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February Question of the Month

TGN Community members, please let us know:

What’s your most effective home remedy for colds and the flu?

Leave us a comment below — we’ll be compiling the answers into an article soon!

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This post was written by The Grow Network

COMMENTS(63)

  • Ru says:

    3 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water

    1. 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.

      1. Scott Sexton says:

        Yes! I’ll take oils straight, but oregano feels like it’s burning a hole through my mouth. Also, the first time I tried it (in a capsule) I didn’t know how powerful it was. I probably put in 6 drops. I knew the exact moment that the capsule burst in my stomach. I told my wife that it felt like I’d swallowed gasoline. On the flip side, I did get well in a hurry.

  • torey says:

    Elderberry Syrup. Hot Beverages with Lemon, Honey (preferably spruce tip honey), Dried Elderberries, Star Anise, grated fresh Ginger and any other flavours you would like to add. Spoonfuls of Onion Honey (slices of onion in a jar of honey with additions of your choice including Garlic, Ginger, Chilli Flakes, Sage, Thyme, etc.). Chicken Bone Broth.

  • ravenhawk48 says:

    Oil of Oregano + elderberry tincture + Zicam (homeopathic zinc)

  • abstenangie1019 says:

    Zicam which is zinc has always helped me nasal swabs very good.

    1. Sandy Hines says:

      Zicam can make you loose your sense of smell Permanently. It also can make your nose bleed.

      1. peaveyplunker says:

        Yikes don’t think I’ll take Zicam, but I do take 3 cloves of garlic 1 tablespoon honey & a 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper & mix that all together. Sometimes I’ll make several batches, along with lots of summertime sunshine to build up my vitamin D. I also like Elderberry tincture or 1000 mg of Echinacea. The first one is the one I got rid of strep throat with, had to take a half teaspoon every half hour, knocked it out in three days, & it also knocks out cold & flu pretty quickly.

  • Susanne Lambert says:

    One of the ways I prevent myself from getting the flu and colds, is with oil of oregano which I take on a regular basis especially coming on to the fall and winter months. I tell my family and friends to avoid doctors as much as possible. Seeing whats going on out there with the allopathic medicines and superbugs. I try to take good care of myself and the people I love. Thank you for creating this kind of a forum.

  • Susanne Lambert says:

    I’ve also 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.

  • Gail Maynard says:

    I seldom get a cold or flu. (knock on wood– lol) I attribute that to the use of fresh herbal teas I make by the gallon and we drink every day. I often mix and change which herbs I use in our tea. When I let my guard down and start eating a lot of sugary, starchy food, then I open myself up for getting sick. If I do feel my throat scratchy or suspect a cold or virus coming on, I take some of my elderberry syrup along with echinacea. Those two seem to work together very well. I also drink ginger, lemon and honey tea. Essential oils are misted throughout my home, especially if the grand kids have been here with a cold or something.

  • Maria says:

    Depends on the symptoms, but allways garlic. Tumeric with ginger, cinnamon, ceylon cardamom, black pepper and little of myristica fragans feels so good with warm oatmilk . At wintertime lingonberries are so good every morning -even you don’t have a flu!

  • Teresa Klepac says:

    I use oregano oil in water. If my lymph glands in my neck are swollen I massage Breathe doTerra oil in coconut oil on them and then wrap up the neck. The next day the glands are back to normal. I also up my Vit C intake.

  • russraiche says:

    Enough good quality sleep, highly nutritious foods, lemon juice/apple cider vinegar/bitter tonic and water first thing in the morning to stimulate removal of toxins, quality meditation to keep in touch with my self healing nature, herbs like ashwaganda, and medicinal mushrooms. Positive thoughts as well! 💚

  • Rebecca says:

    I make a tea from dried mullein and echinacea. Mullein tames a sore throat within 5 min.

  • Shraboni says:

    Ginger, pepper and turmeric powder decoction in a glass of warm water work wonders.

  • Bonnie Camo MD says:

    Homeopathic Oscillococcinum usually cures colds or flu if taken in the first 24 – 48 hours. Available in most pharmacies and inexpensive.

  • Jill says:

    Cocolaurin. It’s a natural supplement, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Very effective and safe. Also Zicam.

