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40+ Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

What are your most effective cold and flu remedies?

Cold or flu got you down? Our Community’s got you covered! Check out these great tips and tricks for treating (and preventing!) colds and flus naturally.

Silver

When it comes to fighting off colds and flu, several of you swear that silver is worth its weight in gold.

  • Suz says, “Since flu starts in the gut, we take colloidal silver at the first symptoms: 5–6 ounces for adults over 170 pounds, 4 ounces for adults under 170 pounds, 3 ounces for those between 80–110 pounds, and start with 2 ounces for a child. After 90 mins, you should see a reduction in symptoms. Four hours after the first dose, take a second dose of equal amount. Six hours after the second dose, take a third dose of equal amount.” She says it will stop not only flu in its tracks, but also stomach viruses and food poisoning. Suz also suggests taking probiotics or eating yogurt the next day to help restore healthy gut bacteria.
  • At the first sign of illness, Marly gargles with and swallows ASAP Smart Silver, and keeps it up all day while symptoms persist.
  • Dsymons recommends snorting some colloidal/nano silver to help assuage a stuffy nose.
  • Phil Tkachuk recommends 10ppm colloidal silver. He says you can either buy it, or make it yourself using The Silver Edge generator or Atlasnova generator.

Fire Cider/Four Thieves Tonic/Dragon’s Breath

Community members velaangels, Mark, Kathy, Brodo, and Rhonda all rely on homemade fire cider as a winter immune booster. Rhonda takes 1 shot per day throughout the winter for prevention, and also uses it to shorten the duration of the illness if she does catch a cold or the flu.

Loa uses Dragon’s Breath—which she says is similar to fire cider—daily during flu season. She works at a high school “around a LOT of sneezing, wheezing, coughing kids” and says she hasn’t had a cold or the flu in the 13 years since she started boosting her immune system with Dragon’s Breath. Here’s how she makes it: “I layer onions, garlic, horseradish, ginger, parsley, and cayenne peppers in a jar and cover with natural apple cider vinegar. I let it steep for about 6 weeks, then strain, add some powdered turmeric, and put the glass jar into the refrigerator. To use, I mix a tablespoon of the mixture with a tablespoon of honey added to a cup of warm water.”

Read More: “How to Make Fire Cider”

Teas, Tonics, and Tinctures

You offered our Community members some wonderful ideas for teas, tonics, and tinctures.

  • Thomas Hodge makes an infusion with crushed Linden flowers and stems by adding 1/2 ounce of plant matter to a quart canning jar and then filling the jar with hot water. He seals it, lets it sit overnight, and strains it in the morning, squeezing the liquid from the linden. Then, he says, “chill it or drink it right away—8 ounces every 3 or 4 hours.”
  • Val recommends a “flu tea” made with 1 teaspoon each of elderflower, mint, yarrow, and lemon juice. This makes 2 cups of tea. “The elderflower is anti-catarrhal and anti-inflammatory, the mint is diaphoretic (it increases bile, thereby helping to release toxins), and the yarrow increases sweating but lowers fevers. It is a pleasant-tasting tea.” Brodo makes a similar tea, but substitutes lemon balm for the mint and adds a spoonful of local, raw honey.
  • Sunny makes a tea from dried elderberries, turmeric, freshly ground black pepper, and slices of fresh gingers, and drinks it all day long, usually mixed in with coffee or chai tea.
  • peaveyplunker mixes together 3 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and takes 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture every half hour until symptoms subside.
  • Stephanie Lebron creates a tea with hot water and lemon juice, plus either ginger, rosemary essential oil, or lemon eucalyptus essential oil.
  • w13jenjohnuses a homemade tincture of elderberry, licorice, and wild cherry bark, and also recommends a tea made with sage, lemon eucalyptus, and ginger, then sweetened with honey.
  • Shrabonisays that a “ginger, pepper, and turmeric-powder decoction in a glass of warm water works wonders.”
  • moncaivegan90boils 2 cups of water with a cinnamon stick, adds 1 cup of fresh red or purple bougainvillea flowers, turns off the heat, covers it for 2 minutes, and then strains it. “I like to add a spoonful of raw honey and enjoy 2 to 3 times a day. This works especially well for colds and coughs.”
  • Yvette McLean makes a tea with mullein, peppermint, and lemongrass, and drinks it around the clock—hot or cold—for 2 to 3 days. She also uses the tea in the following recipe:5 cloves garlic
    2 Tbsp. sage (fresh or dried)
    2 Tbsp. oregano (fresh or dried)
    3 Tbsp. fresh ginger
    1 Tbsp. thyme (fresh or dried)
    1 Tbsp. rosemary (fresh or dried)
    2 Tbsp. honey
    2 whole lemons (including skin)
    2 c. mullein/peppermint/lemongrass tea, cooledBlend all ingredients together. Do not heat mixture. Take 1–2 ounces 3 times per day.“You will be better by the third day,” she says.

