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40 Home Remedies for Colds and Flus

40 Home Remedies for Colds and Flus

whenvitalityThe brisk mornings and the scent of fall can be so invigorating! But it’s also a reminder that cold and flu season is just around the corner.

It’s time to be prepping our immune system for the coming wave of germs.

And while we’re at it, why not stock our natural medicine cabinets with great home remedies that will banish the ickies and have us back on our feet in no time!

That is, if we get sick.


Why Home Remedies?

Knowledge is power. The more we learn about the inefficiencies and health concerns surrounding conventional OTC drugs, the more sense it makes to get back to nature.

Natural remedies are safe and effective. And the toxic side effects are nil. You can’t beat that!

Natural remedies are also inexpensive. Compared to their synthetic counterparts, herbs and homeopathic remedies are about the cheapest health care options available. Essential oils are a bit more pricey when you consider a good quality essential oil, but they still are comparable to what you’d be paying for an OTC drug.

I love using herbs, homeopathic remedies and essential oils for all my family’s medicinal needs. I affectionately call the collection my home remedy triumvirate. Yes, yes I made that up myself.

For nearly two years now we’ve treated every bump, bruise, fever, sniffle, cough… using one of these three medicinal tools. And we’ve saved hundreds of dollars doing it. Even more, I think we’re in all-around better health because of it!

There’s certainly a place for conventional medical care but do yourself a favor and steer clear of the doctor’s office if you’re dealing with plain and simple cold/flu symptoms this season.

Better yet, why not keep from getting sick in the first place?! Here’s how…



How to Boost Your Immune System

I’ll make it simple: the BEST way to boost your immune system is to lay off the sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Ouch. I know.

But friends, sugar severely undermines the body’s strength to ward of sickness. And this time of year, we need all the help we can get to keep our immune system primed and ready for the great war headed our way.

I can specifically pinpoint every time I was sick in years past… and it was always after indulging too much in some tempting confection.

(Notice I said “too much”. I’m not talking about tossing out ALL the sugar. Just a majority of it.)

Take a guess at why so many people come down sick during the holiday seasons.

No, I don’t think it’s stress. It’s the goodies.

Or should I say “badd-ies”?

Reign in your sweet tooth this fall/winter and just see how much that contributes to a stronger immune system… and overall better health. And if the stresses of the season beat you down, consider taking extra steps to stay well when vitality is out of your hands.

Here are some other home remedies to get your germ-fighting system on the move:

5 Immunity Boosters by The Natural Singer

Thump Your Thymus by Learning and Yearning

Immune Boosting Workout by Primally Inspired   



One of the tastiest resources available for boosting immunity is the ever popular Elderberry, Sambucus nigra. comparison

Elderberries are interesting little things. They resemble in many ways the prolific Pokeberry, but grow in clusters rather than elongated rows. Keep in mind that some Elderberry species can be toxic if not cooked, so I don’t recommend munching on them raw unless you’re a certified botanist. 🙂

Here are some fantastic ways to use Elderberries for better immunity and symptom relief:

Elderberry Tincture* by Love and Wild Honey

Supercharged Elderberry Syrup by Real Food Outlaws

Flu Prevention Syrup by Real Food RN

Elderberry Elixir by Real Food Outlaws

Elderberry Tea by Earth-Friendly Goodies

Elderberry Syrup by Natural Family Today

*Curious about what the difference is between a tincture, a syrup, an elixir and a tea? Check out this post (& graphic!) all about the differences between herbal preparations!


Real Food to the Rescue

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, advised “Let your food be thy medicine and your medicine thy food.”

Look not just to your medicine cabinet for relief but also your kitchen cabinet. The foods you stock your kitchen with have the power to harm or the power to heal you.

I’d go with the latter.

Just sayin’.

Here’s some great foods that have the power to heal you of your worst cold and flu symptoms… or prevent them in the first place:

Chicken Nettle Soup by Nourishing Herbalist

Coconut and Orange Smoothie by Green Thickies

Bone Broth with Medicinal Mushrooms by Real Food Outlaws



Ginger Lemon Honey by The Dabblist

Medicinal Honey by Earth-Friendly Goodies



Garlic Ginger Lemonade by Real Food Outlaws

Hot Toddy by They Call Me Oyster Girl

Winter Detox Tea by Earth-Friendly Goodies

Cold-Busting Hot Toddy by Earth-Friendly Goodies


Ways to Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are wonderful home remedies for the beginning home health practitioner. They can be ideal remedies for a weary, ill, body on account of their antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

They are also incredibly potent. I don’t recommend ingesting essential oils except on very rare occasions.