  • Rebecca Potrafka says:

    Elderberry homemade tincture, 1 Tablespoon a day. EO diffused in the home. Cut up onions left sitting out in a glass dish for air purification. Honey onion syrup for a scratchy throat.

  • twirose says:

    Chinese (herbal) Gan Mao Ling tablets: take 8 tabs for the first dose and then 4 tabs every 3- 4 hours at first sign of colds; if cold gets worse (yellow phlegm, etc) switch to Yin Chiao every 3-4 hrs. Often several doses gan mao ling will throw off the cold or flu before it really gets a foothold.

  • Stephanie Lebron says:

    We take large doses of Vitamin C (1000 mg caps), say 2 every hour or a shorter period between doses, in the first 24 hours of feeling poorly/something coming on. Also use Colloidal Silver, Olive Leaf extract, Yarrow, or Elderberry. I personally like to take hot water (as for tea), and add in lemon juice and ginger, or Rosemary and Lemon-Eucalyptus essential oil drops in my water.

  • Nance Shaw says:

    Elderberry, elderberry and more elderberry. Echinacea tea with local honey every so often, Vit A, vit C, and zinc morning and night. Then Vick’s VaporRub on arch of feet to stop the cough, for everyone in the house, so we ALL get some sleep. Homemade chicken soup.

  • Denise says:

    The best way to deal with colds and flu is to prevent them. Make sure you are eating what nature intended…no GMOS, artificial ingredients, foods raised with organic methods and NO pesticides, meats only from grass-fed animals, and 80 – 90% plant- based diet. Detox regularly ( bounce on a rebounder, drink ACV in water every day, move daily) and learn about herbal medicine. Learn to make an Elderberry Syrup and take 1 tsp. every day during the times flu is prevalent. Avoid vaccinations…they compromise your natural God-given immune system. And live in harmony with nature ALWAYS.

  • MD Junior Germany says:

    Garlic, Ginger, Onioncuts, broiling water 5 min, After cooling down below 50Degree Celsius I add a lemon squash and Honey ,
    even my Kids like that

  • Sunny says:

    Tea from dried elderberries, tumeric, freshly ground black pepper and fresh ginger slices all day long (usually mixed with coffee or Chai tea); raw or slightly roasted garlic cloves and sauteed onions added to meals; increased Vit D consumption, and Organic Immune Aid by Plant Therapy essential oils in the diffuser, under the nose and on soles of the feet. I even use the oils in coconut oil to ‘wash’ my hands.
    On the rare occasions when I have felt the beginning of a cold, the above usually knocks it out in about 24 -48 hours.
    I have also used Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Throat relief tea from time to time (inlcudes Zinc)
    Washing your hands when you come in from public forays cannot be stressed enough as well, imo.

  • Marly says:

    At the first sign of anything, I gargle with and swallow ASAP Smart Silver (Amazon). I keep this up all day for however many days I need it. This usually knocks it out. I also drink on a daily basis one cup of a concoction made with fresh ginger, lemon, vinegar, fresh garlic, and Manuka Honey,

  • Suz says:

    Since flu starts in the gut, we take colloidal silver at first symptoms: 5-6 oz. for adults over 170 lbs., 4 oz. for adults under 170 lbs., 3 oz. for those between 80-110 lbs, and start w/ 2 oz for a child. After 90 mins. you should see a reduction in symptoms. 4 hrs after 1st dose, take a second dose of equal amt. 6 hrs after 2nd dose, take a 3rd dose of equal amt.
    Will also stop not only flu in its tracks, but also stomach viruses and food poisoning.
    Suggest taking probiotics or eating yogurt the next day to help restore healthy bacteria in the gut.

  • ThomasDuchesne says:

    I cook with a spice mix of turmeric, fresj ground black pepper, ginger powder and ceylon cinnamon. I can’t remember the last time I had the flu. I don’t get flu shots. If I ever feel something coming on, I’ll take Echinacea, 3 capsules 3X/day for a few days usually does the trick.
    Oh, and avoid sick people, and crowds.

  • Val says:

    Here in the UK I learnt on a first aid herbalism course to make a flu tea. It is equal parts elderflower, mint and yarrow. 1 teaspoon of each, with a teaspoon of lemon juice will be enough for 2 cups. 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.