Oregano Oil

Several of you recommend using oregano oil to fight off colds and the flu. But do your research! Joy Deussen says, “Be careful with oregano oil. It is hot and will burn the inside of your mouth. I recommend you put it in a capsule and swallow for no discomfort.”

Vitamins

Increase your vitamin intake when you’re fighting off a cold or the flu.

  • Sunny increases consumption of vitamin D.
  • Stephanie Lebron says she takes 2000 mg of vitamin C every hour or so in the first 24 hours of feeling something coming on.
  • Nance Shaw also takes vitamin A morning and night.

Elderberry

Take some form of elderberry for its immune-boosting properties.

    • Along with taking homeopathic oscillococcinum and drinking a Linden infusion, Thomas Hodge takes a tablespoon of black elderberry extract before bed.
    • Denise takes 1 teaspoon of elderberry syrup every day during cold and flu season.
    • Scott Sexton takes elderberry syrup and/or tincture, plus recommends “Lots of water and rest. Meditation and yoga. And frequent sips of apple cider vinegar. I use essential oils, too. Oregano and the Thieves blend. Plus, I always add a citrus oil. Citrus oils are just happy, and I think they put me in a better mood, too.”

DIY Elderberry Syrup Kit

Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup With Our DIY Elderberry Syrup Kit! Buy Yours Here!

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are a favorite food when you’re dealing with colds and the flu.

  • For air purification, Rebecca Potrafka leaves a cut-up onion sitting out in a glass dish. She also takes honey onion syrup for a scratchy throat.
  • Susanne Lambert offers an interesting thought on using onions: “I’ve done some experiments with onions underfoot before bed with a pair of socks. I found that when I woke in the morning, my stuffy nose was gone.”
  • Sunny adds raw or slightly roasted garlic cloves plus sautéed onions to meals.
  • Michael Gray says that if he feels something coming on, he adds to his meals “a fresh clove of garlic, smashed, chopped fine, left out for 2 to 3 minutes” and says that he gets better faster than others who are sick at the same time but don’t take fresh garlic.
  • Marjory is also a huge fan of using raw garlic as an immune booster when she’s fighting off a cold. She’ll chop up several cloves, let them sit for about 10 minutes, and swallow them straight. (Yes, we’ve seen her do this firsthand! 😉

Over-the-Counter Remedies

Sometimes, the pharmacy is your friend. Our Community members recommended several over-the-counter products that help fight colds and the flu.

  • Bonnie Camo and Thomas Hodge both recommend homeopathic oscillococcinum. Bonnie says it “usually cures colds or flu if taken in the first 24–48 hours. Available in most pharmacies and inexpensive.”
  • Jill recommends cocolaurin. “It’s a natural supplement, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Very effective and safe.” (Cocolaurin is a super-concentrated form of monolaurin, which is distilled from coconut oil.)
  • Several of our Community members take zinc when fighting off a cold or the flu. Nance Shaw recommends a dose morning and night, kathybelair52 sucks on zinc acetate lozenges at the first sign of cold, and Jill takes zinc in the form of Zicam. Sunny also occasionally uses Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Throat Relief drink mix, which contains zinc.
  • Sunny also puts Plant Therapy Organic Immune Aid essential oil in the diffuser, under the nose, and on the soles of the feet.
  • When TommyD feels something coming on, he takes 3 capsules of echinacea 3 times a day for a few days.
  • Marius says colloidal silver usually helps him avoid the flu. However, “this year the flu strain was extremely potent, and it got me for the first time in 8 years. I cured it in about 2 days by ingesting hydrogen peroxide 3% In the next days, I rebuilt my intestinal flora—which could be damaged by hydrogen peroxide—by eating probiotics.”
  • Among other things, Nance Shaw recommends soothing coughs at bedtime by putting Vick’s VapoRub on the arches of the feet.
  • Several of you recommend using a neti pot during the sickness to help relieve symptoms. (Remember, though—the FDA recommends rinsing only with distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water, as tap water may contain harmful organisms that could actually make the problem worse.)

Encourage Fever

PInteaReed says, “If you are stricken with flu, make sure to help your fever. Wrap up in heavy blankets and try to keep the fever at 101°F to 102°F. Of course, if it goes higher, unwrap! Fever is what helps kill the viruses inside you. We just used this on this recent strain of really nasty flu that is going around. An hour after you wrap up, you should see a huge abatement of symptoms.”

