowers and berries that contain potent healing properties. Elderberry is most often prepared as tinctures and extracts.
People who take elderberry report severely reduced fever and flu symptoms and a speedy recovery. It is also effective in preventing sickness, similar to Echinacea. Taking elderberry extract has helped me to recover quickly from a severe cold.
Elderberry has also risen in popularity in recent years, and and can be easily found in most natural food stores.
With all of these simple and natural items on hand, you will be well armed against the next virus that strikes you and your household. They are gentle on your body, and have no side effects unless you are allergic to daisies, in which case Echinacea may not be a safe remedy.