And always be sure to take a quality pro-biotic (the ones listed here under “supplements” are great!)

Here are a couple suggestions for using essential oils to keep illness at bay:

How to Use Essential Oils to Fight Colds and Flus by The Prairie Homestead

Thieves Oil Strikes Again by Earth-Friendly Goodies


 Individual Home Remedies by Symptom

Do you have a specific symptom of the cold / flu season that you are just dreading… dreading… dreading? Check out these great home remedy suggestions and stock up on the needed ingredients so that nothing will get you down this season!



Fire Cider Tonic by Healthy Home Economist

Fire Cider Remedy by The Dabblist

DIY All-Natural Vapor Rub by Mommypotamus



Rose Hip Honey by Methow Valley Herbs

Herbal Remedies for a Sore Throat by Methow Valley Herbs

Home Remedies for Sore Throat by DIY Natural

How to Help your Child Manage a Sore Throat by Growing Up Herbal

Natural Remedies for Strep Throat by Green Boot Living



Herbal Cough Syrup by Real Food Outlaws

Natural Cough Remedy by Oh Lardy

Cough Syrup with Coconut Oil by The Coconut Mama

Homemade Cough Drops by Nourishing Joy

Herbal Cough Drops by 20 Something Allergies



Fever is the body’s way of killing off viruses and bacteria that have no business making their home in the body. It’s a great tool in the body’s fighting arsenal!

Don’t be afraid of it. If your little ones are miserable with a fever, take steps to naturally comfort them, but let the fever do it’s job.

If you allow a fever to run its course without suppressing it through the use of analgesics you’ll find your child recovers from illness faster and more completely.

How to Bring a Fever Down Naturally by Natural Family Today

For Clued-On Moms: Fever Is a Friend by Healthy Home Economist



The body aches that seem to accompany most flus can make one SO miserable. I recommend using the homeopathic remedy Arnica or a homeopathic combo remedy for best relief. If you want to go the herbal route, here’s a great option:

Pain Relieving Salve by Real Food Outlaws



If your nausea and vomiting begin suddenly, consider taking the homeopathic remedy Arsenicum. It does wonders at calming the stomach down and stopping vomiting.

How to Help an Upset Stomach Naturally by DIY Natural

Homemade Electrolyte Drink by Don’t Mess With Mama



Diarrhea doesn’t relate to the consistency of a stool, but to the frequency. And for anyone whose experienced episodes of diarrhea, you know that when you gotta go, you gotta GO! No matter if it’s convenient or not. 

For tips on relieving diarrhea naturally, check out my post: Top 15 All-Natural Remedies for Diarrhea! 


Bonus Remedy Resources

30 Natural Cold | Flu Remedies by Girl Meets Nourishment

Natural Remedies for the Flu by Real Food Forager

Natural Flu Remedies by Real Food RN

Natural Cold | Flu Remedies by DIY Natural

Natural Treatments for the Flu – How to Banish the Flu in 24 Hours by Natural Alternative Therapies


At the end of the day…

One thing is for sure, the ideal choice would be to never get sick in the first place! Right?! Eating well, reducing your intake of sugar and adding great herbs like elderberries to your diet will significantly raise your chances of staying healthy. But if you do fall prey to the ickies, home remedies make wonderful options for safely and efficiently relieving cold and flu symptoms.

If you are sick and looking for that extra motivation to get you back to normal, consider this post by Real Fit Mama for tips on getting over the hump and back to normal.

For easy reference to these and other great home remedies for cold and flu symptoms, be sure to check out our Pinterest page: Home Remedies for Colds and Flu. It’s updated often with the latest and greatest all-natural tips for fighting back the ickies of the coming season!

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This post has been shared on: Natural Living Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, Better Mom Monday, Modest Mom Monday. Fat Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Welcome Home Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Frugal Days, Thank Your Body Thursday, Natural Living Link-Up.