Prevent It

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and our Community members offered some great suggestions for keeping colds and the flu at bay.

  • TommyD says he can’t remember the last time he had the flu, and attributes part of his immune strength to cooking regularly with a spice mix of turmeric, freshly ground black pepper, ginger powder, and Ceylon cinnamon.
  • Sandy Hines says neither she nor her husband have caught the flu or a cold in over 30 years. “If your
    body is alkaline, flu viruses and cold germs cannot live. Every night before bedtime, we have 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a few inches of cool water.” They also eat about 2/3 cup of plain yogurt with a teaspoon of raw, unfiltered, local honey in it during the day; drink plenty of clean water, eat nutritiously; drink orange juice; and take 1,000 to 2,000 mg of vitamin C every day.
  • Michael Gray helps prevent illness by taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey mixed in warm water every day.
  • Emily says she doesn’t catch colds or the flu, and attributes it to taking Citricidal brand grapefruit seed extract at least once per day. She adds, “I take up to 24 drops. Three is what the package says. Vitamin C is one reason it works so well, and that’s natural Vitamin C, not ‘ascorbic acid.’”
  • Community member bobcarmenmertz has been taking homemade Golden Paste for more than 8 months and credits it for feeling well. “I did start to get a cold, but the severity and duration were greatly reduced. The paste includes turmeric powder, coconut oil, and freshly ground black pepper. You can make it yourself and refrigerate for 2 weeks.” One recipe we found for Golden Paste is as follows:Golden Paste Recipe
    1/2 c. turmeric powder
    1 c. water (plus up to an additional cup of water, if needed)
    2–3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    1/3 c. healthy fat—either from raw, unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil, flaxseed oil, or virgin/extra virgin olive oilCombine the turmeric and 1 c. water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 7–10 minutes or until the mixture becomes a thick paste. (You may need to add some or all of the additional water during this step.) Remove from heat and let the turmeric/water mixture cool down until it is warm and not hot. Add the freshly ground black pepper and oil, and stir well to incorporate. Allow it to cool, then keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze some if you don’t think you’ll use it up by then. You can use Golden Paste in smoothies, in yogurt, as a condiment—even as as an immune-booster for your pets!

Thanks so much to each and every TGN Community member who shared your favorite home remedies in response to our February Question of the Month! You are highly valued!

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(This article was originally published on March 10, 2018.)

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COMMENTS(19)

  • Robert says:

    I Have A Micro Particle Colloidal Silver Generator Purchased thru Independent living, so I make my own, for myself and my family. haven’t had a cold or flu in years. Whole family takes it. Very inexpensive to make. Kills germs and protects against diseases pennicillon won’t kill. Super bugs cannot get around. Silver has been used for centuries.

  • Yolanda says:

    Great recipes will definitely make some of them. Thank you

  • Yolanda says:

    Great recipes will definitely try some of them.

  • donna says:

    Marjory is also a huge fan of using raw garlic as an immune booster when she’s fighting off a cold. She’ll chop up several cloves, let them sit for about 10 minutes, and swallow them straight. (Yes, we’ve seen her do this firsthand! 😉

    This is what I do as well, but I put it in a Tbsp of water and drink it down like a pill. Then follow with more water. Easier to get it all down that way. I do this every 2-3 hours when something is coming on. It works like magic!

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Wow, this is a really awesome selection of remedies! I am currently have a bit of a stuffy nose and guess what? I am going to try Susanne Lamberts idea of onions on my feet in socks at night. Ha, ha, I’ll post again tomorrow – or the next day – and let you know how it went 🙂

  • Paula says:

    Nobody takes care of Mama when she sick. I lost all of my personal ‘get better notes’ and have had a pretty rough winter. This article is Awesome!

  • CindaDunham says:

    Regarding the oregano oil… my husband and I have used it and colloidal silver for years (instead of antibiotics). When we take the oregano, we do put it in capsules, BUT – we do eat something before taking the capsule(s), and we put more food in just after we take the capsule(s). Otherwise it tends to ‘burn’ everything on the way down!!! We also treat it just like antibiotics – although we use the colloidal silver for the ‘minor’ stuff, we use the oregano for the ‘heavy guns’ – the crud that is really nasty and hard to get rid of. We take it for at least 7 to 10 days (more if necessary), 3 to 4 times a day. The oregano oil will kill off good gut bacteria, so eat your probiotics! (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, what-have-ya)

  • Linda says:

    Thank you all for sharing all these great methods of dealing with colds and flu. I will definitely be trying some of these out! I have used garlic crushed and let sit for 10 minutes then ingest to get rid of my colds. But I’ll be checking into colloidal silver and oregano essential oil.