    1. Brodo says:

      We just made this fever tea earlier today for my son. We used Lemon Balm for the mint and a spoon of local, raw honey. He said he liked it.

  • Emily says:

    I don’t catch colds and flu because for decades I take Citricidal at least once a day. You have to buy it as that brand name because ‘GSE’ which stands for ‘grapefruit seed extract’ was forced or induced by the FDA to remove grapefruit seed extract from their product (without telling people). Citricidal is on Amazon. I take up to 24 drops. 3 is what the package says. Vitamin C is one reason it works so well, and that’s natural Vitamin C, not ‘ascorbic acid.’ Lately, I also put Moringa honey (which is not sweet) in my coffee often, Number 10, which is around $45 for a month’s supply.

  • bobcarmenmertz says:

    I have been taking “Golden Paste” for more than 8 months and credit 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. Google it and find out how to make it and its many benefits.

  • Phil Tkachuk says:

    Colloidal Silver (10ppm (bought or homemade -The Silver Edge generator or Atlas Nova generator), turmeric, various herbal teas. Gargle with saltwater/peroxide, sinus flush. Best to eat greens and fresh fruit and vegetables.

  • Marius says:

    For prevention, I use colloidal silver. Anyway, this year the flu strain was extremely potent, and it got me for the first time in eight years. I cured it in about two days by ingesting hydrogen peroxide 3% solution. Next days I rebuilt my intestinal flora , which could be damage by hydrogen peroxide, by eating probiotics.

  • Michelle says:

    I eat all organic, with at least 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, always with blueberries, strawberries and an orange in the morning, and take my homeopathic remedy for the flu starting in September, just once a month, to build my defenses, and I have never gotten the flu and haven’t been sick in over 10 years. However, since homeopathy treats symptoms, we can treat any cold effectively. I sure the other ways are beneficial too!

  • Mark says:

    This winter we’ve been using the ‘four thieves’ concoction which was promoted by Marjory in late November. I made up a double batch, and we think it works great!

  • Josephine says:

    When I was a youngster, my mother would make me a huge pot of spicy chili. I would eat a bowl throughout the day, and it basically burnt the cold or flu right out of me. I would get better in a day or two instead of a week or so. I’m 60 now and still follow my mom’s example. I notice, now that I’m older and have gained some weight, that I just don’t get sick as much as I did when I was young and far to thin for my 5’8″ frame. I’m not saying get fat, but avoid being so thin that you are prone to pick up illnesses. People also need to learn to stay home when they are sick as well as keeping their kids home. Toddlers are germs wearing sneakers!

  • kathybelair52 says:

    At the first sign of a cold, suck on zinc acetate lozenges. Also, I use the Netti Pot with salt, colloidal silver and a little hydrogen peroxide. Immune herbs I use are echinacea, ginger, olive leaf extract and astragalus. I also take bee propolis, mushroom capsules and lactoferrin. I drink herbal teas with honey and lemon.

  • PInteaReed says:

    If you are stricken with flu make sure to help your fever. Wrap up in heavy blankets and try and keep the fever at 101 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. Also, ginger and honey tea for any nausea. Easy cheap no visits to MRSA laden ER rooms.

  • Brodo says:

    At the first sign of anything I start taking echinacea. That usually works every time. If it starts to get a little worse, I add in elderberry and chaga. For sore throat, I pour hot water over freshly-sliced ginger and stir in some raw honey. We made a batch of Rosemary Gladstar’s fire cider recipe last winter and it worked wonders for the whole family.

    Thank you for compiling all of these responses. I can’t wait to read the resulting article.

    1. Scott Sexton says:

      I made her fire cider 2 or 3 years ago. I need to try it again. I remember liking the taste, but I don’t remember how well it worked for us.

  • Kathy says:

    Fire Cider to prevent flu, which I never seem to get, thankfully. I am also making up oil of oregano and elderberry syrup. I’m covering all angles.

