Natural Solutions for Cold & Flu Season

Natural Solutions for Cold & Flu Season

natural remedies

Often times, when one family member gets hit with a bug it’s only a matter of time until the rest of the family gets the same virus. For most people, colds and flus are not life threatening, but getting sick can throw a monkey wrench into your normal routine and cause you to miss work or school.

Our bodies have an innate ability to heal, and under the right circumstances it can combat germs. To ensure your body is healthy enough to fight germs, it’s important to get adequate sleep, manage stress, exercise, and have a healthy diet.

When you first observe symptoms of a cold or flu, it is important to address them within the first 24 hours. If you let it linger, you allow more time for the bacteria or virus to replicate, increasing your odds of getting sick.

Here are some natural ways to combat cold and flu symptoms:

Avoid dairy, alcohol, and sugar

  • Dairy creates more mucus in your system, which only aggravates the situation.
  • Alcohol weakens the immune system’s ability to fight off offenders.
  • Sugar serves as food for bacteria and helps pathogens replicate.

Gargle salt water for a sore throat

  • When you have a sore throat, add salt to a glass of water then gargle the salt water in the back of your throat. The salt water works as an antiseptic and kills bacteria.

Homemade cough syrup for a bad cough

  • Take half an onion and place it in a jar. Cover the onion with honey and let this combo sit for 6 hours. After 6 hours, take a tablespoon three times a day. It sounds worse than it actually tastes. But it works like magic! And it is safe for children 12 months and older.

Steam inhalation for congestion

  • Find eucalyptus nearby or use the essential oil and add it to a steaming pot of water. Cover your head over the steaming water with a large towel and inhale the steam. The eucalyptus has anti-microbial and drying properties to help you breath better.

 Epsom salt baths for body aches

  • Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate, which relaxes muscles. It can be used for all kinds of body aches including those that are exercise induced. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a bathtub filled with warm water, soak, and relax.

 Warming sock treatment for high fevers and immune stimulation

  • Your body develops a fever as a natural way to kill germs as they cannot survive in higher temperatures, so don’t be so quick to pop a Tylenol. But monitor your temperature to ensure it doesn’t go over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Too reduce a fever, take a pair of cotton socks and run them through cool water. Wring them out and put them on your feet. Over the cool socks put on dry wool socks and jump into bed. When you wake up, the cotton socks should be dry and you should feel better.

If you are not noticing an improvement in your symptoms or worsening in 48 hours, consult your physician.

Preventive measures you can take include these natural solutions:

  • Take Probiotics: Good bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus help your immune system fend off bad bacteria and reduce inflammation. Food sources of probiotics include live cultures like those in kim chi and sauerkraut.
  • Arabinogalactan is a dietary fiber that increases good gut bacteria and works great in conjunction with probiotics.
  • Hydrotherapy: Ending your warm showers with a cold rinse helps move lymph fluid containing immune cells to combat bacteria and viruses.
  • Sambucus (Elderberry) Syrup: This antioxidant-packed herb has been shown to stop viruses from replicating and boost immune cells to fight-off germs.


What are your natural cold and flu remedies? Tell us in the comments. 


- Dr. Thalia Farshchian, Naturopathic Doctor

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary/health changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.