  • Bonnie Krause-Gams says:

    We at our house use Dr. Christopher’s Super Garlic. When feeling an infection coming on 1-2 tbls for 5-10 days takes care of it. Colds, ear infections, sore throats, flu. You name it. I personally take a tbls of this every day during flu season. Great product.

  • CaptTurbo says:

    I’m a big fan of colloidal silver and make my own. You don’t have to buy a generator to do it. I simply use an old DC power source which puts out 17.5 volts and use silver bullion rounds and distilled water. I usually make it around 15 to 77 ppm. I prefer not to swallow the stuff to protect my gut flora. I do use it as a mouth rinse and like to hold it for several minutes for it to absorb into my bloodstream. However, my favorite way to use it is to inhale it from my nebulizer. It takes the atomized solution deep into the lungs to kill any crud there and be infused very quickly into the blood. This has been a Godsend to fight off the serious flu encounters for me and a few friends I have helped with the technique. Hope this is useful to folks here as well.

    1. Preba says:

      Tried the colloidal silver in my nebulizer last night – still kicking out mucous this morning – I’m impressed – going to keep this in mind for our winter. Thanks for sharing. Appreciate.

  • Dana says:

    I combine 1 tblsp raw honey 3 cloves garlic (pressed) 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper I take 1/2 tsp twice a day This seems to work very well, haven’t had the flu or a cold this year.

  • Denise says:

    I just found out about a natural herbal product that sounds excellent. Called “Ultra Fighter”- it contains echinacea, garlic, olive leaf, astragalus, GSE, Goldenseal, Turmeric and several other immune boosting ingredients. Available from: hopeforhealthuse.com.

  • Denise says:

    Website Correction: hopeforhealthusa.com

  • Sharon Companion says:

    I have had great success with 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide for sore throat. I gargle with it for about a minute. I do this every 12 hours for a total of three times. The very first time I gargle with it my sore throat is gone Instantly and does not come back.

    I also get great results using the plant eyebright for eye infections. I had an infection in both eyes, one not so bad, the other really bad with green pus sticking my eyes together. I made an eyebright infusion and added a spoonful of raw honey, dipped a cotton ball in it and applied to my eyes. I used it for one day and the next morning the infection was completely gone….Gotta love Mother Nature!

  • HP P says:

    This is a fantastic resource for cold and flu remedies! I’ve had great results with teas/soups using ginger, turmeric, garlic, onion, lemon, black pepper, echinacea, goldenseal and either filtered water or bone broth. I also include a zinc capsule twice a day. I will start the tea/soup on the morning I feel something coming on and sip on it all day, adding more liquid and ingredients as necessary. The next afternoon, I usually break a sweat and on the 3rd day, I feel great. This year I made an elderberry tincture for the first time. Too bad I haven’t needed to try it out. I guess I’ll have to share it with sick friends.

  • paulette.villere says:

    my go to product for colds and flu is Viral Defense by plantcures.com and of course Silver!

  • Lexie says:

    I routinely take 10,000 mg of C, but having a long and sordid history with infections, I jump it up significantly when I’m exposed to someone sick. It had gotten cost prohibitive so I did some research on what exactly goes into a C supplement and found a recipe for making your own. It called for shaping the concoction into little pill size balls, something I’m not going to bother with but I needed an ongoing answer to the problem. I would reference the recipe here if I could find it again but I used rosehips powder, acerola cherry powder, amla powder and orange peel powder and enough raw, local honey to make it all stick together. I go by 3 times a day and eat a spoonful but recently got a sinus infection so I used some of the remedies listed here and enough C to achieve “bowel tolerance” and knocked out the infection without needing antibiotics. I feel so empowered to finally be able to fight back without doctors! Thank you everyone!

  • dipat2005 says:

    Years ago I read of a way to get rid of a sore throat and that was by taking a pinch of Cayenne, the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 8 oz of warm water. Now you have 2 choices. The first is to gargle with this 4 times a day or the second choice is to swallow this and get rid of your sore throat. Depending on how my stomach is feeling that day I have swallowed it and the sore throat is gone. Amazing stuff. I am also taking mushrooms in capsule form, vitamin D3 and a preparation of Vitamin C, Zinc and and more Vitamin D3. I am not always able to tolerate onion and garlic but when I can I chop up garlic and onion and add them to a cup of chicken noodle soup. It works well!

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