  • Michael Gray says:

    Daily, I take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey, both mixed well in warm water. I have been doing this for over a decade and have had fewer times of sickness than before. Also, when I felt a cold, or flu, I don’t know what it was, over the past two years, I used a fresh clove of garlic, smashed, chopped fine, left out for two to three minutes, added to my supper, and lunch, if possible. The impact of the disease was much shorter than with my coworkers or even family members who did not take the fresh garlic.
    We are growing Echinacea flowers, but I read that they are not ready for use until the second year.

  • Yvette McLean says:

    Blend: 5 clove garlic, 2 Tbsp sage, 2 Tbsp oregano, 3 Tbsp fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp thyme, 1 Tbsp rosemary, 2 Tbsp honey, 2 whole lemon, 2 cups cooled mullein/peppermint/lemongrass tea.

    The herbs leaves could be fresh or dried and all of lemon including the skin must be blended as well. DONOT HEAT MIXTURE.

    Have 1-2 ozs 3 times a day. You will be better by the third day.

    Make about 1 gallon of the mullein/peppermint/lemongrass tea and drink a around the clock for 2- 3 days as well. Could be consumed hot or cold.

  • Loa says:

    I use “Dragon’s Breath” daily during flu season…especially since I work full time at the high school! Dragon’s Breath is about the same as Fire Cider….I layer onions, garlic, horseradish, ginger, parsley, 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. I haven’t had a cold or the flu in 13 years since I started doing this! And i’m around a LOT of sneezing, wheezing, coughing kids!!!

  • Sandy Hines says:

    My husband and I haven’t had the flu or a cold in over 30 yrs. If your
    body is alkaline, flu virus and co,d germs cannot live. Every night before bedtime we have 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a few inches of cool water. Also 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 and eat nutritiously, Drink orange juice and take 1,000 to 2,000 mg of vit. C every day. That’s what we do.

  • Leslie says:

    For over 40 years we have used Vitamins A, C and E (a certain brand) to stop all kinds of infections and add Zinc for stubborn ones. I just had to learn how much and when with our kids when they were little. I can’t remember the last time we had the flu or strep throat which was a yearly occurrence before. We also stopped vaccinating 37 years ago. now our 7 kids are 43 to 24 and our 20 grandkids, so far, are being raised the same way.

    1. velaangels says:

      Cudos! So nice to hear stories like this!

  • Lizette Ingersoll says:

    Boneset / Red Clover tea

  • Theresa Haislip says:

    There are two things which I haven’t seen mentioned yet. I use ~SLIPPERY ELM~ whenever I have a dry, scratchy throat. I haven’t had the flu in years, but we do heat by wood which can make us quite dry, even when I keep pots of water boiling. I buy this herb, powdered, in bulk, but Traditional Medicinals also has a tea bag blend with it, called “Throat Coat”. It is mucilaginous and so will immediately soothe your throat and has helped me stop the unproductive dry coughs in the night.

    I have also found making a pint of ~CARROT JUICE WITH GARLIC~ very helpful and energizing. I first learned of this from Penny Kelly, author of “From the Soil to the Stomach”, and use it often in Winter, both as a preventative and a remedy.

    1. velaangels says:

      Really like the carrot/garlic suggestion! Thank you.

  • Thomas Hodge says:

    In the early stage, I’ll take Oscillococcinum a couple times during the day and then, a table spoon of Black Elderberry Extract before bed. Make an infusion before bed with Linden flower and stems (crushed) 1/2 oz. in a quart canning jar pouring hot water over until full – seal it over night – strain in the morning, squeazing the liquid from the linden. Chill it or drink it right away – 8 oz. every three or four hours.

  • Rhonda says:

    I use homemade fire cider ( has garlic, peppers, turmeric,etc) -1 shot a day in the winter, lots of rest and a net pot 2 x a day. Helps get through it quicker. Plus, wash your hands often.

  • velaangels says:

    Same as Rhonda – homemade Fire Cider. Also ginger shot made with half an apple or little pineapple. Also drink tea of ginger and fenugreek on the side honey with cinnamon.
    But frankly – I don’t get colds because of the lifestyle. But this is what I used to do and have these ingredients at all times at home.
    Great forum!

  • Sue says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! I really believe going back to the remedies that worked in the past were very effective. When it comes to the flu hot liquids like green teas with a touch of flavoring such as pomegranate, or
    adding ginger all aid in the healing process.
    Also soaking in a warm bath helps as well. They say “homemade chicken soup” also
    makes for a good remedy. I have heard adding some peppers with capsasine works wonders when you are sick. My daughter just recently caught the flu but
    chose not to take any prescribed medicine. She is recovering nicely but has learned that getting mire sleep contributes a lot to the quicker healing process.
    I agree with this article because a
    Lot if it simply works.

  • Scott Sexton says:

    Elderberry syrup and/or tincture. 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.

  • Bunkey Cunliffe says:

    We keep our immune system in top form by eating vegan and getting enough exercise and sleep. So we avoid getting sick.
    But some thing else I have to share.
    I’m an old woman now but I want to share a great experience I had as a young woman. I suffered with monthly abdominal pain, to the point that I had to come home from work. On one occasion, without taking any pain relief, because of circumstances, l had to run in this painful condition to catch a bus. I ran enough to raise my pulse for less than 2minutes. I caught the bus, but much better than that guess what! I found my belly was pain free. Ever after that I never went back to the painkillers. I just did a couple of minutes of high intensity (jump rope, run in place what ever it takes to get the heart rate up, to clear the abdominal congestion), exercise and within 10 minutes I was fine. Fo r those young women who want to use less pharmaceuticals, try it it works wonders. Pain and pill free.

  • annajudnich says:

    My “winter survival remedy” is 1 teaspoon at the first sign of onset: liquefied in 2 cups water; 16 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
    I enjoyed brushing up with great tips from the previous responses 🙂

  • lorrainedemichele says:

    I cannot temember the last time that I had the flu. I never get the flu vaccine. Keeping my body in an alkaline state is key. I love to make an organic juice using celery, spinache, kale, ginger, apple, lemon a few times a week. I drink water with lemon. I am always active whether it be at home or at work. Whole grains. I make a smoothie using almond milk, wild blueberries, organic and gmo free whey protein powder, cinnamon and sometimes walnuts or pecans a few times a week. I eat wild sockeye salmon a few times a week, fresh vegetables and fruits, a small amount of the darkest chocolate. I take D3 to keep my D3 level in the healthy range, omega 3’s, calcium citrate/manesium citrate, CoQ10, and cur cumin. I eat an organic salad every day with lemon and olive oil. I drink organic coffee and organic green tea. I use garlic in many recipes; sometimes I slice a clove or two and swallow it. I use organic oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, red pepper flakes in many of the meals that I make. I avoid white sugar and most refined white flour products. Everything is made from the scratch, just like my Mom used to do. I try to get 8-9 hrs of sleep each night. I rarely eat red meat. I wash my hands often, and use hand sanitizer. I open my windows and let the fresh air in. I clean bathrooms and kitchen often and keep shoes outside. God gives me the grace to learn about the foods that we’ve been given so that I stay healthy.

  • moncaivegan90 says:

    My most effective home remedy for flu and colds, well first off I do not take any kind of flu vaccine I have not for a little over 14 yrs. Where I currently live in the backyard there are tons of Bougainvillea’s (the red or purple kind are best) and a lot grow here in southern California. I harvest some flowers I then put on 2 cups of water and cinnamon stick bring to a boil and add 1 cup of fresh bougainvillea flowers turn off heat and cover for 2 min. then strain. 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. I drink lots of purified water, I eat light all plant based vegetables, quinoa, seeds, and herbal teas. I personally stay away from sugar so it does not bog the body down. I do my best to conserve my energy so my body has the strength to focus on healing from the cold or flu.

  • mlmm444 says:

    don’t get the flu or colds but occasionally sinus infections. for that I use a homeopathic called Sinus put out by Hylands brand.

  • w13jenjohn says:

    Elderberry. licorice and wild cherry bark tincture made at home. Sage, lemon eucalyptus and ginger tea with honey. Warm lap blanket and I’m set.

    1. dsymons says:

      like most everyone here – I do not get colds and last had the flu 43 years ago – main thing is rest, lots of water, herbal teas and lemon and ginger in hot water – if you do get a stuffy nose – snort some colloidal/nano silver – works instantly and you will be able to breathe through the night

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